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Behavioral Science




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Photo of Anita FernanderAnita Fernander, Ph.D.

(University of Miami, 2000)

103 Medical Behavioral Science Building
Phone: (859) 323-4679

Research Description

Dr. Fernander has a Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Miami and has been in the Department of Behavioral Science at the University of Kentucky since the Fall of 2002.  Dr. Fernander’s research focuses on health disparities, particularly among African Americans.  She examines the influence of ethno-culturally specific constructs such as acculturative and race-related stress and John Henry active coping on risk factors (i.e., blood pressure and smoking) for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Dr. Fernander has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to examine psychosocial factors related to tobacco use and nicotine metabolism among African American women, and by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to examine use of the tobacco cessation quitline among underserved Kentuckians as a function of county level smoking policies and regulations.

2012 Accomplishments

In 2012 Dr. Fernander assumed the role of Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Behavioral Science. In this role she has been responsible for: supervising and coordinating the new graduate and certificate programs in the Department; serving as a point of contact for graduate students enrolled in the programs; acting as a liaison between faculty responsible for graduate education, the Department and the Graduate School; provide reporting data to the Dean of the College of Medicine and the Graduate School; monitoring incoming applications and overseeing the applicant review and admission process; updating and monitoring the Department’s Graduate and Medical Education website; establishing a Graduate Student Newsletter, and, overseeing graduate student records and evaluations. In addition, Dr. Fernander serves on the newly formed curriculum committee. She currently serves on one graduate dissertation committee for a graduate student in the Department of Sociology. She taught History of Medicine among African Americans during the Spring semester, and Race, Racism, and Health Disparities during the Fall semester. Dr. Fernander served as an ad-hoc reviewer for the following journals: Ethnicity & Disease, Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of the National Medical Association, Preventive Medicine, Journal of HealthCare for the Poor & Underserved, and, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. She serves on the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s Special Populations Committee.  During 2012 she served on 4 NIH/NCI grant review committee’s:  Small Grants Program for Cancer Epidemiology (twice), Small Grants Program for Behavioral Research in Cancer Control (once), and International Tobacco Health Research and Capacity Building Program.  She also reviewed for the ClearWay Minnesota Menthol RFP Grants and the Florida Department of Health James & Esther King Biomedical Research Program, New Investigator Research Grants. She recently served on UK’s Associate Vice-President for Research Post-doctoral Fellowship Review Committee. Dr. Fernander has one manuscript in press and one under review. She continues to serve as the faculty advisor to the University of Kentucky’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and informally mentor minority undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.

Research Funding

Principal Investigator, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. “The Impact of Smoke-Free Policy on QuitLine Utilization and Smoking Outcomes”. September, 2009 to September, 2011.

Principal Investigator, University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Science. “Focus Groups among African American Female Current and Former Smokers”. November, 2009 to  June, 2010.   

Principal Investigator, Commonwealth of Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program Investigator-Initiated Research Grant.  “Examination of the Breathe Free for Women Stop Smoking Program among African American Women: A Pilot Study”.  September, 2007 to August, 2009.

Principal Investigator, NIH K-12 award, DA01014040-04, “The Influence of Stress and Coping on Smoking Status and Smoking Behaviors Among Disadvantaged African American Women, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2003-2006.

Principal Investigator, University of Kentucky College of Medicine Research Fund Grant,  “Stress, Coping, Smoking and Nicotine Metabolism Among Pregnant African American Women”, 2003-2004.

Representative Publications

Nasim, A., Fernander, A., Townsend, T.G., Corona, R. and Belgrave, F.Z. (2011). “Cultural Protective Factors for Community Risks and Substance Use Among Rural African American Adolescents”. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 10, 316-336.

Fernander, A., Resnicow, K., Viswanath, K. and Perez-Stable, E. (2011). “Cigarette smoking interventions among diverse populations”. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25(5), S1-S4.

Fernander, A., Rayens, M.K., Zhang, M. and Adkins, S. (2010). “Are age of smoking initiation and purchasing patterns associated with menthol smoking?”.  Addiction, 105 (Suppl. 1), 39-45.

