CPHI brings together students, trainees, staff, and faculty across the university in order to advance population health. Research focuses on the broad range of public health issues facing local, national and global populations. CPHI Fellows specialize in epidemiology, community health, health systems and delivery, global health, health behavior and more.

Health Equity                    
Health Behavior
Health Systems
Health and the Built Environment


This Month's Featured Publication:

Social Media Use and Sexual Risk Reduction Behavior Among Minority Youth: Seeking Safe Sex Information

October 2017

Robin Stevens, Stacia Gilliard-Matthews, Jamie Dunaev, Abigail Todhunter-Reid, Bridgette Brawner, Jennifer Stewart

CPHI Senior Fellows Robin Stevens and Bridgette Brawner along with collaborators explored sexual risk reduction behaviors among minority youth populations, namely African American and Latino youth living in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and examined which outlets of information were seemingly effective at inducing such behaviors. The researchers surveyed the study participants, measuring for factors such as social media use, sexual health information sources, contraception use, and previous sexual engagement. Among the findings, the researchers show that word of mouth and social media are important sources of contraception information, and following exposure to these sources, individuals are 4.06 times and 2.69 times, respectively, more likely to use contraception. Similarly, those who were exposed to sexual risk reduction messages on social media were 2.49 times more likely to have used a condom in previous intercourse. Social media appears to be a viable avenue for health care professionals to disseminate sexual risk reduction messages targeted to youth populations. Read more.

Robin Stevens, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Director of the Health Equity and Media Lab. Her research focuses on health inequities and the influence of certain individual, social, and structural factors. Currently, she is examining the role of social media on adolescent sexual risk and substance use behavior.




Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, APRN, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on individual, social, and structural drivers of health inequities, and she often employs a community-engaged approach in her research.

Featured Publication Archive