Dolores Acevedo-García

Dolores Acevedo-García

Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Brandeis University

Director, Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy, Brandeis University

Visiting Professor 2008-2009

Hosted by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning


Dolores Acevedo-García is Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Her research focuses on the social determinants (e.g. residential segregation, immigrant adaptation) of racial/ethnic health disparities; the role of social policies (e.g. housing policies, immigrant policies) in reducing those disparities; and the health and well-being of children with special needs.

Dr. Acevedo-García earned her BA from El Colegio de Mexico, and both her MPA-URP and PhD from Princeton University. She has been a faculty member at the Harvard School of Public Health (1998-2009) and of Northeastern University (2009-2011). She is Project Director for, an indicator project on racial/ethnic equity in U.S. metropolitan areas, and for, a comprehensive database of indicators on child wellbeing and opportunity by race/ethnicity across multiple sectors (e.g., education, health, neighborhoods) and geographies. Dr. Acevedo-Garcia is also a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Housing and Families with Children.

Outside of academia, she has served on two national expert panels convened by the Centers for Disease Control (Housing and Health, and Social Determinants of Health), and on the expert panel for the award-winning PBS documentary series “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making us Sick?” Dr. Acevedo-Garcia has been an active member on many boards: the editorial boards of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and of Social Problems; the Social Science Advisory Board of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council; the National Coalition on School Diversity; the board of directors for the Fair Housing Center for Greater Boston and for the Committee on the Analysis on Impediments to Fair Housing (Boston Office for Civil Rights).

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning were her hosts at MIT. As an MLK Visiting Professor, Dr. Acevedo-Garcia worked with Ceasar McDowell of MIT’s Center for Reflective Community Practice, leading a team of graduate students in teaching the community about local food access. The team was invited by the North End Campus Coalition and paired with the New North Citizens Council’s youth program to developed an interactive food map. The interactive food map was presented at the Brightwood Health Center, followed by an open discussion about ways to improve both the map and local food access.


Selected: 2008-2014

Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores.

Osypuk, TL, Joshi, P, Geronimo, K, Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Do Social and Economic Policies Influence Health? A Review." Current Epidemiology Reports. In Press. (2014).

Schmidt, NM, Lincoln, A, Nguyen, QC, Acevedo-Garcia, D, & Osypuk, TL.. "Examining mediators of housing mobility on adolescent asthma: Results from a housing voucher experiment." Social Science & Medicine 107. 4 (2014): 136-144.

Acevedo-Garcia, D, Rosenfeld, LE, Hardy, E, McArdle, N, Osypuk, TL. "Future Directions in Research on Institutional and Interpersonal Discrimination and Child Health." American Journal of Public Health 103. 10 (2013): 1754-1763..

Kannan, S., Acosta, L. M., Acevedo-Garcia, D., Divjan, A., Bracero, L. A., Perzanowski, M. S., et al.. "Sociocultural characteristics, obesity and inflammatory biomarkers in Puerto Rican toddlers born in New York City." Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 24. (2013): 487–492.

Acevedo-Garcia & Almeida, J. "Special Issue introduction: Place, migration and health." Social Science & Medicine 75. 12 (2012): 2055-2059.

Acevedo-Garcia, D, Sanchez-Vaznaugh, E, Viruell-Fuentes, E & Almeida, J. "Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework.." Social Science & Medicine 75. 12 (2012): 2060-2068.

Gomez Mandic, C, Rudd, R, Hehir, T & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Readability of Special Education Procedural Safeguards." Journal of Special Education 45. 4 (2012): 195-203.

McArdle, N, Hardy, E, Osypuk, TL, Acevedo-Garcia, D. The Changing Face of Homeowners in Large Metro Areas. Issue Brief: 2012.

Osypuk, TL, Joshi, P, Geronimo, K, Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Do Social Policies Influence the Health of Women and their Children? A Summary of Strong Evidence and Implications for Designing Future Policies Using a 'Social Determinants of Health' Lens." Women and Health. Ed. MB Goldman, R. Troisi, KM Rexrode. Elsevier Publishing., 2012

Osypuk, TL, Tchetgen Tchetgen, E, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Earls, F, Lincoln, A, Glymour, M.. "Differential Mental Health Effects of Neighborhood Relocation among Youth in Vulnerable Families: Results from a Randomized Trial." Archives of General Psychiatry 69. 12 (2012): 1284-1294.

