Sandi Cleveland Phibbs, Ph.D., MPH, is currently a post-doctoral scholar at Oregon State University and received a doctoral degree Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion/Health Behavior, also from Oregon State. Her long-term research goal is to contribute to an evidence base for preventing stigma-associated harms within public health practice and policy.
To date, her research has focused on stigma experiences among older adults. Her dissertation research identified that older adults experience different mechanisms of weight stigma (stereotype threat and perceived discrimination), and that experiences of weight discrimination partially mediate the relationship between BMI and physical activity among older adults.
Through her postdoctoral training she continued this research by identifying factors (i.e., previous experiences of age discrimination, greater control over one’s health, and self-perceptions of aging) associated with experiences of age-based stereotype threat when visiting the doctor. Collectively, these studies provide additional evidence that older adults are vulnerable to various mechanisms of stigma, and the findings identify some areas in which may be amenable to intervention.
Her future plans are to investigate systems that perpetuate structural stigma within public health practice and health care delivery.