Jay Pearson, Ph. D.


Jay Pearson is Kellogg Health Scholars Program postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. Previously, he was an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan Population Study Center. Pearson received his Ph.D. in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan. He also holds a B.S. in Community Health Education from North Carolina Central University and an M.P.H. in Health Behavior and Health Education from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Research Interests and Projects

Over the past 20 years, Pearson has worked directly with or conducting research pertaining to marginalized populations of color, both in the United States and abroad. He has served in the United States Peace Corps Honduras, worked as a migrant health educator, a university instructor and directed several community and university partnership projects and a primary data collection project. Pearson’s research interests include examining the historical development of socio-economic status as a research construct, conceptualization and operationalization of race/ethnicity variables emphasizing ethnic heterogeneity in often assumed homogenous racial categories, immigration/trans-nationalism and the health effects of alternative social-cultural orientations, social discrimination, and high-effort coping. Recently, Dr. Pearson designed and implemented empirical investigations to test components of a theoretical model he developed during his dissertation research, which later was published in the DuBois Review. This model proposes a socio-structural and cultural explanatory framework for health inequities.

Contact Information: j_pearson@cdc.gov


Pearson JA, Geronimus AT. Race/ethnicity, Socioeconomic Characteristics, Co-ethnic Social Ties and Health: Evidence from the National Jewish Population Survey American Journal of Public Health. In Press.

Geronimus AT, Hicken MT, Pearson JA, Seashols SJ, Brown KL and Dawson-Cruz T. (2010) Do US Black Women experience stress related accelerated biological aging? A novel theory and first population-based test of Black White Differences in Telomere Length. Human Nature

Kaestner R, Pearson JA, Keene D, Geronimus AT. (2009) Stress, Allostatic Load, and Health of Mexican Immigrants. Social Science Quarterly. Volume 9 (5): 1090-1111

Pearson JA (2008) Can’t Buy Me Whiteness: New Lessons from the Titanic on Race, Ethnicity & Health. DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race, Volume 5(1): 27-47.