Caryn N. Bell, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Dr. Bell obtained her PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 


Her research interests focus on the intersection of place, socioeconomic status (SES) and socio-cultural factors in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among African Americans.  She studies the impact of racial residential segregation (in urban and non-urban areas) on CVD and related behaviors, such as diet and physical activity. She utilizes geographical information systems (GIS) methods to examine segregation and its mechanisms on health.  Also, Dr. Bell studies health-related social norms among higher SES African Americans.  She is also interested in community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects on health promotion among African Americans. 


Dr. Bell was a grantee in Cohort 11 of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections program.  Her scholar story can be found here.




Selected publications 

  1. Bell CN, Walton QL, Thomas CS. (2019). Race and income moderate the association between depressive symptoms and obesity. Preventive Medicine, in press. 
  2. Bell CN & Holder MB. (2019). The interrelationship between race, social norms and dietary behaviors among college-attending women. American Journal of Health Behavior, 43(1), 23-36.
  3. Bell CN, Thorpe, Jr. RJ, Bowie JV, LaVeist TA. (2018). Race disparities in cardiovascular disease risk factors within socioeconomic (SES) strata. Annals of Epidemiology, 28(3), 147-52.
  4. Bell CN, Thorpe, Jr. RJ, LaVeist TA. (2018). The role of social context on racial disparities in self-rated health Journal of Urban Health, 95(1), 13-20.
  5. Bell CN, Bowie JV, Thorpe, Jr. RJ, Levine DM. (2017). A spatial analysis of race, local health-promoting resources and preventable hospitalizations. Preventive Medicine, 105, 149-155.
  6. Hill SE, Bell CN, Bowie JV, Kelley E, Furr-Holden D, LaVeist TA, Thorpe, Jr. JR. (2017). Differences in obesity among men of diverse racial and ethnic background. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11(4), 984-989.
  7. Thorpe, Jr. RJ, Bell CN, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Harvey J, Smolen JR, Bowie JV, LaVeist TA. (2015). Disentangling race and social context in understanding disparities in chronic conditions among men. Journal of Urban Health, 92(1), 83-92.
  8. Bleich SN, Jarlenski MP, Bell CN, LaVeist TA. (2012). Health inequalities:  Trends, progress and policy. Annual Review of Public Health, 33, 7-40.
  9. Bell CN, Bowie JV, Thorpe, Jr. RJ. (2010). The interrelationship between hypertension and blood pressure, attendance at religious services, and race/ethnicity. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(2), 310-322.
  10. Bell CN, Thorpe, Jr. RJ, LaVeist TA. (2010). Race/ethnicity and hypertension:  The role of social support. American Journal of Hypertension, 23(5), 534-540.
Dr. Caryn N. Bell
cbell7 [at]