Prevention and Health Behavior
Culture, Gender, and Health Behaviors
In addition to her work in developing and implementing drug prevention programs for adolescents and young adults, Madhuvanti M. Murphy, Dr.P.H., Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Health, has examined women's health issues as they pertain to partner drug use. Specifically, she has studied the experiences of Indo-Trinidadian women who are in relationships with drug users--why many stay in these relationships and how they cope.
Dr. Murphy is also a coinvestigator on a study of women's health in Qatar, working with principal investigator Linda Gerber, PhD, and Heejung Bang, PhD. This three-year study, funded by the Qatar National Research Fund, is examining the physical, biological, psychological and social changes in women in their middle years. It is designed to assess the experiences and issues surrounding menopause in Qatari women, using qualitative and quantitative methods.
Dr. Murphy is especially interested in qualitative research, which uses smaller samples than quantitative research and is less generalizable. Qualitative research is well suited for exploratory research. While the results can be harder to quantify than quantitative research, it allows for more open-ended questions and can include oral histories and in-depth clinical interviews and case studies. Thus it can reveal nuances and unforeseen aspects of the issues under study that more quantitative studies could miss.
Jennifer Epstein, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Health, has also researched issues of substance use concerning acculturation and gender. In one of her studies, she examined patterns and transitions in alcohol use for for urban youth, which among other factors, compares differences in alcohol use between boys and girls. Another of her recent studies, focusing on inner-city adolescents, examines gender-specific effects of social influences and personal competence on drug use.