Daphne C. Watkins

In Funded Scholars
Daphne C. Watkins
Daphne C. Watkins

Daphne C. 

Watkins

PhD

Assistant Professor 
University of Michigan

Professional Bio

Dr. Daphne C. Watkins is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School”s School of Social Work and a faculty associate at the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She has devoted her professional career to health promotion and disease prevention among underserved individuals and communities. An anthropologist and health educator by training, Dr. Watkins” interests include: gender disparities in mental health and mental illness; health education and behavior; and intervention/prevention research. Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Dr. Watkins completed a NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan as well as a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Career Development Award at the University of Michigan Medical School. She received her Doctorate in Health Education and Health Behavior from Texas A&M University.

Project Description

The purpose of my New Connections project is to use cross-sectional data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL) to examine the influence of psychosocial factors on the mental health of Black men at early, middle and late adulthood. Specific aims are to: 1) identify the psychosocial factors that help shape the mental health of Black men; 2) examine the impact of these psychosocial factors on their mental health; and 3) pinpoint strategies that focus on improving and maintaining mental health outcomes for Black men. Identifying the psychosocial factors that influence mental health for Black men is informed by models that identify the strengths and weaknesses of Black men within and across levels and at different periods over their life”s course. These models will improve our understanding of the risk and protective factors associated with mental health and illness among Black men and assist in developing strategies to improve and maintain their mental health.

My New Connections Experience

I applied for the New Connections award because I knew that it would help me advance my career to the next level. The award has allowed me to establish myself as an independent researcher as well as build relationships with individuals at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and across the country. I am grateful for the New Connections award because it has helped bring research on Black men and mental health to the forefront to receive the national attention it deserves.

Research Interests

Broadly, my interests include: gender disparities in mental health and mental illness; health education and behavior; and intervention/prevention research. I also study how gender role socialization influences mental health over the life course — particularly among Black-American men. I am interested in using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to increase mental illness knowledge and how knowledge impacts health and health behavior.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2007
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Vulnerable Populations 
  • Project Name: The Influence of Psychosocial Factors on the Mental Health of Black Men in America. 

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