Harold Neighbors

photo of Harold Neighbors(PhD, Michigan State University)

Dr. Harold Neighbors is the CS Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Division of Public Health.

"I am a senior, tenured professor trained as an applied social psychologist with a methodological background in survey research. I began my research career by studying the help-seeking behavior of Black Americans using data from the first ever nationally representative sample of a 'minority' group, the National Survey of Black Americans. I also developed a strong interest the measurement of psychopathology in treatment settings (i.e., psychiatric diagnosis) and in the general population (i.e., psychiatric epidemiologic case-finding).

"I spent the bulk of my career publishing on racial disparities in mental health with an emphasis on documenting the underutilization of mental health services among Black Americans. Later, I expanded my research to include the mental health implications of how Black Americans coped with the stress of race-based barriers to upward socioeconomic mobility (goal-striving stress).

"More recently, I wanted my work to have a more direct impact on population health as I grew tired of publishing additional articles that [only] to provide an empirical description of the relatively poorer health status of Black Americans. In order to heal my case of 'description fatigue,' I left the University of Michigan to take advantage of an exciting opportunity to help build a new Division of Public Health within Michigan State University College of Human Medicine's Flint campus. The central purpose of this move was to use a community-based participatory research model to investigate whether university research could have a noticeable impact on community population health. The 'jury is still out.'"