A study by Mailman School of Public Health’s Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler, associate professor of Sociomedical Sciences and co-director, Center for the Study of Social Inequalities and Health, was selected the 2015 Editor’s Choice for Best Paper of the Year by the American Journal of Public Health. Titled “The Collateral Damage of Mass Incarceration: Risk of Psychiatric Morbidity Among Nonincarcerated Residents of High-Incarceration Neighborhoods”, the research examined whether residence in neighborhoods with high levels of incarceration is associated with psychiatric problems among non-incarcerated people. Findings showed that people living in neighborhoods with high prison admission rates were more likely to meet criteria for depression and generalized anxiety disorder than were those living in neighborhoods with low prison admission rates. According to the study conclusions, this suggests that “the public mental health impact of mass incarceration extends beyond those who are incarcerated.” The journal’s December issue will feature a column celebrating Dr. Hatzenbuehler’s achievements.
Dr. Hatzenbuehler’s research focuses on the causes of mental health disparities related to sexual orientation; the health consequences of exposure to structural forms of stigma; and the identification of biopsychosocial mechanisms linking stigma to adverse health outcomes. His recent work has examined how social policies that differentially target sexual minorities (e.g., same-sex marriage laws, employment non-discrimination policies, anti-bullying policies) affect the mental health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. A paper published this month by Dr. Hatzenbuehler in JAMA Pediatrics on the effectiveness of antibullying policies found that compliance with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines in antibullying laws reduced rates of bullying and cyberbullying.
Earlier this year Dr. Hatzenbuehler was named recipient of the 2015 Louise Kidder Early Career Award from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, which recognizes social issues researchers who have made substantial contributions to the field early in their careers.