Current Research and Scholarly Interests
I have two research interests: childhood health disparities and workforce diversity. My research on childhood health disparities centers on Latino and immigrant children with a focus on early childhood health and development. My work in workforce diversity examines the pipeline for diversity in academic pediatrics, with special attention on the pipeline for underrepresent minorities.
Children in immigrant families (CIF) represented that fastest growing child population, representing 75% of the growth of the US child population over the past two decades. CIF will become 1 out of every 3 children in the US, thus making the health and development issues of this population of children important for the future of the US. We have an interested in exploring the early health and development of this group of children, and the patterns of parenting that may affect their outcomes. Using the California Heath Interview Survey, we have examined the frequency of early book-sharing parental behaviors among immigrant parents, and the prevalence of chronic disease and health care utilization among their children.
Workforce diversity has been a goal of a number of organizations, and is an important aspect of preparing academic pediatrics to address the health needs of children resulting from the shifting demographics of US children. Working with national organizations, assessments of academic pediatrics diversity shows improved diversity in gender and ethnic/racial, but still low number of underrepresented minorities in academic pediatrics, particularly in leadership positions. Further exploring the process by which diversity can be improved is currently under way.