Whetten, Kathryn

Position: Director of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (CHPIR)

Background: Kathryn Whetten, PhD, is the director of the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research, as well as Professor of Public Policy, Global Health, Nursing and Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. Her research interests include understanding of health-related issues for the poor, the disenfranchised and chronically ill; HIV/AIDS in the Deep South and in less wealthy countries.

Whetten’s research examines the health behaviors and outcomes of disadvantaged communities and individuals. She seeks to understand the interrelationships among individual and community psychosocial dynamics, health behaviors, health, provider characteristics and public policies. Whetten views these relationships as multidirectional. She examines and clarifies underlying group characteristics that can be addressing to improve individual and community well-being. Whetten is one of a small group of researchers examining adult health outcomes as they relate to a life-course of events and influences starting with childhood experiences within families and communities and continuing through present-day conditions that may be manipulated through intervention. All of Whetten’s research is grounded in the idea that public policies can make a difference in people’s lives. Whetten has led 18 federally funded research grants and is the author of 3 books and over 60 peer reviewed articles. Currently Whetten and her intervention, service and research team have research projects that address issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance abuse, being orphaned or abandoned, social justice, and poverty in the US Deep South and in less wealthy nations. She and her team work with colleagues in: the US Deep South; Tanzania; Kenya; Ethiopia; Cameroon; Malawi; India; Cambodia; and Russia conducting research and interventions.

Current projects: Dr. Whetten’s research focuses on global health disparities. She is currently working on at variety of different research project at CHPIR, including: Positive Outcomes for Orphaned Children (POFO) , Coping with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania (CHAT), Cambodia Orphan Project Evaluation (COPE), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Orphans (CBT), Monitoring and Evaluation in Malawi (MOVE), Adapting a Depression Treatment Intervention for HIV Patients in Cameroon (ADEPT), North Carolina Community AIDS Fund (NCCAF)

Education: PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1994

Contact Information: (919) 613-5430

OVC Wellbeing Content:

Correlates of Poor Health among Orphans and Abandoned Children in Less Wealthy Countries: The Importance of Caregiver Health

More than the loss of a parent: Potentially traumatic events among orphaned and abandoned children

Child work and labour among orphaned and abandoned children in five low and middle income countries

Prevalence and predictors of HIV-related stigma among institutional- and community-based caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children living in five less-wealthy countries

A Comparison of the Wellbeing of Orphans and Abandoned Children Ages 6–12 in Institutional and Community-Based Care Settings in 5 Less Wealthy Nations

A conceptual framework for the targeting and evaluation of UNICEF-supported pro-equity programmes

A Brief Assessment of Learning for Orphaned and Abandoned Children in Low and Middle Income Countries

Malawi Orphans and Vulnerable Children Evaluation (MOVE)

Cambodia Orphan Project Evaluation (COPE)

Positive Outcomes for Orphans (POFO): Longitudinal study of orphaned and abandoned children (OAC) from ages 6-12 to ages 15-21 living in 6 diverse settings

Child transitions from residential facilities to other communities: predictors of child wellbeing

 Pathways to health and well-being: social networks of orphans and abandoned youth

Randomized Controlled Trial of Ways to Improve OVC HIV Prevention and Well-Being (Zambia CBT)

Improving Outcomes for Orphaned Youth: Implementation of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Traumatic Grief

Explaining the Expansion of Institutions in Battambang Province

News articles:

Duke study recently released finds orphans in need of protection

Study finds orphanages are viable option for some children

Protective mental health services critical for orphans worldwide

DGHI study finds child labour is prevalent among orphans

Study finds less reported HIV-related stigma against orphans in institutional care



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