Ethnic health disparities exist such that African Americans (AAs) are at an elevated risk for cardiovascular and other diseases in comparison to European Americans. Disparities in health also exist between sexes, as women typically report greater psychopathology (e.g., anxiety and depression) compared to men. Converging evidence suggests that lower resting heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Paradoxically, in comparison to their respective counterparts, both AAs and women show greater resting HRV despite greater physical and mental risk. However little research has been conducted to identify potential psychophysiological mechanisms and outcomes associated with such paradoxical results. Importantly, both women and AAs often experience unique social stressors, such as discrimination and stereotype threat, that has been shown to negatively impact such stigmatized groups. Dr. DeWayne William's research aims to better understand how such social stressors significantly impact psychophysiological function and health in both women and AAs.
Key Research Areas:
Social health psychology, health disparities, psychophysiology, discrimination, stigma, prejudice, stereotyping, stress and health, self-regulation