Peter J. Guarnaccia, Ph.D.

Peter J. Guarnaccia, Ph.D.

Peter Guarnaccia (Ph. D., Medical Anthropology, Connecticut, 1984; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 1984-1986) is Professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Cook College and Investigator at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University. He is Faculty Director of Project L/EARN, a NIMH-funded mental health research training program for undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds. His research interests include cross-cultural patterns of psychiatric disorders, cultural competence in mental health organizations, and processes of cultural change among Latino immigrants.

He was a member of the NIMH Task Force on Culture and Diagnosis which contributed cultural material and guidelines to DSM-IV.  He was also a member of the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council’s Behavioral Science Workgroup recommending future directions for translating behavioral sciences research into public mental health outcomes. He was one of the collaborators on a SAMHSA-funded project, entitled “Crossing Cultural Bridges,” to develop a cultural competence training program for mental health professionals. He continues to do cultural competence training for mental health professionals through the Cross Cultural Training Center at the Multicultural Family Institute under a grant from the NJ Division of Mental Health Services.

His current research examines mental health among Latino individuals in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. He is working on the National Latino and Asian American Study funded by NIMH and based at the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at the Cambridge Health Alliance. He also collaborates on several projects at the Behavioral Sciences Research Institute at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. A recent publication from this work is “Are Ataques de Nervios in Puerto Rican Children Associated with Psychiatric Disorder?” in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(November 2005, with Igda Martinez, Glorisa Canino and Rafael Ramirez). Dr. Guarnaccia edited a special issue of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry (2003) on “Methodological Issues in the Cross-Cultural Study of Mental Health: Setting New Standards” and has a paper entitled “Towards a Puerto Rican Popular Nosology: Nervios and Ataques de Nervios” (with R. Lewis-Fernandez and M. Rivera Marano) in that same issue. He was Co-Editor-in-Chief of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry from 2004-2007. He is co-editor, with Keith Wailoo and Julie Livingston, of A Death Retold: Jesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship, published by the University of North Carolina Press (2006). He recently appeared in a video training program to eliminate mental healthcare disparities for Latinos entitled “Salud Mental: Crossing the Cultural Divide within Mental Healthcare” (New Jersey Mental Health Institute, 2005).

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