Chiara Acquati: Graduate College of Social Work - University of Houston
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Chiara Acquati

Chiara Acquati

Associate Professor of Social Work

Phone: 713-743-4343

Current Curriculum Vitae

Personal Statement

Cancer remains a life-threatening disease that can result in adverse physical, psychosocial, or behavioral outcomes, ultimately impairing the quality of life and survival of the individual. Differential outcomes are the result of persistent social determinants of health, structural inequities, and a cancer care delivery system that often fails to be patient centered. While interventions have historically concentrated on the individual, psychosocial mechanisms that characterize the relationship with partners, informal caregivers, and the larger social network are critical intervening factors to improve patient-reported outcomes and alleviate the disproportionate burden of the disease. Dr. Acquati’ s research program has extended current understanding of the psychosocial issues experienced by survivors and caregivers and has assessed how interpersonal processes contribute to mental health, coping, and wellbeing-related outcomes, particularly for those who experience cancer from a position of disadvantage. Through this work, she has developed interventions that leverage the role of close relationships for effective illness management and expanded providers’ capacity for psychosocial care. Scholarship activities are organized in three intersecting areas: the investigation of psychosocial outcomes of cancer survivors and informal caregivers, interpersonal processes within the patient-caregiver dyad with emphasis on quantitative (dyadic data analysis) and qualitative methodologies to appraise and advance theories of stress and dyadic coping, and the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions and trainings of providers.


  • Post-Graduate Certificate, Sexual Health (Sexuality Education and Sex Therapy), University of Michigan, 2020
  • PhD, Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, 2016
  • MSW, Health and Mental Health, Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College, 2011
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 2007
  • BA, Psychological Sciences and Techniques, Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 2005

Courses Taught

  • Research & Knowledge Building in Social Work Practice (SOCW6305)
  • Evaluation of Practice (SOCW7305)
  • Social Work In Health Care Settings (SOCW7397)

Research Interests

  • Stress and Coping
  • Close Relationships and Caregiving
  • Oncology Social Work
  • Dyadic Coping
  • Intervention Research, Couple-based Interventions
  • Methods: Dyadic Data Analysis, Mixed Methods