Whitney S. Rice
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Dr. Rice is a public health researcher, passionate about advancing equity in family planning outcomes, care, and scholarship through stakeholder-centered and engaged production and translation of scientific evidence, and trainee mentorship and inclusion. Her research broadly examines the implications of social and systems–level factors (e.g., stigma and policy) for sexual and reproductive health care access and utilization, particularly in family planning and HIV care.
Discusses how women living with HIV perceive various forms of stigma and discrimination (i.e. gender, race, income level, incarceration history, and weight) from multiple sources, including communities, close others, and within systems. Shows how these overlapping stigmas have unique clinical implications for HIV-positive women.
Studies the implications of racial difference for infant health outcomes among Hispanic and non-Hispanic ethnic groups using national data from 2007-2008 infant birth records. Finds that the risk of infant mortality varies among Hispanic infants and non-Hispanic infants by race; with poorer outcomes experienced by Hispanic black and to a greater degree, non-Hispanic black infants.
Examines the role of social perceptions about unintended pregnancy in young women's use of any contraceptive and in dual contraceptive method use (use of both long-acting contraceptives and condoms). Finds that young women in Alabama who perceived that their own unintended pregnancy would be disapproved of by close others were more likely to use any contraception, and young women who agreed with negative perceptions of a young woman who has an unintended pregnancy were less likely to use dual methods.
Describes the development of the Parenting, Adoption, and Abortion Norms and Stigma Scales, three distinct, multidimensional, and psychometrically valid measures of norms and stigma around potential pregnancy decisions in the context of unintended pregnancy among young women. These scales can be used in research examining the role of reproductive stigma in pregnancy decision-making and may also be used in the evaluation of programs and interventions that aim to reduce stigma associated with unintended pregnancy and pregnancy decisions.
Investigates the relationship between internalized HIV-related stigma (or negative self perception regarding having HIV) on attendance at scheduled HIV care visits and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (medication to treat HIV) among people living with HIV in Birmingham, AL. Indicates an association between internalized HIV stigma and HIV care visit adherence, as well as on adherence through HIV care visit adherence; suggesting multiple intervention targets to promote engagement in HIV care.
Explores perceptions of norms and stigma related to unintended pregnancy, adoption, abortion, and parenthood, and examined racial and ethnic differences in these perceptions, among young, low-income women in Birmingham, Alabama. Finds that young women in our sample perceived social expectations for pregnancy and parenting, and expressed that stigmatization related to adoption and abortion manifests in the form of negative attitudes, stereotypes, and blame; which may influence young women’s health decision-making.