• Fuller-Rowell TE, Curtis DS, Chae DH & Ryff CD (2018). Longitudinal health consequences of socioeconomic disadvantage: Examining perceived discrimination as a mediator. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association. Vol. 37, 491-500. Published, 12/01/2018.
  • Curtis DS, Fuller-Rowell TE, El-Sheikh M, Carnethon MR & Ryff CD (2017). Habitual sleep as a contributor to racial differences in cardiometabolic risk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 114, 8889-8894. Published, 05/01/2017.
  • Fuller-Rowell, TE & Curtis, DS, & Duke, AM (2018). Disparities in health between black and white Americans: Current knowledge and directions for future research.. Oxford University Press. Published, 08/2018.
  • Fuller-Rowell TE, Curtis DS, El-Sheikh M, Chae DH, Boylan JM & Ryff CD (2017). Racial disparities in sleep: the role of neighborhood disadvantage. Sleep medicine. Vol. 27-28, 1-8. Published, 02/01/2017.
  • Curtis DS, Fuller-Rowell TE, Doan SN, Zgierska AE & Ryff CD (2017). Racial and socioeconomic disparities in body mass index among college students: understanding the role of early life adversity. Journal of behavioral medicine. Vol. 39, 866-75. Published, 10/01/2017.
  • Fuller-Rowell TE, Curtis DS, El-Sheikh M, Duke AM, Ryff CD & Zgierska AE (2017). Racial discrimination mediates race differences in sleep problems: A longitudinal analysis. Cultural diversity & ethnic minority psychology. Vol. 23, 165-173. Published, 09/01/2017.
  • Curtis DS, Epstein NB & Wheeler B (2017). Relationship Satisfaction Mediates the Link Between Partner Aggression and Relationship Dissolution: The Importance of Considering Severity. Journal of interpersonal violence. Vol. 32, 1187-1208. Published, 08/01/2017.
  • Fuller-Rowell TE, Curtis DS, Klebanov PK, Brooks-Gunn J & Evans GW (2017). Racial Disparities in Blood Pressure Trajectories of Preterm Children: The Role of Family and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status. American journal of epidemiology. Vol. 185, 888-897. Published, 07/01/2017.
  • Bub KL, Robinson LE & Curtis DS (2017). Longitudinal associations between self-regulation and health across childhood and adolescence. Health psychology. Vol. 35, 1235-1245. Published, 06/01/2017.
  • Washburn T, Diener ML, Curtis DS & Wright CA (2022). Modern slavery and labor exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic: a conceptual model. Global health action. Vol. 15, 20747842074784. Published, 06/01/2022.
  • Curtis DS, Fuller-Rowell TE, Carlson DL, Wen M & Kramer MR (2021). Does a rising median income lift all birth weights? County median income changes and low birth weight rates among births to Black and White mothers. The Milbank Quarterly. Vol. 100, 38-77. Published, 10/05/2021.
  • Curtis DS, Rigolon A, Schmalz DL & Brown BB (2021). Policy and environmental predictors of park visits during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic: Getting out while staying in. Environment & Behavior. Vol. 54, 487-515. Published, 07/14/2021.
  • Chae DH, Yip T, Martz CD, Chung K, Richeson JA, Hajat A, Curtis DS & LaVeist TA (2021). Vicarious Racism and Vigilance During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Mental Health Implications Among Asian and Black Americans. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974). Vol. 136, 508-517. Published, 06/01/2021.
  • David S Curtis, Tessa Washburn, Hedwig Lee, Ken R Smith, Jaewhan Kim, Connor D Martz, Michael Kramer & David H Chae (2021). Highly public anti-Black violence is associated with poor mental health days for Black Americans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 118. Published, 04/27/2021.
  • Curtis, DS, Fuller-Rowell, T E, Vilches, S, Vonasek, J & Wells NM (2019). Associations between local government expenditures and low birth weight incidence: Evidence from national birth records. Preventive Medicine Reports. Vol. 16, 1-7. Published, 08/30/2019.
  • Fuller-Rowell, TE, Homandberg, L , Curtis DS, Chae DH & Ryff CD (2019). Disparities in insulin resistance between black and white adults in the United States: The role of lifespan stress exposure. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Vol. 107, 1-8. Published, 05/2019.
  • Fuller-Rowell TE & Curtis DS, Doan S, & Coe C (2015). Racial disparities in the health benefits of educational attainment: A study of inflammatory trajectories among African American and white adults. Psychosomatic Medicine. Published, 06/2015.
  • Fuller-Rowell TE & Evans GW, Paul E, & Curtis DS (2014). The role of poverty and chaos in the development of task persistence among adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence. Published, 06/2014.

