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Associate Professor

Michelle Kaufman, PhD, MA, designs, implements, and evaluates technology-driven interventions to reduce health disparities and promote wellness among vulnerable populations.

Contact Info

624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 257

Research Interests

gender; sexuality; health disparities; women's health; LGBTQ health; adolescent health; HIV; substance use; mental health; interpersonal violence; youth mentoring; mHealth; social media; AI

Experiences & Accomplishments
University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut

Michelle Kaufman (she/her) is a social psychologist by training whose research focuses on how social factors contribute to health outcomes, particularly for vulnerable populations. Her work explores how gender, sexuality, race, and socio-economic status contribute to disparities in outcomes including HIV, substance use, interpersonal violence, and mental health. She designs, implements, and evaluates interventions to decrease such disparities and promote health equity. She has worked in many regions of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and urban parts of the U.S. to understand and eradicate health disparities. Her more recent work explores how technology can be incorporated into mentoring to promote the health of adolescents and young adults and how gender equity can be mainstreamed into health data systems.

Honors & Awards

Fellow, Society for Psychology of Women (APA Div. 35), 2023

Millersville University Young Alumni Achievement Award, 2018

National Institutes of Health, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Award, 2009-2013

RTI International Young Career Author Award, 2009

RTI International Highly Published Author Award, 2009

Fulbright Research Fellow (Nepal), 2007-2008

Select Publications

Most recent publications. (*Student author)

  • Kaufman, M. R., Eschliman, E. L.*, Karver, T. S. (2023). Differentiating between sex and gender needed in health research to achieve gender equity. WHO Bulletin, 101(10), 666-671. doi: 10.2471/BLT.22.289310

  • Kaufman, M. R., Wright, K., Simon, J., Bazell, A., DuBois, D. L., Palen, L. A., & Latkin, C. (2023). Preventing substance use among urban, African American youth: The potential of mentor-mentee conversations. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 252, 110943.  

  • Kaufman, M. R., Bazell, A. T.,* Collaco, A.,* & Sedoc, J. (2021). “This show hits really close to home on so many levels”: An analysis of Reddit comments about HBO’s Euphoria to understand viewers’ experiences of and reactions to substance use and mental illness. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 220, 108468.

  • Kaufman, M. R., Casella, A., Wiginton, J. M.,* Xu, W.,* DuBois, D. L., Sanders, R., Simon, J., & Levine, D. (2020). Mentoring young African American men and transgender women who have sex with men on sexual health: Formative research for an HIV mobile health intervention for mentors. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 4(12), e17317.

  • Kaufman, M. R., Dey, D.,* Crainiceanu, C., & Dredze, M. (2019). #MeToo and Google inquiries into sexual violence: A hashtag campaign can sustain information seeking. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(19-20), 9857-67.

  • Xu, W.,* Zheng, Y., Wiginton, J. M.,* & Kaufman, M. R. (2019). Alcohol use and binge drinking among men who have sex with men in China: Prevalence and correlates. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 202, 61-68. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.04.006

Director, Data for Health Gender Equity Unit
mHealth Intervention via Mentors: Preventing Substance Use, Sexual Risk and Violence among Inner City Youth through Technology-Enhanced Mentoring (Principal Investigator)
Digital Well-being in Saudi Arabia (Co-Investigator)