Firestone R, Punpuing S, Peterson KE, Acevedo-Garcia D, & Gortmaker SL. "Child overweight and undernutrition in Thailand: is there an urban effect?." Social Science & Medicine 72. 9 (2011): 1420-1428.

Hacker, K, Chu, J, Leung, C, Marra, R, Pirie, A, Brahimi, M, English, M, Beckmann, J, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Marlin, RP. "The impact of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on immigrant health: Perceptions of immigrants in Everett, Massachusetts, USA." Social Science & Medicine 73. 4 (2011): 586-594.

McManus BM, Carle A, Acevedo-Garcia D, Ganz M, Hauser-Cram P, & McCormick M. "Modeling the social determinants of caregiver burden among families of children with developmental disabilities." American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 116. 3 (2011): 246-260.

McManus, BM, Carle, AC, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Ganz, M, Hauser-Cram, P & McCormick, MC. "Social determinants of state variation in special education participation among preschoolers with developmental delays and disabilities." Health & Place 17. 2 (2011): 681-690.

Rosenfeld, L, Chew, GL, Rudd, R, Emmons, K, Acosta, L, Perzanowski, M, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Are Building-Level Characteristics Associated with Indoor Allergens in the Household?." Journal of Urban Health 88. 1 (2011): 14-29.

Rosenfeld, L, Rudd, R, Emmons, KM, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Martin, L & Buka, S. "Beyond reading alone: The relationship between aural literacy and asthma management." Patient Education and Counseling 82. 1 (2011): 110-116.

Acevedo-Garcia, D, L M Bates, Osypuk, TL. "The effect of immigrant generation and duration on self-rated health among US adults 2003-2007." Social Science & Medicine 71. 6 (2010): 1161-1172.

Gupta, J, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Hemenway, D, Decker, M R, Raj, A, & Silverman, J G. "Intimate partner violence perpetration, immigration status, and disparities in a community health center-based sample of men."Public Health Reports 125. 1 (2010): 79-87.

Lindberg, R, Shenassa, E, Acevedo-Garcia, D, et al. "Housing interventions at the neighborhood level and health: a review of the evidence." Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 6. 5 Suppl (2010): S44-S52.

Osypuk, T L, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Support for Smoke-Free Policies: A Nationwide Analysis of Immigrants, US-Born, and Other Demographic Groups, 1995-2002.." American Journal of Public Health 100. 1 (2010): 171-181.

Osypuk, T L, Bates, L M, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Another Mexican birthweight paradox? The role of residential enclaves and neighborhood poverty in the birthweight of Mexican-origin infants.." Social Science & Medicine70. 4 (2010): 550-560.

Osypuk, TL and Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Beyond individual neighborhoods: A geography of opportunity perspective for understanding racial/ethnic health disparities." Health & Place 16. 6 (2010): 1113-1123.

Rosenfeld, L, Rudd, R, Chew, G, Emmons, K, & Acevedo-García, D. "Are neighborhood-level characteristics associated with indoor allergens in the household?." Journal of Asthma 47. (2010): 66-75.

Wolff, L S, Acevedo-Garcia, D, et al. "Subjective Social Status, a New Measure in Health Disparities Research: Do Race/Ethnicity and Choice of Referent Group Matter?." Journal of Health Psychology 15. 4 (2010): 560-574.

Wolff, L S, Subramanian, SV, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Weber, D, & Kawachi, I. "Compared to whom? Subjective social status, self-rated health, and referent group sensitivity in a diverse US sample." Social Science & Medicine 70. 12 (2010): 2019-2028.

Frank, R, Palma-Coca, O, Rauda-Esquivel, J, Olaiz-Fernandez, G, Diaz-Olavarrieta, C, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "The relationship between remittances and health care provision in Mexico.." American Journal of Public Health99. 7 (2009): 1227-1231.

Gupta, J, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Hemenway, D, Decker, MR, Raj, A, & Silverman, JG. "Premigration exposure to political violence and perpetration of intimate partner violence among immigrant men in Boston.." American Journal of Public Health 99. 3 (2009): 462-469.

McManus, B, McCormick, M C, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Ganz, M, & Hauser-Cram, P. "The Effect of State Early Intervention Eligibility Policy on Participation Among a Cohort of Young CSHCN." Pediatrics 124. Supplement 4 (2009): S368-374.

