My main research objective is to study how social determinants influence health. My interests are largely cross-disciplinary. They focus on examining interactions between social conditions and other factors that impact health, such as dietary behaviors and environmental exposures. To date, much of my work has been about the role of maternal mental health, social support and familial environment on early growth and childhood development. International collaborations have included work in Brazil, Sweden, Haiti, and Mexico.
Honors and Awards
Fulbright Grant to Colombia, US State Department - Institute of International Education (1994-1995)
David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Term-time Research Grant to Brazil (1999)
Frederick Sheldon Fellowship to Brazil, Harvard University (2000-2001)
Thord-Gray Memorial Fellowship to Sweden, American Scandinavian Foundation (2002-2003)
Social epidemiology, social conditions, social support, social justice, mental health, maternal health, reproductive health, child growth and development, child cognition, international health
Surkan PJ, Poteat T. Relevance of the quality of partner relationships and maternal health to early child wellness. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics(in press).
Surkan PJ, Gottlieb BR, McCormick MC, Hunt A, Peterson KE. Impact of a health promotion intervention on maternal depressive symptoms at 15 months postpartum. Maternal Child Health Journal 16(1):139-148, 2012.
Surkan PJ, Kennedy KE, Hurley KM, Black MM. Maternal depression and early childhood growth in developing countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 287:607–615D, 2011.
Surkan PJ, Coutinho AJ, Christiansen K, Dennisuk LA, Suratkar S, Mead E, Sharma S, Gittelsohn J. Healthy food purchasing among African American youth, associations with child gender, adult caregiver characteristics and the home food environment. Public Health Nutrition 14(4) 670-677, 2011.
Surkan PJ, Mukherjee JS, Williams DR, Eustache E, Louis E, Jean-Paul T, Lambert W, Scanlan FC, Oswald CM, Smith Fawzi MC. Perceived discrimination and stigma towards children affected by HIV/AIDS and their HIV-positive caregivers in central Haiti. AIDS Care 22 (7):803-15, 2010.