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Deshira Wallace
Ph.D., MSPH, Assistant Professor, Health Behavior
ddwallac@live.unc.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar Profile
ORCID iD

My work focuses on multiple intersections. The first is the intersection of race and ethnicity. I work to understand within-group disparities among the US Latinx population across racialized experiences. I also work at the intersection of emotional and physical health, specifically examining how psychosocial and structural sources of distress affect chronic disease management and prevention.

Dr. Wallace’s (she/her) research focus is in three broad areas: chronic disease prevention and management, Latinx and Latin American and Caribbean health, and scale development. Her chronic disease prevention and management work has primarily focused on type 2 diabetes, but now she’s expanding into cardiovascular health. The populations of interest for this work have been U.S. Latinxs and communities in the Dominican Republic.  Even within the scope of Latinx and Latin American health, Dr. Wallace is interested in the intersectional experiences of Black people across the Americas. In the U.S., she has launched a K01 study to explore how racialized experiences manifest for Black Latinxs in the U.S. South, and untangle how racialization presents across Latinxs thereby affecting exposure to risk and protective factors.

How psychosocial stress plays a role in diabetes and cardiovascular health is a significant portion of Dr. Wallace’s research portfolio. In previous work she has explored how the types and sources of stress manifest in self-management for Latinxs with prediabetes. She has also led analyses on the psychometric properties of several stress scales to assess their validity within a geographically heterogenous sample of Latinxs (dataset: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos).

In the Dominican Republic, Dr. Wallace has collaborated with Dr. Clare Barrington to conduct a series of qualitative studies exploring the lived experiences of Dominican adults living with type 2 diabetes. For the next phase of the project, Dr. Wallace will apply a distress scale that has been adapted for a Dominican context.

Dr. Wallace works using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods include in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and cognitive interviews. Quantitative methods employed are primarily factor analysis and analyses using structural equation modeling techniques.

Associated Research Themes