Cleopatra Abdou, PhD's Bio
Cleopatra Abdou was a 2012-2013 RCMAR Scholar at the USC Schaeffer Center. Her RCMAR project focused on African American healthcare decision and stereotype threat. She received her Master of Arts degree and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the UCLA Department of Psychology. Dr. Abdou is currently an Assistant Professor of Gerontology and of Psychology at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Abdou's research focuses on cultural and psychosocial resources that promote flourishing and buffer stress. Her work investigates how these effects are reflected in the body, brain, and behavior to improve mental and physical health during critical lifespan developmental phases, including pregnancy and early childhood, thereby reducing social status-based health disparities within the US and health inequity globally. Abdou developed the Culture and Social Identity Health Theory and was the first to empirically demonstrate the phenomenon of healthcare stereotype threat. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Michigan Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities.