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The Pezzia Medical Anthropology Lab

The Pezzia Medical Anthropology Lab

My research agenda consists of two separate but related arms: 1) examination of US health and health care, particularly as it relates to comorbid medical conditions and/or food insecurity, and 2) investigation of the political-economic and biopsychosocial relationships embodied in mental health experiences among medically underserved populations in Latin America. My research is based in a critical praxis framework that situates illness and disease within a broader context of globalization and development, while using a theoretically-informed, mixed methods approach, integrating my backgrounds in applied anthropology and public health.

An important goal of mine within my research program is to provide mentorship for undergraduate students. There are multiple research opportunities for students interested in developing skills in project design, data analysis, and manuscript writing. These opportunities are ideal for students considering careers in medicine, nursing, public health, social work, or anthropology.

Current Projects

Current projects reflecting arm 1 of my agenda include a USDA grant, on which I serve as PI, awarded through the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, examining the intersections of food, economic, and health insecurities among low-income older adults. The resulting dataset from this project has multiple opportunities for secondary qualitative and quantitative analyses by students interested in food insecurity, nutrition, chronic illness, elder care, mental health, social safety net program and interventions, health care access, and health policy.

For arm 2, I continue to build on my previous research that focused on shifts in identity among indigenous Maya recovering from alcohol use disorders in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. There are opportunities for secondary qualitative analyses by students interested in global health, psychiatric care and policy in Latin America, gender-based violence, and individual and communal behaviors of well-being and security.

Publications

Pezzia Carla, Rogg Magda*, Leonard Tammy (2022). Social, Resource, and Institution Disruptions and the Evolving Lives of Economically Vulnerable Older Adults: Implications for Policies and Programs in the New Normal. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences (accepted).

Pezzia Carla, Hernandez Luisa* (2022). Suicidal ideation in an ethnically mixed, highland Guatemalan community. Transcultural Psychiatry 59(1): 93-105.

Under review

Rogg, Magda*, Pezzia, Carla. Victimization and Distress in Indigenous Maya Women: A Qualitative Investigation of Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health Outcomes in Rural Guatemala (submitted to Journal of Family Violence)

Pezzia, Carla, Rogg, Magda*, Leonard, Tammy. Food security status in seniors over their life course (pre-accepted for Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy)

In Progress

Wieberg Aubrey*, Pezzia Carla. “America’s ‘Pitiful Burden of Poverty’: A Qualitative Analysis of Food Insecurity and Poverty Interviews Across Senior Citizens in Dallas.” (anticipated journal: Poverty and Public Policy)

Rogg Magda*, Pezzia Carla. “Fix Me a Plate”: The Relationship Between Food and Social Ties in the Lives of Food-Insecure Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. (anticipated journal: Aging and Mental Health)

Tran Taylor*, Pezzia Carla. Willingness to admit Mental Health Issues in Low-income Older Adults. (journal TBD)

Ketter Samantha*, Pezzia Carla. Senior Material Well-being and Food Insecurity, (journal TBD)

Pezzia Carla, Apolinar Evan*. Intersections of Chronic Illness and Food Insecurity. (journal TBD)

Sharma Ashley*, Pezzia Carla. Experiences of Childhood Trauma and Health in Older Adulthood (journal TBD)

Posters & Presentations

Poster Presentations

Wieberg Aubrey*, Pezzia Carla. (2022) “America’s ‘Pitiful Burden of Poverty’: A Qualitative Analysis of Food Insecurity and Poverty Interviews Across Senior Citizens in Dallas.” Southwestern Social Science Association, 101st annual meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Ketter Samantha*, Pezzia Carla. (2022) “Senior Material Well-being and Food Insecurity.” Southwestern Social Science Association, 101st annual meeting, San Antonio, TX.

Conference Presentations

Organized Panel: Pezzia, Carla. (2022) “Social, Psychological, and Medical Experiences Among Older Adults Vulnerable for Food Insecurity.” Southwestern Social Science Association. 101st annual meeting, San Antonio.

        ---- Student presenters included Evan Apolinar, Magda Rogg, Taylor Tran

Organized Panel: Pezzia, Carla. (2019) “Promoting Inquiry and Engagement through Undergraduate Student Research.” Society for Applied Anthropology. 79th annual meeting, Portland.

     ---- Student presenters included Human and Social Science majors

Organized Panel: Pezzia, Carla. (2018) “Representations of identity and education.” Society for Applied Anthropology. 78th annual meeting, Philadelphia.

    ---- Student presenters included Human and Social Science majors

Valdez, Mara I.,* and Pezzia, Carla. (2016) “Para locos: Latin@s in popular movies on mental illness.” Society for Applied Anthropology. 76th annual meeting, Vancouver.

Hernandez, Luisa,* and Pezzia, Carla. (2016) “Suicidal ideation and self-understanding: A Guatemalan case study.” Society for Applied Anthropology. 76th annual meeting, Vancouver.

Kuntz, Sarah M.,* Pezzia, Carla, Lanham, Holly J., Pugh, Jacqueline A., Ratcliffe, Temple A., and Leykum, Luci K. (2016) “Development of learner-physician identity through speech acts.” Society for Applied Anthropology. 76th annual meeting, Vancouver.

Current Lab Members

Magda Rogg

Ashley Sharma

Past Lab Members

Evan Apolinar

Samantha Ketter

Taylor Tran

Aubrey Wieberg

Luisa Hernandez

Mara Valdez

Lab Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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