Karen Albright

Karen Albright

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Criminology, and Affiliated Faculty, Graduate School of Social Work

Karen Albright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Criminology and Affiliated Faculty in the Graduate School of Social Work. Her research explores the intersection of social inequality and health. After earning a PhD in Sociology from New York University, Dr. Albright received postdoctoral training in social scientific health research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow at the Center for Culture and Health at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

Dr. Albright’s primary research interests focus on health behaviors among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and on the barriers to their care. She is particularly interested in how disadvantaged populations interact with the U.S. health care system in both the private and public health domains. Much of her work has been concerned with exploring not only individuals’ experiences with the health care system, but also potential solutions for improving care. Dr. Albright’s work also includes research on the transmission of socioeconomic status, which she has investigated through several studies of intergenerational family dynamics and education policies, and on the psychosocial and cultural consequences of community trauma, particularly the aftermath of September 11, 2001 in New York City and, more recently, hydraulic fracturing in Western Colorado.

Dr. Albright believes strongly in, and is actively engaged with, the dissemination and implementation of social scientific methods, theory, and practice. Among other activities, she is the Co-Director of the Qualitative Research Consortium, which supports the development of a community of researchers –including DU faculty, students, and community partners– who are interested in qualitative research, particularly that which is focused on clinical and behavioral health.

Health & Aging | Friday, September 16, 2016

The term “social determinants of health” refers to any nonmedical factor(s) influencing health—i.e., the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels, these factors are primarily responsible for health inequities. This lecture will provide a broad overview of the social, behavioral, and cultural factors that affect the health of individuals and populations and, thus, contribute profoundly to health disparities, particularly in the latter decades of life. Health care policy, service delivery issues, and health care system dynamics will also be discussed.