Joanna Almeida

Professor and Eva Whiting White Endowed Chair


  • BA-University of Vermont
  • MSW-Boston University
  • MPH-Boston University
  • ScD-Harvard School of Public Health


  • SW464: Understanding suicide: Prevention, intervention & postvention
  • SW481: Social work, health & healthcare
  • SW441:  Research methods
  • SW509: Program evaluation in social work practice
  • SW633: Survey research methods
  • SW685: PhD Integrative research & professional development seminar    


Partial list of peer reviewed publications

Hightower HH, Almeida J & Anderson J. (2022). Reimaging suicide prevention as a social justice issue: Getting back to social work's roots. Social Work. DOI:

Almeida J, Belanoff C, Erbetta K* & Black, C. (2022). Ethnic, nativity and country of origin inequities in preterm birth among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites in New York City: What's stress got to do with it? Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health. DOI:

Erbetta, KF, Almeida, J & Waldman, MR. (2022). Racial discrimination: A novel risk factor for racial, ethnic and nativity inequalities in gestational diabetes mellitus. Social Science & Medicine-Population Health. 19. DOI:

Belanoff, CM, Alade, MO & Almeida J. (2021). Preterm birth among US and foreign-born non-Hispanic Black birthing parents in Massachusetts: Variation by nativity, region, and country of origin. Maternal & Child Health Journal. DOI:

Almeida J, Barber C, Rosen, RK, Nicolopoulos A & O'Brien, KHM. (2021). "In the moment I wanted to kill myself, and then after I didn't": A qualitative investigation of suicide planning, method choice, and method substitution among adolescents hospitalized following a suicide attempt. Youth & Society. DOI:

Almeida J, Belanoff CM & Erbetta KF. (2021). The time has come for all states to measure racial discrimination: A call to action for the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). Maternal & Child Health Journal. 26: 834–844. DOI:

O'Brien KMH, Nicolopoulos A, Almeida J, Aguinaldo, LD & Rosen, RK. (2019). Why adolescents attempt suicide: A qualitative study. Archives of Suicide Research. 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2019.1675561.

O'Brien KMH, Almeida J, View L, Schofield M, Hall W, Aguinaldo LD, Ryan C.A, & Maneta, E. (2019). Development of a safety and coping planning intervention for suicidal adolescents in acute psychiatric care. Cognitive & Behavioral Practice. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpra.2019.08.003.

Sattler LJ, Thomas KA, Vaughn M, Almeida J & White L. (2019). Community Matters: GxE Interactions between Dopamine and Serotonin polymorphisms and community-level factors in predicting childhood aggression and violent behavior. Journal of Criminal Justice. 61:58-71. DOI:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2019.03.002.

Lee DS, Colby SM, Rohsenow DJ, Martin R, Rosales R, Tavares-McCallum T, Falcon L, Almeida J & Cortes DE. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of motivational interviewing tailored for heavy drinking Latinos/as. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.87(9): 815-830. DOI:10.1037/ccp0000428.

Taliaferro LA, Almeida J, Aguinaldo LD, McManama O'Brien KH. (2019). Function and progression of non-suicidal self-injury and relationship with suicide attempts: a qualitative investigation with an adolescent clinical sample. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.24(4). 653-657. DOI: 10.1177/1359104519862340.

Almeida J, Becares L, Bettegowda VR, Ahluwalia I & Erbetta KF. (2018). Racial/ethnic inequities in low birth weight and preterm birth: The role of multiple forms of stress. Maternal & Child Health Journal. 22:1154-1163. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-018-2500-7.

Wintner S, Almeida J & Hamilton-Mason J. (2017). Perceptions of microaggression in K-8 school settings: An exploratory study. Children and Youth Services Review. 79:594-601. DOI:10.1016/j/childyouth.2017.07.020.

Almeida J, O'Brien KMH, Gross, EB & Gironda C. (2017). Development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive course on suicide in a Masters of Social Work program. Journal of Social Work Education. DOI:10.1080/10437797.2017.1302856.

Almeida J, O'Brien, KMH & Norton K. (2017). Social work's ethical responsibility to train MSW students to work with suicidal clients. Social Work. 63(2) 181-183. DOI:10.1093/sw/swx011.

Almeida J, Biello K, Wintner S, Pedraza F & Viruell-Fuentes, EA .(2016). The association between anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination among Latinos in the US: A multilevel analysis. Social Science & Medicine-Population Health. 2:897-903.

Lee, CS, Colby, SM, Magill, M, Almeida, J, Tavares, T, Rohsenow, DJ. (2016). Theory and mechanisms of behavior change in a randomized controlled trial of culturally adapted motivational interviewing for Hispanic heavy drinkers: Study protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials.50:193-200.

O'Brien, KMH, Aguinaldo, LD, Almeida, J, & White, E. (2016).The role of parents in safety planning interventions with suicidal adolescents. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience.18(1):727-729.

Lee CS, Almeida J, Colby SM, Tavares T & Rohsenow D. (2015). Acculturation, hazardous drinking and depressive symptomatology among Hispanics enrolled in a clinical trial.Addiction Research & Theory. 24(1):69-79.

Almeida J, Sonneville KR & Duncan DT. (2015). Obesogenic behavior among adolescents: The role of generation and time in the US. Ethnicity & Disease. 25(1):58-64.