Research Statement

David is currently developing two research projects, each of which utilizes novel methodologies and numerous, large datasets to identify how the built and social environment of communities contributes to racial and economic inequities in health.  

The overarching aim of Project 1 is to identify whether economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Wasatch Front have poor access to quality recreational resources, and whether the distribution of such resources is associated with obesity and other weight-related health outcomes.  Additional aims will include investigating whether neighborhood characteristics (e.g., crime, walkability) moderate the benefits of recreational resources, and whether pre-existing obesity vulnerability (e.g., familial risk, fetal overnutrition) is more evident when residing in neighborhoods with few recreational amenities.  

Project 2 aims are twofold.  Aim 1 is to investigate structural factors that disadvantage black Americans—such as prevalence of anti-black racial prejudice, unequal financial resources, disproportionate crime exposure and incarceration risk, and healthcare access inequities—as contributors to the elevated risk of adverse birth outcomes (e.g., preterm birth) among black women.  Aim 2 is to estimate the effect of high publicity racist events on the risk of adverse birth outcomes for black women.  This aim examines variation in the timing and location of killings of unarmed black Americans, and the amount of ensuing media exposure, to strengthen the evidence for causal population health effects.


Research Keywords

  • health disparities; social determinants; built environment; community; health behaviors; chronic health conditions; adverse birth outcomes


  • Curtis, D. S. Structural barriers to health care and preterm birth odds for Black women. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, Minneapolis, MN. Conference Paper, Presented, 09/2022.
  • Racial violence and the mental health of Black Americans. Virtual presentation at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting. Conference Paper, Presented, 05/2021.
  • Curtis. D. S. (2021, April). Racial societal stressors and population-level health outcomes. Invited presentation for the Interdisciplinary Exchange for Utah Science Dialogue on Disparities Seminars. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/2021.
  • Curtis, D. S. (2020, November). Access to quality parks and trails as a predictor of adolescent obesity: Moderation by family-based risks. Virtual presentation at the Consortium for Families and Health Research Symposium. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/2020.
  • Curtis, D. S., Washburn, T., & Hayes, B. (2020, September). Neighborhood deprivation and adolescent obesity risk: The role of recreational spaces. Virtual presentation at the annual meeting of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. Poster, Presented, 09/2020.
  • Curtis, D. S., & Izampuye, E. (2019, October). Structural measures of healthcare access as contributors to preterm birth risk for black mothers. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, Seattle, WA. Poster, Presented, 10/2019.
  • Curtis, D. S., Fuller-Rowell, T. E., & Carlson, D. L. (2019, March). Changes in county income distributions and the black-white gap in low birth weight. Presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, MD. Poster, Presented, 03/2019.
  • Increasing parks and recreation spending to reduce county incidence of low birth weight: Evidence from national birth records. Presentation at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tempe, AZ. Conference Paper, Presented, 10/2018.
  • Curtis, D. S., & Fuller-Rowell, T. E. (2018, April). Patient-centered medical home as a treatment for exposure to adverse childhood experiences. Presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Minneapolis, MN. Poster, Presented, 04/2018.

Research Groups

  • Olivia Morfas, Graduate Student. FCS / HDSP. 08/17/2020 - 05/15/2022. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Graduate Research Assistantship (.25 FTE).
  • Tessa Washburn, Graduate Student. FCS / HDSP. 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2020.
  • Ana Velasquez, Graduate Student. Family and Consumer Studies. 08/15/2019 - 12/31/2019. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Graduate Research Assistantship (.125 FTE).

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Leveraging the Zoo, Arts, and Parks Summer Passport Program to Promote Physical Activity and Human Development . PI: David S Curtis. Co-PI(s): Camilla Hodge, Kevin Rathunde. Interdisciplinary Exchange for Utah Science (NEXUS) , 08/01/2019 - 12/31/2019. Total project budget to date: $2,000.00
  • Neighborhood Recreational Amenities and Weight-related Health Outcomes: Understanding Family Genetic, Socioeconomic, and Prenatal Vulnerability . PI: David S Curtis. Consortium for Families and Health Research , 05/01/2019 - 04/30/2020. Total project budget to date: $10,000.00