Faculty Profile

Arline T. Geronimus, Sc.D.

Arline T. Geronimus, Sc.D.

  • Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education
  • Associate Director & Research Professor, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research
  • 2854 SPH I
  • 1415 Washington Heights
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029

Arline T. Geronimus is a Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education and Research Professor in the Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research, where she also is the founding director of the Public Health Demography training program. She is affiliated with the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health.  An elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, Dr. Geronimus received her undergraduate degree in Political Theory from Princeton University, her doctorate in Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health, and did post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Geronimus originated an analytic framework, "weathering" that posits that the health of African Americans is subject to early health deterioration as a consequence of social exclusion; much of her scholarly work is related to developing and testing this structurally-rooted biopsychosocial framework. Her general research interests include structural and cultural influences on population variation in family structure and age-at-first birth; the effects of poverty, institutionalized discrimination, and aspects of residential areas on health; the collective strategies marginalized communities employ to mitigate, resist, or undo the harmful effects of poverty and structural racism on their health; the trade-offs these strategies reflect; and the perturbations public policies sometimes cause in these autonomous protections. Dr. Geronimus is developing a general approach to disrupting weathering in affected populations, Jedi Public Health, that applies social psychological understandings of the impact of contingencies of social identity, environmental cues, and stereotype threat on physiological stress process activation among social identity groups. Dr. Geronimus has worked with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Aspen Institute's Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives to revitalize American cities.

  • Sc.D., Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University School of Public Health, 1985
  • A.B., Politics, Princeton University, 1977

  • Weathering -- causes, impact, and implications from the societal to the cellular level
  • Social construction of teenage childbearing as a public health or social problem
  • Urban/rural differences in health among high poverty populations in the U.S.
  • Impact of social ideologies and public policies on the health of marginalized groups

  • Geronimus AT, James SA, Destin M, Graham LF, Hatzenbeuhler ML, Murphy MC, Pearson JA, Omari A, Thompson JP. Jedi Public Health: Co-creating an Identity-Safe Culture to Promote Health Equity. Social Science & Medicine-Population Health. 2016; 2:105-116.
  • Geronimus AT, Pearson JA, Linnenbringer EP, Schulz AJ, Reyes A, Epel E, Lin J, Blackburn E."Race/Ethnicity, Poverty, Urban Stressors and Telomere Length in a Detroit Community-Based Sample." Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 2015, 56(2) 199–224.
  • Geronimus AT. (2013). Deep Integration: Letting the Epigenome out of the bottle without Losing Sight of the Structural Origins of Population Health and Disease. American Journal of Public Health.
  • Geronimus, AT (2013). Jedi Public Health: Leveraging Contingencies of Social Identity to Grasp and Eliminate Racial Health Inequality Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research, LE Gómez and N López, Eds,Rutgers University Press, Critical Issues in Health and Medicine series..
  • Geronimus AT, Snow RC (2012). The Mutability of Women's Health with Age: The Sometimes Rapid, and Often Enduring, Health Consequences of Injustice Women & Health.
  • Geronimus AT, Bound J, Ro A (2014). Residential Mobility across Local Areas in the United States and the Geographic Distribution of the Healthy Population Demography.
  • Geronimus AT, Bound J, Colen CG (2011). Excess Black mortality in the United States and in select Black or white high-poverty areas, 1980-2000 American Journal of Public Health.720-729.
  • Geronimus AT, Hicken M, Keene D, Bound J. (2006). "Weathering" and age-patterns of allostatic load scores among Blacks and Whites in the United States. American Journal of Public Health.826-833.
  • Geronimus A.T. and Thompson J.P. (2004). To Denigrate, Ignore, or Disrupt: The Health Impact of Policy-induced Breakdown of Urban African American Communities of Support. Du Bois Review.247-279.
  • Geronimus, A. T. (2000). To Mitigate, Resist, or Undo: Addressing Structural Influences on the Health of Urban Population. American Journal of Public Health.867-872.
  • Geronimus, A.T., Bound, J., Waidmann, T.A., Hillemeier, M.M., Burns, P.B. (1996). Excess mortality among Blacks and Whites in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine.1552-1558.

  • Institute of Medicine, Elected Member
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator in Health Policy
  • American Public Health Association
  • Population Association of America
  • American Society for Applied Anthropology
  • Charter Member: National Center for Minority Health