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Krista M. Perreira, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Krista M. Perreira, Ph.D. Krista M. Perreira, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Public Policy, College of Arts and Sciences | UNC-Chapel Hill


Perreira studies disparities in health, education and economic well-being and inter-relationships between family, health and social policy.





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Health Equity: Progress and Pitfalls




Krista Perreira is a health economist who studies disparities in health, education and economic well-being and inter-relationships between family, health and social policy. Focusing on children in immigrant families, her most recent work combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies to study migration from Latin America and the health and educational consequences of migration. Through her research, she aims to develop programs and policies to improve the well-being of immigrant families and their children.

She is a faculty fellow of the Carolina Population Center. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the departments of maternal and child health, health behavior, and health policy and management in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Health Disparities Health Equity Migration and Health Latino Health and Access to Care Child Health and Development Mental Health and Substance Use Welfare and Medicaid Policy Public Policy Analysis

Accomplishments (3)

Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award (professional)


Awarded by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Recipient, Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement (professional)


Awarded by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Honorable Mention, Best Publication (professional)


Mental Health Section, American Sociological Association

Education (3)

University of California, Berkeley: Ph.D., Health Economics 1999

Yale University: M.S.P.H., Health Economics 1995

Pomona College: B.A., Health economics, policy and administration 1991

Media Appearances (1)

Implementing Obamacare in a red state: A report from the front

Los Angeles Times  online


As a result of the conflict between state and federal implementation of the ACA reforms, "two Americas have emerged in health care reform," Oberlander and his coauthor, Krista Perreira, wrote. "States like California, which have embraced Obamacare ... and are intent on boosting enrollment and ensuring its success; and states like North Carolina, whose political leaders oppose Obamacare, resist its implementation, reject Medicaid expansion, and hope that the program collapses."...

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Articles (7)

Stress and Coping: Latino Youth Coming of Age in a New Latino Destination Journal of Adolescent Research

March 31, 2016

Previous research has linked stress to adverse mental health outcomes among Latino adolescents living in the United States. The mechanism through which this process operates continues to be explored, especially in regions of the country where Latin American immigrants and their children have only recently begun to migrate. Our study aimed to contextualize the processes of stress and coping among Latino adolescents growing up in an emerging Latino destination in the United States—North Carolina.

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Health and Social Service Needs of US-Citizen Children with Detained or Deported Immigrant Parents Urban Institute

Sept. 21, 2015

Between 2003 and 2013, the US government deported 3.7 million immigrants to their home countries, over 90 percent of whom were unauthorized immigrants from Mexico or Central America. According to the most reliable estimates, parents of US-born children made up between one-fifth and one-quarter of this total. Prior research suggests that families and children experience significant emotional and financial hardship when a parent is deported.

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The color of health: Skin color, ethnoracial classification, and discrimination in the health of Latin Americans Social Science and Medicine

September 2014

Uses newly collected data on 4921 adults from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

Examines multiple measures of race/ethnicity and their associations with health.

Finds significant skin-color gradients in self-reported health.

Finds significant skin-color gradients in class-based discrimination and low SES.

SES and class-based discrimination largely account for disparities in health by skin color.

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Painful Passages: Traumatic Experiences and Post‐Traumatic Stress among US Immigrant Latino Adolescents and their Primary Caregivers International Migration Review

December 2013

Using data from a stratified random sample of 281 foreign-born adolescents and their parents, this study provides data on migration-related trauma exposures and examines how the migration process influences the risk of experiencing trauma and developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Prevalence of major cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular diseases among Hispanic/Latino individuals of diverse backgrounds in the United States JAMA


OBJECTIVES: To describe prevalence of major CVD risk factors and CVD (coronary heart disease [CHD] and stroke) among US Hispanic/Latino individuals of different backgrounds, examine relationships of SES and acculturation with CVD risk profiles and CVD, and ...

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Parental influences on adolescent physical activity: a longitudinal study International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity


BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is increasing among adolescents in the US, especially among girls. Despite growing evidence that parents are an important influence on adolescent health, few longitudinal studies have explored the causal relationship between ...

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Making it in America: High school completion by immigrant and native youth Demography


ABSTRACT: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we find that first-generation youth of Hispanic, Asian, and African heritage obtain more education than their parents, but the second generation and third or higher generations ...

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