Katrina M Walsemann

Katrina M Walsemann
University of Maryland, College Park | UMD, UMCP, University of Maryland College Park · School of Public Policy

Ph.D., MPH

About

76
Publications
17,072
Reads
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2,178
Citations
Introduction
I am a population scientist whose research examines how early life experiences influence health and health inequities across the life course. I focus on the ways educational inequities influence physical and mental health during adolescence and the transition into adulthood. Other projects examine how marginalization (e.g., legal status, sexual minority status) impacts health and how student debt may reduce the generally positive association between education and health.
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Chair
July 2013 - September 2020
University of South Carolina
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2007 - July 2013
University of South Carolina
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2000 - August 2005
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Health Behavior and Health Education
August 1998 - April 2000
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Health Behavior & Health Education
September 1995 - June 1997
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Objectives Although education is a key determinant of cognitive function, its role in determining Black-White disparities in cognitive function is unclear. This may be due, in part, to data limitations that have made it difficult to account for systemic educational inequities in the Jim Crow South experienced by older cohorts, including differences...
Article
Objectives: This paper focuses on the older Latino undocumented population and anticipates how their current demographic characteristics and health insurance coverage might impact future population size and health insurance trends. Methods: We use the 2013-2018 American Community Survey as a baseline to project growth in the Latino 55+ undocumen...
Chapter
Background: Air pollution is linked to worse cognitive function in older adults, but whether differences in this relationship exist by education, a key risk factor for cognitive decline, remains unknown. Objective: To determine if the association between fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) and incident cognitive impairment varies by level...
Article
Objectives To investigate the association between religious involvement and cognitive functioning at the intersections of race-ethnicity and gender among mid-life and older adults, and to determine if psychosocial factors help explain this relationship. Methods The sample included 14,037 adults aged 50+ from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS)....
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In recent decades, the cost of higher education has exceeded the pace of inflation while wages have stagnated or declined. As such, young adult children may increasingly look to their parents and other family members, including grandparents, to help them pay for college. We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to determine w...
Article
Background: Air pollution is linked to worse cognitive function in older adults, but whether differences in this relationship exist by education, a key risk factor for cognitive decline, remains unknown. Objective: To determine if the association between fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) and incident cognitive impairment varies by le...
Article
Full-text available
At the population level, those with more education tend to report better sleep, mirroring the education gradient found in other health outcomes. But research has shown that higher educational attainment does not always confer the same health benefits for Non-Hispanic Black (Black) and Hispanic adults as it does for Non-Hispanic White (White) adults...
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Background Stark inequalities in health and wellbeing exist across US counties. Schools are a key feature of counties and residents often make decisions about where to live based on the quality of the local schools. How counties invest in their local schools may reflect one way that health and wellbeing become embedded in geographic places. Method...
Article
Educational attainment is often considered the most important protective factor against cognitive impairment and dementia, yet significant variation in early educational experiences exists among mid-life and older U.S. adults. We use prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) along with information on respondents' early educational...
Article
Since the ratification of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA), the importance of promoting men’s participation in childcare has been recognized as an international priority. This study documents national policy efforts undertaken during the ICPD PoA timeframe to increase men’s participation in c...
Article
Objectives: More parents are borrowing to help their children pay for college. These loans may be a source of financial stress and worry, which could influence parents' mental health. We determine whether child-related educational debt is associated with worse mental health among parents and if fathers are more sensitive to this debt than mothers,...
Article
Purpose To examine associations between socioeconomic status and two forms of social capital, namely, neighborhood and network measures, and how these distinct forms of capital are associated with body mass index (BMI) among Black residents of low-income communities. Design Respondent-driven sampling was used to engage residents in a household sur...
Article
Study Objectives To document trends in self-reported sleep duration for the non-institutionalized U.S. civilian population from 2004–2017 and examine how sleep trends vary by race/ethnicity. Methods We use data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for U.S. non-institutionalized adults aged 18–84 from 2004 to 2017 (N=398,382). NHIS resp...
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We examined the relationship between two forms of ethnic discrimination—interpersonal and institutional—and smoking outcomes among Arab men in Israel, and whether social support buffered these associations. We used cross-sectional data of adult Arab men, current or former smokers (n = 954). Mixed-effects regression models estimated the association...
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An increasing number of U.S. adults are progressing through college in decidedly more complex ways. Little is known, however, about how this growing heterogeneity may be associated with the health behaviors and ultimately health of young adults. Using a life course perspective, we investigate whether and why different educational pathways—that is,...