Sonneville K, Duncan DT, Johnson RM & Almeida J. (2015). Are first generation adolescents less likely to be overweight? Results from the Boston Youth Survey. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.1-5. DOI:10.1007/s10903-013-9937-y.

Schmidt NM, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Ehntholt E, Almeida J, Nguyen QC, Molnar BM, Azrael D & Osypuk TL. (2014). Does neighborhood collective efficacy for families change over time? The Boston Neighborhood Survey. Journal of Community Psychology. 42(1): 61–79. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21594.

Almeida J, Mulready-Ward C, Bettegowda VR & Ahluwalia I. (2014). The contribution of social ties and social support to racial/ethnic differences in low birth weight and preterm birth among mothers in New York City, 2004-2007. Maternal & Child Health Journal.18(1): 90-100. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-013-1238-5.

Almeida J, Johnson RM, Matsumoto A & Godette D.(2012). Substance use, generation and time in the United States: The modifying role of gender for urban immigrant adolescents. Social Science & Medicine.75(12):2069-2075. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.05.016.

Acevedo-Garcia D, Sanchez-Vaznaugh E, Viruell-Fuentes E, & Almeida J.(2012).Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework. Social Science & Medicine. 75(12):2060-2068. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.040.

Acevedo-Garcia D & Almeida J. (2012).Special Issue Introduction: Place migration and health. Social Science & Medicine. 75(12):2055-2059. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.008.

Almeida J, Johnson RM, McNamara M & Gupta J. (2011). Peer violence perpetration among urban adolescents: Dispelling the myth of the violent immigrant. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 26 (13):2658-80. DOI:10.1177/0886260510388288.

Borges G, Azrael D, Almeida J, Johnson RM, Molnar BE, Hemenway D & Miller M. (2011). Immigration, suicide ideation and deliberate self-injury in the Boston Youth Survey. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. 41(2):193-202. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2010.00016.x.

Almeida J, Subramanian SV, Kawachi I & Molnar BE. (2011). Is blood thicker than water? Social support, depression and the modifying role of ethnicity/nativity status. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 65(1): 51-6. DOI:10.1136/jech.2009.092213.

Almeida J, Johnson RM, Corliss HL, Molnar BE & Azrael D. (2009). Emotional distress among LGBT youth: The influence of perceived discrimination based on sexual orientation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 38(7):1001-14. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-009-9397-9.

Almeida J, Molnar BE, Kawachi I, & Subramanian SV. (2009). A multilevel analysis of social ties and social cohesion among Latinos and their neighborhoods: Results from Chicago. Journal of Urban Health. 86 (5):745-59. DOI:10.1007/s11524-009-9375-2.

Almeida J, Kawachi I, Molnar, BE, & Subramanian, SV. (2009). Ethnicity and nativity status as determinants of perceived social support: Testing the concept of familism. Social Science & Medicine. 68(10):1852-8. DOI: org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.02.029.

Almeida J, Cohen AP, Subramanian SV & Molnar, BE. (2008). Increased worker caseloads in state child protective service agencies as a potential explanation for the decline in child sexual abuse: A multilevel analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect. 32(3): 367-75. DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.08.003.

List of complete works at My Bibliography.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Public Health Association
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • American Association of Suicidology
  • Society for Social Work and Research
  • Cross National Network, Place, Migration & Health


  • 2014 Attendee, Research Training Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Control Research Center on Suicide Prevention.
  • 2012 Co-guest editor of Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine on Place, Migration & Health
  • 2012-2013 NIH/NICHD Loan Repayment Program recipient, Pediatric research (renewal)
  • 2010-2012 NIH/NICHD Loan Repayment Program recipient, Pediatric research
  • 2010-2012 Fellow, NIH/NIDA Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Use
  • 2007 Fellow, Institute on Immigration and Social Change, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 2007 Recipient, Charles H. Smith Bequest Award, Harvard University
  • 2005 Student Membership Award, American Public Health Association
  • 2003 Outstanding Incoming Student Award, University of Michigan, School of Public Health (declined)
  • 2001 Finalist, Distinguished Service & Achievement Award, Public Health Prevention Service, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • 1996 Hubie Jones Urban Practice Award, Boston University School of Social Work

Joanna Almeida in the News

The 2023 faculty award winners

Simmons Celebrates Exemplary Research, Teaching, and Service at the 2023 Faculty Awards

On October 11, the Simmons community gathered to honor the outstanding achievements of six faculty members representing five disciplines. This year’s awardees received recognition for superlative undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, service, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Simmons University Main College Building's cupola with the Boston city skyline in the background

Simmons University Faculty Member Co-Authors New Study Analyzing Preterm Birth Rates among non-Hispanic Black Parents in Massachusetts

Study examining non-Hispanic Black preterm birth rates by nativity, region, and country of origin raises new questions about impact of discrimination on reproductive health

Simmons University Main College Building in the fall

Simmons Faculty Recognized for Innovative Teaching During the Pandemic

Simmons University received a $10,000 Presidential Grant through the Davis Education Foundation to fund a Post-Pandemic Innovative Teaching Award.

Shout-outs from Students and Alums

Mbita Mbao ‘22PhD

Mbita Mbao ‘22PhD Offers Wisdom and Caring for an Aging Population

When Mbita Mbao ’22PhD was looking for a doctoral program in social work, Simmons met all of her requirements: a Boston location and the ability to take all of her in-person classes in one day per week. More important than these criteria, Simmons had professors she clicked with.