Osypuk, T L, Galea, S, McArdle, N, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Quantifying Separate and Unequal: Racial-Ethnic Distributions of Neighborhood Poverty in Metropolitan America.." Urban Affairs Review 45. 1 (2009): 25-65.

Osypuk, T, Subramanian, S, Kawachi, I, & Acevedo-Garcia,. "Is Workplace Smoking Policy Equally Prevalent and Equally Effective for Immigrants?." Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 63. 10 (2009): 784-791.

Sanchez-Vaznaugh, E. V., Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S. V., Sánchez, B. N., & Acevedo-Garcia, D.. "Do socioeconomic gradients in BMI vary by race/ethnicity, gender and birthplace?." American Journal of Epidemiology 69. 9 (2009): 1102-1112.

Acevedo-Garcia, D, & Cacari Stone, L. "State Variation in Health Insurance Coverage for U.S. Citizen Children of Immigrants.." Health Affairs 27. 2 (2008): 434-446.

Acevedo-Garcia, D, & Osypuk, TL. "Residential segregation and health: the complexity of modeling separate social contexts." American Journal of Epidemiology 168. 11 (2008): 1255-1258.

Acevedo-Garcia, D, Osypuk, TL, McArdle, N, & Williams, DR. "Towards a Policy Relevant Analysis of Geographic and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Child Health.." Health Affairs 27. 2 (2008): 321-333.

Acosta, LM, Acevedo-García, D, Perzanowski, MS, Mellins, R, Rosenfeld, L, Cortés, D, et al.. "The New York City Puerto Rican Asthma Project: study design, methods, and baseline results.." Journal of Asthma 45. 1 (2008): 51-57.

Bates, LM, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Alegria, M, & Krieger, N. "Immigration and generational trends in body mass index and obesity in the United States: results of the National Latino and Asian-American Survey (NLAAS), 2002-2003.." American Journal of Public Health 98. 1 (2008): 70-77.

Dubowitz, T, Subramanian, SV, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Osypuk, TL, & Peterson, KE. "Individual and Neighborhood Differences in Diet Among Low-Income Foreign and U.S.-Born Women.." Women's Health Issues18. 3 (2008): 181-190.

Garcia, SG, Becker, D, Martinez de Castro, M, Paz, F, Díaz-Olavarrieta, C, & Acevedo-Garcia, D.. "Knowledge and opinions of emergency contraceptive pills among female factory workers in Tijuana, Mexico: Insights from a worksite intervention.." Studies in Family Planning 39. 3 (2008): 199-210.

Goldman, RE, Barbeau, E, Hunt, MK, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Emmons, KM, Gagne, J, et al.. "Perceptions of Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention Among Adults in Working-Class Occupations and Neighborhoods.."Health Education & Behavior 35. 6 (2008): 777-790.

Gupta, J, Silverman, JG, Hemenway, D, Acevedo-Garcia, D, Stein, DJ, & Williams, DR. "Physical violence against intimate partners and related exposures to violence among South African men.." CMAJ 179. 6 (2008): 535-541.

Osypuk, TL, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Are racial disparities in preterm birth larger in hypersegregated areas?."American Journal of Epidemiology 167. 11 (2008): 1295-1304.

Sanchez-Vaznaugh, EV, Kawachi, I, Subramanian, SV, Sánchez, BN, & Acevedo-Garcia, D. "Differential effect of birthplace and length of residence on body mass index (BMI) by education, gender and race/ethnicity.." Social Science and Medicine 67. 8 (2008): 1300-1310.




Dr. Acevedo-Garcia and Ceasar McDowell of MIT’s Center for Reflective Community Practice led a team of graduate students in teaching Boston's North End community about local food access.

This map illustrates the availability, quality and price of various healthy food products available in 13 neighborhood grocery stores. The goal of this map is to create awareness about local healthy foods options in order to start conversations about personal nutrition and form coalitions with local vendors and community organizations around how availability of healthy food affects our health.

The information was collected using a nationally tested measurement tool by local community members, middle school students, and university students through in-store surveys. Unfortunately, all the stores surveyed scored in the 'least healthy’ category. This poster was made from data collected November 11 &13, 2008 from willing food vendors using the Nutrition Environments Measures Survey (NEM-S) survey.

Are healthy food options available at north end neighborhood stores?