Luis A. Valdez

UMass Amherst Assistant Professor of Community Health Education Luis Valdez
Assistant Professor
307 Arnold House


B.A., University of Arizona; M.P.H., Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona; PhD, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona; Postdoctoral, University of Arizona Health Sciences, Center for Health Disparities Research

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Health Inequities; Alcohol and Substance Use

Research Description: 

I specialize in using community-engaged, multilevel perspectives, and mixed methods approaches, to understand and address the impact of systemic processes that perpetuate racial/ethnic disparities in historically marginalized and minoritized populations. Latinx communities in the United States bear a disproportionate burden of chronic disease, alcohol and substance misuse, depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Latinxs are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S., expected to make up 25% of the population by 2050. As such, I work with a sense of urgency to offer what I can in order to diminish morbidity and mortality in these communities. Nevertheless, the large majority of the work that I lead is community-centered and works from a foundational aim to build mutually-beneficial and ethical research collaborations with communities. Consequently, the research that I conduct is multidisciplinary, collaborative, measured, methodical, and with the best interest of the communities with which I work in mind.  

Currently, I am interested in understanding how individual-level experiences interact with macro-level characteristics and social networks to influence the health-related behaviors of Latinx men. Specifically, my research examines a range of health behaviors related to alcohol and substance misuse, chronic stress, healthy food choice, and physical activity, with an emphasis on developing and testing culturally-and gender-responsive interventions. I also work to identify and assess the ways in which patriarchal systems impact the health and wellbeing of minoritized communities as well as how these systems affect the ways in which research is conducted. An emerging area of my work also incorporates the improvement of health communication and community engagement strategies in research and public health practice with historically underserved communities.

Key Publications: 

Mullany A., Valdez LA., Gubrium A., Buchanan D., “Precarious work, health, and African-American men: A qualitative study on perceptions and experiences”. International Journal of Health Services

Valdez, L. A., Gubrium, A. C., Markham, J., Scott, L., Hubert, A., Meyer, J., & Buchanan, D. A culturally and gender responsive stress and chronic disease prevention intervention for low/no-income African American men: The MOCHA moving forward randomized control trial protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials,

Valdez LA, Ruiz J, Carvajal S, Oren E, Garcia D. Understanding the Social and Cultural Contexts of Alcohol Misuse in Hispanic Men. Health Education and Behavior.

Garcia DO, Valdez LA, Bell M, Humphrey K, Hingle M, McEwen M, Hooker S. A Gender- and Culturally-Sensitive Weight Loss Intervention for Hispanic Males: The ANIMO Randomized Controlled Trial Study Protocol and Recruitment Methods. Contemporary Clinical Trials.

Valdez LA, Ruiz J, Oren E., Carvajal S, & Garcia DO. Cultural Adaptations for Ethnic Diversity: A Review of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Interventions for Latino Males. Substance Abuse and Misuse.