Article
Background: Personal (i.e. egocentric) network characteristics are associated with health outcomes, including overweight and obesity. Previous research suggests educational attainment may interact with network characteristics to buffer these relationships. Limited research has examined the personal network characteristics of Black Americans, who h...
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Context: A woman's happiness about a pregnancy and birth has implications for her child's health and her own well-being. Sexual orientation and, particularly, the extent of concordance across its dimensions (sexual identity, behavior and attraction) may be related to happiness about these events, but research on this relationship has been lacking....
Article
Although immigrants are healthier than non-immigrants on numerous outcomes, the reverse appears to be true with regards to food insecurity. Most studies ignore heterogeneity in the risk for food insecurity within immigration status and by ethnicity, even though significant variation likely exists. We consider how immigration status and ethnicity ar...
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Purpose: Much criminal justice research has ignored racial/ethnic and gender differences in substance use subsequent to criminal justice involvement. This paper investigated how early adulthood arrest (i.e., 18 to 21 years of age) influences individuals' subsequent transitions from non-substance use to substance use, and substance use to non-subst...
Article
Objective Gender and racial/ethnic disparities in sleep duration are well documented among the U.S. adult population, but we know little about how these disparities are shaped during the early course of adult life, a period marked by substantial changes in social roles that can influence time for sleep. Methods Prospective data was used from the N...
Article
Media use among US children is high and access to new media outlets continues to grow, which has important implications for how children spend their time. This study builds upon research on other lifestyle behaviors to explore the impact of a global rating of parent–child relationship quality on recreational media use (RMU). Data from a nationally...
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Background We examine the association between the poverty histories of neighbourhoods and three indicators of psychosocial well-being—depressive symptoms, sense of control and number of stressors—in an observational study of mothers of young children in California. We also consider if length of residence in a neighbourhood moderates the association...
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Objectives: To date, no studies have investigated whether sexual minority women (SMW) are more likely to experience unintended pregnancies compared with their heterosexual peers. The aim of this study was to explore whether adult SMW were more likely to have unintended pregnancies compared with heterosexual women, to examine the role of identity-a...
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Objectives: Discussions of student debt often overlook the debt parents take on to pay for their children's education. We identify characteristics of parents with child-related educational debt among the late baby boom cohort. Method: Data come from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a nationally representative sample of individuals...
Article
This article explores how parents and school personnel perceived and experienced parental involvement at a school serving a low-income mainly black population. The first author recorded detailed field notes (n=70) and conducted in-depth interviews with parents (n=20) and school personnel (n=20) over a three-year period. Despite rhetoric of inclusio...
Article
Public parks are key community resources that can promote health. Some research has examined whether parks are equitably dispersed across neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic composition, but few studies have examined the interaction of these characteristics. Additionally, the quality of park environments has received lim...
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The medicalization of obesity encourages the structural and interpersonal regulation and monitoring of people who appear to be overweight or obese, with particular attention paid to low-income and minority populations; these dynamics serve to perpetuate contemporary social inequalities. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding o...
Article
Citizenship is both a system of privilege and a source of social identity. This study examines whether there are disparities in psychological distress between citizens and noncitizens, and whether these disparities may be explained by markers of social disadvantage (e.g., poverty, discrimination) or perceptions of success in the United States (i.e....
Article
Objective: To examine whether socioeconomic and health-related factors explain ethnic disparities in the onset and progression of functional limitations among middle-aged and older Israeli adults. Method: We used data from Waves I-III of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe in Israel. Logistic and multinomial regression models we...
Research
This article explores how parents and school personnel perceived and experienced parental involvement at a school that serves a low-income mainly Black population. Despite rhetoric of inclusion, the school’s policies and practices restricted parents to pre-determined and acceptable roles of parental involvement.
Research
The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the perceptions of health and obesity among mostly Black parents and mostly White school personnel at an elementary school serving low-income, Black children, compare these perceptions to the dominant obesity discourse, and explore possible differences in child health narratives and ob...
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Background: We evaluated the contributions of teen alcohol use to the formation and continuation of new and existing friendships while in turn estimating the influence of friend drinking on individuals’ regular use and heavy drinking. Method: Longitudinal network analysis was used to assess the mutual influences between teen drinking and social ne...
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Background Student loans are the second largest source of personal debt in the USA and may represent an important source of financial strain for many young adults. Little attention has been paid to whether debt is associated with sleep duration, an important health-promoting behaviour. We determine if student loans are associated with sleep duratio...
