Health Risk

Nancy Adler University of California, San Francisco

Adler_Nancy_04-05-2013Research has documented that Americans with more money and education have improved health prospects compared to poorer people. Nancy Adler has been a pioneer in investigating how social, psychological, and biological factors associated with socioeconomic status (SES) act together to determine the onset and progression of disease. Adler has investigated why individuals engage in health-damaging behaviors and how their understanding of risk affects their choices. This research has primarily been in reproductive health, examining adolescent decision making regarding contraception, conscious and preconscious motivation for pregnancy, and perceptions of risk of sexually transmitted diseases. She also examines subjective perceptions of one’s own socioeconomic status and how these perceptions relate to health along with objective indicators. Her work has raised the study of health disparities all over the globe to a new level of sophistication. Adler is the recipient of a special 25th anniversary APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for her significant intellectual achievements in applied psychological research and their impact on a critical problem in society at large.