Who We Are

Exploring cultures' influences on individuals' experiences with health inequities.

As part of the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, the HDCI Lab's research brings attention to the ways psychological and sociocultural factors affect the health outcomes in diverse communities. The health of racial and ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in the United States health system is significantly worse than of other populations. In our lab we seek to identify sociocultural and psychological factors influencing some of the differential sexual health outcomes. Our recent study outcomes highlight the importance of gender and racial/ ethnic identity, familial processes, and media influences on behavioral outcomes.

Our team brings together individuals with diverse levels of experience and interests that converge around culture and sexuality related topics. Issues we have explored in the HDCI lab include sexually transmitted infections (e.g. HPV, HIV/ AIDS), identity development (e.g. gender, racial/ ethnic, cultural) intimate partner violence, and popular culture influences (e.g. Hip Hop, reality television).

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Our Director

Dr. Dionne Stephens, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Florida International University, is the Director of the HDCI Lab. She holds affiliated faculty status in the Latin American & Caribbean Studies and Center for Women & Gender Studies Programs. Originally from Toronto, she joined the faculty at Florida International University (FIU) after earning a doctorate in Human Development from The University of Georgia- Athens.

Dr. Stephens' research examines the influence of cultural beliefs and experiences on various sexual health outcomes. She has examined such issues as cultures’ influence on sexually transmitted infections transmission (e.g. HPV, HIV/ AIDS), intimate partner violence (e.g. verbal sexual coercion, teen dating violence, revenge porn), and sexual messaging across popular culture contexts (e.g. Hip Hop, reality television, social medias).

More about Dr. Stephens