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Objectives. We examined associations between sexual orientation and pregnancy risk among sexually experienced New York City high-school students. Methods. We analyzed data from 2005, 2007, and 2009 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. We excluded students who had never engaged in sexual intercourse, only had same-gender sexual partners, or h...
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To date there is limited published evidence on the efficacy of tobacco control mass media campaigns in China. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a mass media campaign 'Giving Cigarettes is Giving Harm' (GCGH) on Chinese smokers' knowledge of smoking-related harms and attitudes towards cigarette gifts. Population-based, representative data w...
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A growing body of research has established the effect of early health on later-life health. This study extends the literature by (1) examining multiple dimensions of mid-adulthood health including physical and mental conditions, (2) analyzing attained status (education and income) as a potential pathway through which health problems in adolescence...
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The health consequence of loneliness in the early life course is an understudied topic in the sociological literature. Using data from Waves 1–3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine pre-disease pathways in the relationship between adolescent loneliness and early adult health. Our results indicate that loneliness durin...
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Researchers know relatively little about the educational attainment of sexual minorities, despite the fact that educational attainment is consistently associated with a range of social, economic, and health outcomes. We examined whether sexual attraction in adolescence and early adulthood was associated with educational attainment in early adulthoo...
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A large literature documents a strong and consistent educational gradient in health: more-educated persons enjoy lower rates of morbidity and mortality. This literature has generally focused on the amount of schooling one completes but has yet to comprehensively examine other facets of education, such as educational quality or school segregation. M...
Article
CONTEXT: Sexual minority women are not adequately assessed by national STD surveillance systems, and research regarding STD burden in nationally representative samples of such women is rare. Moreover, few studies have assessed STD risk exclusively among young adult women. METHODS: Wave 4 (2007–2008) data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adol...
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We examined the contribution of socioeconomic disadvantage and traumatic life events to ethnic disparities in disability among Israeli adults. We used data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE-Israel), a sample of Israeli adults aged 50 or older (N = 1,546). Disability measures included functional limitations, limitation...
Article
The use of promotoras de salud is an increasingly widespread delivery approach for community-based health education and promotion programs targeting obesity-related lifestyle behaviors for Hispanic populations. Addressing a gap in the literature, this research examined the sustainability of promotora-led initiatives from the perspectives of those w...
Conference Paper
Much research and programmatic attention has been given to understanding and preventing teen pregnancy in the U.S. Yet, sexual minority (non-heterosexual) youth have been invisible in most of this research. To determine the extent to which teen pregnancy is an issue among sexual minority youth, we analyzed data from 2005, 2007, and 2009 New York Ci...
Conference Paper
BACKGROUND: Ethnic minorities often experience higher rates of stress and have access to fewer material resources, both of which confer a higher risk for disease and disability. Few studies have investigated ethnic health disparities among the Israeli population, even though vast ethnic differences in power, resources, and education exist. The curr...
Conference Paper
BACKGROUND: Health programs delivered by promotores de salud aim to empower and enhance the health of community members through health education and outreach. Little is known about program planners' approaches to sustainability other than through ongoing funding. OBJECTIVE: To examine how program planners' envision and plan for sustaining promoto...
Article
Objective: Program planners work with promotoras (the Spanish term for female community health workers) to reduce health disparities among underserved populations. Based on the Role-Outcomes Linkage Evaluation Model for Community Health Workers (ROLES) conceptual model, we explored how program planners conceptualized the promotora role and the app...
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Training is an essential component of health programs that incorporate promotoras de salud (the Spanish term for community health workers) in the delivery of health education and behavioral interventions to Hispanics. During training sessions, promotoras are exposed to information and skill-building activities they need to implement the health prog...
Article
Racism can be manifest at the cultural, institutional and individual levels, and can exert effects at the intrapersonal level if targeted individuals internalize attitudes toward their own racial/ethnic groups. The general aim of this article is to examine the ways in which all levels of racism undermine the development of peer relations, one compo...
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Recent studies show that racism may influence health inequities. As individuals grow from infancy into old age, they encounter social institutions that may create new exposures to racial bias. Yet, few studies have considered this idea fully. We suggest a framework that shows how racism and health inequities may be viewed from a life course perspec...
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We examined whether attaining a higher educational degree after 25 years of age was associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better self-rated health at midlife than was not attaining a higher educational degree. We analyzed data from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, restricting our sample to respondents who had not attained a bachelor's...
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Objectives: Race/ethnicity and education are among the strongest social determinants of body mass index (BMI) throughout the life course, yet we know relatively little about how these social factors both independently and interactively contribute to the rate at which BMI changes from adolescence to midlife. The purpose of this study is to (1) exam...
