My graduate and postdoctoral training were in the areas of psychological services, developmental psychology, poverty, and public policy with mentors whose backgrounds were in psychology, sociology, and economics. Thus, I have been trained across several social science disciplines, and consequently, I do not identify with one particular discipline. The majority of my interdisciplinary research program is centered around family-related factors, such as poverty and family structure, and their influence on food insecurity/food assistance program participation (i.e. indicators of poverty) and obesity; however, I also realize that nutrition and health do not occur in isolation. For that reason, I have also focused on stress, social support, depression, and cardiovascular health.
My target populations are socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups with a specific emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, women, and children. While the majority of my research has used longitudinal secondary data, I also have a complementary concentration on community-based research that focuses on low-income Hispanics. My interdisciplinary focus has provided me the opportunity to work with over 80 collaborators, which has allowed for significant contributions to various disciplines, including child development, family, and public health.
Recent Publications and Research Activity
Selected Funded Grants
Principal Investigator, “Mentoring and Career Development: 2018 Hernandez and Kamdar”. William T. Grant Foundation 2018-2020. (Junior Researcher: N. P. Kamdar).
Principal Investigator, “Pilot Project 1: Mexican Immigrants’ Biological and Behavioral Cancer Risk Based on Stress”. National Cancer Institute (NCI)/Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE) 2017 – 2021, Grant # P20 CA221697 (Sub Project ID: 5555)
Principal Investigator, “Can Food Scholarships Reduce Inequality by Improving College Persistence Among Community College Students?”. William T. Grant Foundation 2018-2020. (Co-Investigators: D. P. O’Connor, University of Houston; S. Goldrick-Rab, Temple University).
Principal Investigator, “Houston-area Opportunities for Undergraduate Student Training in Obesity & Nutrition (HOUSTON) Academy.” USDA NIFA (2017-67032-26021), 2017-2021 (Co-Principal Investigators: C. Johnston and C. Scott, University of Houston).
Co-Principal Investigator, “From Internships to Careers: Developing Hispanic Students through a USDA Ambassador Student Program” USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program (2015-38422-24080), 2015-2019 (Principal Investigator: J. Madera; Co- Principal Investigators: M. Dawson, J. Neal).
Co-Investigator. “A Community Collaborative for Preventing and Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities in Houston”. United Health Foundation 2016 - 2019. (Principal Investigators: D.P. O’Connor & E. M. Obasi, University of Houston)
Co-Investigator (PI of the Houston-based project) “Interventions to Address College Food and Housing Security”. Kresge Foundation. 2017-2019 (Principal Investigator: S. Goldrick-Rab, Temple University)
** indicates undergraduate student co-author at time of submission
* indicates graduate student co-author at time of submission
+ indicates postdoctoral scholar at the time of submission
^ indicates senior author
*Reesor, L.,** Canales, S., Alonso, Y., Kamdar, N. P., ^Hernandez, D. C. (2018). Self-reported health predicts Hispanic women’s weight perceptions and concerns. American Journal of Health Behavior, 42(4), 61-69. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.42.4.6
*Garey, L., Reitzel., L. R., Neisler, J., Kenzdor, D.E., Zvolensky, M., Neighbors, C., Hernandez, D. C., Businelle, M. S. (2018). Health-related quality of life among homeless smokers: Risk and protective factors of latent class membership. Behavioral Medicine DOI: 10.1080/08964289.2018.1447905
Santa Maria, D., Hernandez, D.C., *Arlinghaus, K., Gallardo, K., Maness, S., Kendzor, D. E., Reitzel L. R., Helt, A., & Businelle, M. S. (2018). Current age, age at first sex, age at first homelessness, and HIV risk perceptions predict sexual risk behaviors among sexually active homeless adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (2), 218. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15020218
Lawrence, B., Greer, A., Zimeri, A. M., Hernandez, D. C., Ahn, S., Jones, S. A., & Smith, M. L. (2018). Use of a unique farmers' market program targeting lower-income community members. Journal of Community Health, 43 (3), 524–533. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-017-0448-y
*Moreira, T., Hernandez, D. C., Scott, C. W., Murillo, R., Vaughan, E. M., Johnston, C. A. (2018). Susto, coraje, fatalismo: Cultural-bound beliefs and the treatment of diabetes among socio-economically disadvantaged Hispanics. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 12 (1), 30-33. DOI: 10.1177/1559827617736506
Vaughan, E., Johnston, C. A., Hernandez, D. C., & Foreyt, J. (2017). Dual therapy appears superior to monotherapy for low-income individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, 8 (4), 305-311. DOI: 10.1177/2150131917745760
*Chavez, F. L., Hernandez, D. C., Harris, G. J., Grzywacz, J. G. (2017). Household food security discordance among Latino adolescents and parents. American Journal of Health Behavior, 41 (6), 775-783.
