Dr. Needham research focuses on health disparities, biodemography, and aging and the life course. In general, members of socially disadvantaged groups have worse mental and physical health than those who have higher social status. My work seeks to identify, explain, and reduce gender, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and sexual orientation health disparities. My primary research goals are: (1) To use novel approaches to assess health disparities across the life course, (2) To identify the social structural, psychological, behavioral, and physiological mechanisms by which social disadvantage leads to health disparities, and (3) To develop and test interventions to reduce the effect of social disadvantage on morbidity and mortality.
Ph.D. and M.A. University of Texas at Austin; B.S. Texas A&M University