Conference Paper
Few studies have assessed risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among young adult women by sexual identity. We analyzed Wave IV (2007/8) restricted data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative sample of individuals who were enrolled in grades 7 through 12 in 1994/5. Respondents w...
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We examined associations among 3 dimensions of sexual orientation (identity, behavior, and attraction) and key health-related indicators commonly studied among sexual minority populations: depressive symptoms, perceived stress, smoking, binge drinking, and victimization. We analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Wa...
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We investigate whether school racial composition is associated with racial and ethnic differences in early adult health. We then examine whether perceived discrimination, social connectedness, and parent support attenuates this relationship. Using U.S. data from Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, we found that...
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We investigate the effect of high school racial composition, measured as percent of non-Hispanic white students, on trajectories of depressive symptoms from adolescence to early adulthood. We also explore whether the effect of school racial composition varies by respondent race/ethnicity and whether adult socioeconomic status mediates this relation...
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Health outcomes among rural minority populations are seldom examined. Our research studied mortality among urban and rural white, black, and Hispanic adults ages 45-64, comparing outcomes for each group. We found the mortality risk to be higher among both rural white and rural minority populations compared to urban whites; rural blacks were at high...
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Previous research has produced inconsistent results on whether education and ethnic disparities in body mass index (BMI) persist, widen, or diminish over time. The authors investigate how education and ethnicity, independently and conditionally, influence BMI trajectories during the transition to older adulthood. Employing random coefficient modeli...
Conference Paper
Objectives: Disparities in life expectancy between white and non-white populations in the US are marked. While infant mortality contributes to this difference, the majority of excess deaths occur in middle age. Our research investigates whether health insurance ameliorates racial disparities in mortality among adults aged 45 - 64. Methods: Data w...
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We examined the extent to which within-school segregation, as measured by unevenness in the distribution of Black and White adolescents across levels of the English curriculum (advanced placement-international baccalaureate-honors, general, remedial, or no English), was associated with smoking, drinking, and educational aspirations, which previous...
Article
Objectives Education has long been considered a protective factor against sexual risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents; however, few have explored this association and determined differences across racial/ethnic groups of young adult females on a national scale. The purpose of this study was to (1) describe the...
Article
Full-text available
Education has long been considered a protective factor against sexual risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents; however, few have explored this association and determined differences across racial/ethnic groups of young adult females on a national scale. The purpose of this study was to (1) describe the associatio...
Article
Full-text available
To assess the impact of Mexico City and federal smoke-free legislation on secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure and support for smoke-free laws. Pre- and post-law data were analyzed from a cohort of adult smokers who participated in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Suvey in four Mexican cities. For each indicator, we esti...
Article
Full-text available
Objective. To assess the impact of Mexico City and federal smoke-free legislation on secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure and support for smoke-free laws. Material and Methods. Pre- and post-law data were analyzed from a cohort of adult smokers who participated in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Suvey in four Mexican ci...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Disparities in life expectancy between white and non-white populations in the US are marked. While infant mortality contributes to this difference, the majority of excess deaths occur in middle age. The purpose of our research is to ascertain whether health insurance helps ameliorate racial disparities in premature mortality in this a...
Conference Paper
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health issue in the U.S. Half of all infections occur among youth/young adults, with minority women suffering disproportionately. Education has been considered a protective factor against STIs; however few have explored differences across racial/ethnic groups. The purpose of this study is to...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the association of language proficiency vs language preference with self-rated health among Asian American immigrants. We also examined whether modeling preference or proficiency as continuous or categorical variables changed our inferences. Data came from the 2002-2003 National Latino and Asian American Study (n = 1639). We focused on...
Article
Racial discrimination may contribute to diminished well-being, possibly through stress and restricted economic advancement. Our study examines whether reports of racial discrimination predict health problems, and whether health problems predict the reporting of racial discrimination. Data come from years 1979 to 1983 of the US National Longitudinal...
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Although research investigating ethnic differences in mental health has increased in recent years, we know relatively little about how mental health trajectories vary across ethnic groups. Do these differences occur at certain ages but not others? We investigate ethnic variation in trajectories of depressive symptoms, and we examine the extent to w...
Article
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Recent studies suggest the importance of examining cumulative risk or advantage as potential predictors of health over the life course. Researchers investigating the cumulative health effects of education, however, have mainly conceptualized education in years or degrees, often disregarding educational quality and access to educational opportunitie...