Fernander, A., Rayens, M.K., Hahn, E., Zhang, M. and Adkins, S. (2010). “Menthol smoking, smoke-free policies, and cessation services”. Addiction, 105 (Suppl. 1),105-114.

Fernander, A. Moorman, G.*, and Azuoru, M*. (2010). “Race-related stress and smoking among pregnant African American women”.  Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica, 89, 558-564.

Fernander, A., Bush, H., Goldsmith-Mason, S.*, White, P. and Obi, B^. (2009). “End-of-Treatment Smoking Cessation among African-American Female Participants in the Breathe Free for Women Smoking Cessation Program: Results of a Pilot Study”. Journal of the National Medical Association, 101(10), 1034-1040.

Hedgecock, S. and Fernander, A. (2009). A Review of smoking among rural African Americans: Recommendations for research and cessation interventions”.  Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 3(1), 115-132.

Fernander, A. and Schumacher, M. (2008).  An examination of socio-culturally specific stress and coping factors on smoking status among African American women.  Stress & Health.  Published online:  July 14, 2008.

Fernander, A., Schumacher, M., Wei, X., Crooks, P. and Wedlund, P.  (2008).  Smoking risk and the likelihood of quitting among African-American female light and heavy smokers. Journal of the National Medical Association, 100(10), 1199-1206.

Fernander, A., Schumacher, M. and Nasim, A.  (2008).  “Socio-cultural stress, smoking risk and cessation among African American women”.  Journal of Black Psychology, 34(1), 49-69.

Fagan, P., Moolchan, E.T., Lawrence, D., Fernander, A. and Ponder, P.K.  (2007). “Identifying health disparities across the tobacco continuum.”  Addiction, 102(Supplement 2), 5-29.

Moolchan, E.T., Hayward, M.D., Fagan, P., Fernander, A., Velicer, W., King, G. and Clayton. (2007).  “Addressing tobacco-related health disparities”.  Addiction, 102(Supplement 2), 30-42.

Fernander, A., Shavers, V. L. and Hammons, G.  (2007).  “A biospsychosocial approach to examining tobacco-related health disparities among racially classified social groups”.  Addiction, 102(Supplement 2), 43-57.

Fernander, A.  (2007).  “Race, genes and tobacco related health disparities in the U.S.: What is the role of genetics?”.  Addiction, 102(Supplement 2), 58-54.

Fernander, A., Patten, C., Hurt, R., Croghan, I., Offord, K., Schroeder, D., and Eberman, K.  (2006).  “Characteristics of six-month tobacco use outcomes of black patients seeking smoking cessation intervention.”  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 17, 413-424.

Fernander, A., Price, M., Flisher, A.J., Chalton, D., King, G. and Lombard, C.  (2006).  “Gender differences in depression and smoking among youth in Cape Town, South Africa.  Ethnicity and Disease, 16, 41-50.

Fernander, A., Wilson, J., Staton, M. and Leukefeld, C.  (2005).  “Exploring the type-of-crime hypothesis, religiosity, and spirituality in an adult male prison population”.  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49(6), 682-695.

Fernander, A., Patten, C. Hurt, R., Croghan, I., Schroeder, D. and Eberman, K. (2005). “Exploring the association of John Henry Active Coping, Education and John Henryism on smoking behavior and nicotine dependence among Blacks.  Social Science and Medicine, 60(3), 491-500.

Fernander, A., Wilson, J., Staton, M. and Leukefeld, C.  (2004).  “An exploratory examination of the Spiritual Well-Being Scale among incarcerated Black and White Male Drug Users”.  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 48(4), 403-413.

Fernander, A., Duran, R., Saab, P. and Schneiderman, N.  (2004).  “John Henry Active Coping, education, and blood pressure among urban blacks”.  Journal of the National Medical Association, 96(2), 246-255.

Fernander, A., Durán, R., Saab, P., Llabre, M. and Schneiderman, N. (2003) “Assessing the reliability and validity of the John Henry Scale for Active Coping among an urban sample of African-Americans and white-Americans”.   Ethnicity and Health, 8(2), 147-161.

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