Hernandez, D. C., *Reesor, L., & Kabiri, L. (2017). Maternal concerns and perceptions of elementary school-age children’s weight status. Journal for Specialist in Pediatric Nursing, 22 (4), e12191. DOI: 10.1111/jspn.12191
*Silveira, S. L., Ledoux, T., Cottingham, M., & ^Hernandez, D. C. (2017). Association among practice frequency on depression and stress among competitive U.S. male wheelchair rugby athletes with tetraplegia. Spinal Cord, 55 (10), 957-962. DOI: 10.1038/sc.2017.40
*Reesor, L., M., Vaughan, E. M., Hernandez, D. C., Johnston, C. A. (2017). Addressing outcomes expectancies in behavior change. American Journal Lifestyle Medicine, 11 (6), 430-432. DOI: 10.1177/1559827617722504
*Arlinghaus, K., Moreno, J. P., *Reesor, L. M., Hernandez, D. C., & Johnston, C. A. (2017). Compañeros: High school students mentor middle school students to address obesity among Hispanic adolescents. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14, 170130. DOI: 10.5888/pcd14.170130.
Hernandez, D. C., *Reesor, L., & Murillo, R. (2017). Food insecurity and adult overweight/obesity: Gender and race/ethnic differences. Appetite, 117, 373-378. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.07.010
Johnston, C. A., Moreno, J. P., Hernandez, D. C., **Reichek, B., & Foreyt, J. (2017). Dissemination of a school-based obesity intervention for Mexican Americans: A randomized controlled trial. Health Behavior & Policy Review, 4 (5), 454-466. DOI: 10.14485/HBPR.4.5.5
Hernandez, D. C., *Reesor, L., & Murillo, R. (2017). Gender disparities in the food insecurity-overweight and food insecurity-obesity paradox among older adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117, 1087-1096. DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2017.01.014
Murillo, R., *Reesor, L., Scott, C., & ^Hernandez, D. C. (2017). Food insecurity and pre-diabetes in adults: Race/ethnic and sex differences. American Journal of Health Behavior, 41 (4), 435-443. DOI: 10.5993/AJHB.41.4.8.
*Powell, L., Frankel, L., & ^Hernandez, D. C. (2017). The mediating role of child self-regulation of eating in the relationship between parental use of food as a reward and child emotional overeating. Appetite, 113, 78-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.02.017
*Daundasekara, S.S., Beasley, A. D., O’Connor, D. P., Sampson, M., Hernandez, D. C., & Ledoux, T. (2017). Validation of the intuitive eating scale for pregnant women. Appetite, 112 (1), 201-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.02.001
Hernandez, D. C. & Johnston, C. A. (2017). Individual and environmental barriers to successful aging: The importance of considering environmental supports. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 11 (1), 21-23. DOI: 10.1177/1559827616672617
Hernandez, D. C., *Reesor, L., Reitzel, L. L., Businelle, M. S., Wetter, D. W., & Kendzor, D. E. (2017). Smoking, financial strain, and food insecurity. Health Behavior & Policy Review, 4(2), 182-188. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.4.2.9
A.B. in Psychology; Certificate in Spanish at Princeton University, 1998
MSEd in Psychological Services at University of Pennsylvania, 2000
Ph.D. in Applied Developmental & Educational Psychology at Boston College, 2005
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy at University of Michigan, 2005 - 2007