Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology


Helena Dagadu, PhD

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Specialty Area: Health disparities, race and ethnicity, social psychology, and migration.

Office #:  Coffey 432

Phone: 773.508.3439


CV Link: CV_Dagadu_Helena


Helena Dagadu’s research interests include health disparities, race and ethnicity, social psychology, and migration. Her research examines how social factors and demographic changes challenge traditional conceptualizations of race and ethnicity and their impact on various aspects of health in the US and other countries. Dr. Dagadu’s work interrogates how the growing heterogeneity within the US black population affects understandings of and responses to racial and ethnic health disparities. Her current projects focus on disparities in chronic non-communicable disease patterns among blacks in two contexts: the US and Ghana, a significant country of origin for African immigrants in the US.

Dr. Dagadu received her PhD in Sociology from Vanderbilt University. Her graduate research was supported by a Fellowship through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College. Dr. Dagadu also holds an MPH in Global Health Policy from The George Washington University.


PhD, Sociology
Vanderbilt University, 2015

MA, Sociology
Vanderbilt University, 2012

MPH, Global Health Policy
The George Washington University, 2006

BA, Psychology and Classical Civilization
Loyola University Maryland, 2003

Professional & Community Affiliations

American Sociological Association (ASA)

Population Association of America (PAA)

American Public Health Association (APHA)

Selected Publications

Patterson, Evelyn J. and Helena E. Dagadu. (Forthcoming). “Fractures in the Color Line: Consequences of Constructions of Race and Ethnicity on Measures of Imprisonment.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. doi: 10.1177/2332649215587762

Dagadu, Helena E. and Evelyn J. Patterson. 2015. “Placing a Health Equity Lens on Non-communicable Diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.” Journal for the Health Care of the Poor and Underserved 26:967–989.

Dagadu, Helena E. and C. André Christie-Mizell. 2014. “Heart Trouble and Racial Group Identity: Exploring Ethnic Heterogeneity among Black Americans.” Race and Social Problems 6:143–160.

Christie-Mizell, C. André, Whitney N. Laster, Helena E. Dagadu and Stacye A. Blount. 2014. “The Use of Psychiatric Medication, Human Capital, and the Amplification of Mistrust.” Sociological Spectrum 34(3):222–243.