Who We Are

Identifying factors influencing individuals' experiences with health inequities.

As part of the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, the CCHI Lab's research brings attention to the ways psychological and sociocultural factors affect the health outcomes in diverse communities. The health of racial and ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in the United States health system is significantly worse than of other populations. In our lab we seek to identify sociocultural and psychological factors influencing some of the differential sexual health outcomes. Our recent study outcomes highlight the importance of gender and racial/ ethnic identity, familial processes, and media influences on behavioral outcomes.

Our team brings together individuals with diverse levels of experience and interests that converge around culture and sexuality related topics. Issues we have explored in the CCHI lab include sexually transmitted infections, identity development, intimate partner violence, and popular culture influences. We center community engaged values in our work. This is evidenced through our partnerships, theoretical orientations, and research methods. Using a social justice lens, we strive to ensure our work directly benefits the communities from which it comes and focuses. A key to doing this is through capacity building, true collaboration, and long term commitment with our community partners

Meet our Community Collaborators

Customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social groups; establishes values

Circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed

State of being free from illness or injury; includes physical, mental, emotional, or social;
Social Determinants of Health

A Person's sense of identity with someone or something; association or linking of one thing with another; Intersectionality

Our Director

Dr. Dionne Stephens, a Professor of Psychology at Florida International University, is the Director of the CCHI Lab. She holds affiliated faculty status in the Latin American & Caribbean Studies and Center for Women & Gender Studies Programs. Originally from Toronto, she joined the faculty at Florida International University (FIU) after earning a doctorate in Human Development from The University of Georgia- Athens.

Dr. Stephens' research examines the influence of cultural beliefs and experiences on various sexual health outcomes. She has examined such issues as cultures’ influence on sexually transmitted infections transmission (e.g. HPV, HIV/ AIDS), intimate partner violence (e.g. verbal sexual coercion, teen dating violence, revenge porn), and sexual messaging across popular culture contexts (e.g. Hip Hop, reality television, social medias).

Dr. Stephens' teaching trajectory also reflects these research interests. At the graduate level she has taught such courses as Cross Cultural Sensitization, Qualitative Methods for Psychology, Identity Development, and Academic Professional Development. Undergraduate courses she has taught include Culture & Sexual Health, Psychology of Health, Global Psychology, and Race, Gender & Sexuality in Hip Hop . As the Director of the Department of Psychology's Global Health Research Study Abroad Program, Dr. Stephens also supervise 16 undergraduate and graduate students' conducting research focused on global health inequalities research in Mysore, India every summer.

More about Dr. Stephens