Joanna Almeida, MSW, MPH, ScD

Joanna Almeida is an Associate Research Scientist at the Institute on Urban Health Research at Northeastern University, where she recently completed a post doctoral fellowship. She is also currently a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center. She received her Doctorate of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health in social epidemiology with minor concentrations in research methods and mental health. She has a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Boston University.

Research Interests & Projects

Almeida’s broad research interests are in the social determinants of immigrant health, specifically in investigating explanations for the Latino health paradox and for the decline in Latino immigrants’ health status over time, and with subsequent generations of US-born Latinos. This line of research includes studies on the effects of risk and protective factors that may affect the acculturation process. In her work, Almeida has tested certain long standing assumptions about Latino immigrants and the Latino health paradox. As part of her work as a NIDA-fellow, Almeida found that rates of certain risk behaviors such as violence perpetration and substance use among immigrant youth converge with those of US born youth within a matter of a few years rather than a generation, as previously thought.

Contact Information:


Acevedo-Garcia, D., Sánchez-Vaznaugh E., Viruell-Fuentes, E., Almeida, J.. Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework. Social Science & Medicine, Volume 75, Issue 12, December 2012, Pages 2060-2068

Almeida, J, Johnson, RM, McNamara, M, Gupta, J. Peer violence perpetration: Dispelling the myth of the violent immigrant. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2010.

Almeida, J, Kawachi, I, Molnar, BE, Subramanian, SV. Ethnicity and nativity status as determinants of perceived social support: Testing the concept of familism. Social Science & Medicine, 2009. 68(10): p. 1852-8.

Almeida, J, Molnar, BE, Kawachi, I, Subramanian, SV. A multilevel analysis of social ties and social cohesion among Latinos and their neighborhoods: Results from Chicago. Journal of Urban Health, 2009. 86(5): p. 745-59.

Almeida, J, Subramanian, SV, Kawachi, I, Molnar, BE. Is blood thicker than water?: Social support, depression and the modifying role of ethnicity/nativity status. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2011. 65(1): p. 51-6.

Borges, G, Azrael, D, Almeida, J, et al., Immigration, suicide ideation and deliberate self-injury in the Boston Youth Survey. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior, 2011. 41(2): p. 193-202.