Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Cassandra A. Okechukwu, Sc.D.


Dr. Okechukwu investigates how work environments influence the health and cancer prevention behaviors of vulnerable populations. She focuses on the working class, immigrant communities, and women who earn low wages. She also has an interest in global tobacco control, especially as it relates to tobacco industry practices in African countries.


Observational studies: Using social epidemiologic lens, Dr. Okechukwu is using the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey to investigate the contribution of macroeconomic trends, tobacco control policies, work organization and household factors to smoking among the working class.

Intervention studies: Dr. Okechukwu is a member of the multidisciplinary Work, Family and Health Network. She is evaluating the impact of a randomized controlled work-family intervention, which focuses on direct care employees in 30 nursing homes, on the health of nursing home residents. The team is based at eight different institutions and is sponsored by multiple institutes at the NIH.

Dr. Okechukwu is also heading a NIOSH Workplace Injustice white paper team. They will present their findings at the First National Conference on Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work, which is sponsored by the National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R03DA038697 (OKECHUKWU, CASSANDRA A.) Mar 1, 2015 - Feb 28, 2018
    Drug abuse and jobs: racial disparities in labor force participation and outcomes
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Agudile EP, Okechukwu CA, Subramanian SV, Langer A, Geller AC. Young Adult Sexual Behavior in South Africa: How Important is Parental Social Support? Afr J Reprod Health. 2020 Mar; 24(1):35-52. PMID: 32358936.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  2. Barnett EY, Ridker PM, Okechukwu CA, Gortmaker SL. Integrating children's physical activity enjoyment into public health dialogue (United States). Health Promot Int. 2019 Feb 01; 34(1):144-153. PMID: 29040574.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  3. Kim JH, Lee N, Kim JY, Kim SJ, Okechukwu C, Kim SS. Organizational response to workplace violence, and its association with depressive symptoms: A nationwide survey of 1966 Korean EMS providers. J Occup Health. 2019 Jan; 61(1):101-109. PMID: 30698342.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  4. Okechukwu CA, Molino J, Soh Y. Associations Between Marijuana Use and Involuntary Job Loss in the United States: Representative Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Samples. J Occup Environ Med. 2019 01; 61(1):21-28. PMID: 30256305.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  5. Peters SE, Grant MP, Rodgers J, Manjourides J, Okechukwu CA, Dennerlein JT. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of a Total Worker Health® Intervention on Commercial Construction Sites. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 10 25; 15(11). PMID: 30366387.
    Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  6. Sokol NA, Okechukwu CA, Chen JT, Subramanian SV, Rees VW. Maternal Cannabis Use During a Child's Lifetime Associated With Earlier Initiation. Am J Prev Med. 2018 11; 55(5):592-602. PMID: 30262151.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  7. Lee RM, Giles CM, Cradock AL, Emmons KM, Okechukwu C, Kenney EL, Thayer J, Gortmaker SL. Impact of the Out-of-School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Group Randomized Controlled Trial on Children's Food, Beverage, and Calorie Consumption among Snacks Served. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018 08; 118(8):1425-1437. PMID: 30055710.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsPHPublic Health
  8. DePasquale N, Mogle J, Zarit SH, Okechukwu C, Kossek EE, Almeida DM. The Family Time Squeeze: Perceived Family Time Adequacy Buffers Work Strain in Certified Nursing Assistants With Multiple Caregiving Roles. Gerontologist. 2018 05 08; 58(3):546-555. PMID: 28074001.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  9. Sorensen G, Sparer E, Williams JAR, Gundersen D, Boden LI, Dennerlein JT, Hashimoto D, Katz JN, McLellan DL, Okechukwu CA, Pronk NP, Revette A, Wagner GR. Measuring Best Practices for Workplace Safety, Health, and Well-Being: The Workplace Integrated Safety and Health Assessment. J Occup Environ Med. 2018 05; 60(5):430-439. PMID: 29389812.
    Citations: 18     Fields:    
  10. Manjourides J, Sparer EH, Okechukwu CA, Dennerlein JT. The Effect of Workforce Mobility on Intervention Effectiveness Estimates. Ann Work Expo Health. 2018 03 12; 62(3):259-268. PMID: 29390128.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  11. Gupta J, Willie TC, Harris C, Campos PA, Falb KL, Garcia Moreno C, Diaz Olavarrieta C, Okechukwu CA. Intimate partner violence against low-income women in Mexico City and associations with work-related disruptions: a latent class analysis using cross-sectional data. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2018 07; 72(7):605-610. PMID: 29514921.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  12. Grant MP, Okechukwu CA, Hopcia K, Sorensen G, Dennerlein JT. An Inspection Tool and Process to Identify Modifiable Aspects of Acute Care Hospital Patient Care Units to Prevent Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders. Workplace Health Saf. 2018 Mar; 66(3):144-158. PMID: 28786326.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  13. Gordon AR, Krieger N, Okechukwu CA, Haneuse S, Samnaliev M, Charlton BM, Austin SB. Decrements in health-related quality of life associated with gender nonconformity among U.S. adolescents and young adults. Qual Life Res. 2017 08; 26(8):2129-2138. PMID: 28315179.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  14. McCloud RF, Okechukwu C, Sorensen G, Viswanath K. Cigarette graphic health warning labels and information avoidance among individuals from low socioeconomic position in the U.S. Cancer Causes Control. 2017 04; 28(4):351-360. PMID: 28255678.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  15. Hurtado DA, Okechukwu CA, Buxton OM, Hammer L, Hanson GC, Moen P, Klein LC, Berkman LF. Effects on cigarette consumption of a work-family supportive organisational intervention: 6-month results from the work, family and health network study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2016 Dec; 70(12):1155-1161. PMID: 27225680.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    
  16. McCloud RF, Okechukwu CA, Sorensen G, Viswanath K. Beyond access: barriers to internet health information seeking among the urban poor. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2016 11; 23(6):1053-1059. PMID: 27206459.
    Citations: 39     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  17. Okechukwu CA, Kelly EL, Bacic J, DePasquale N, Hurtado D, Kossek E, Sembajwe G. Supporting employees' work-family needs improves health care quality: Longitudinal evidence from long-term care. Soc Sci Med. 2016 05; 157:111-9. PMID: 27082022.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  18. McCloud RF, Okechukwu CA, Sorensen G, Viswanath K. Entertainment or Health? Exploring the Internet Usage Patterns of the Urban Poor: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2016 Mar 03; 18(3):e46. PMID: 26940637.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  19. Okechukwu CA, Bacic J, Velasquez E, Hammer LB. Marginal structural modelling of associations of occupational injuries with voluntary and involuntary job loss among nursing home workers. Occup Environ Med. 2016 Mar; 73(3):175-82. PMID: 26786757.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  20. Bailey ZD, Williams DR, Kawachi I, Okechukwu CA. Incarceration and adult weight gain in the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). Prev Med. 2015 Dec; 81:380-6. PMID: 26456214.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  21. Bailey ZD, Okechukwu C, Kawachi I, Williams DR. Incarceration and Current Tobacco Smoking Among Black and Caribbean Black Americans in the National Survey of American Life. Am J Public Health. 2015 Nov; 105(11):2275-82. PMID: 26378842.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  22. McHale SM, Davis KD, Green K, Casper L, Kan ML, Kelly EL, King RB, Okechukwu C. Effects of a Workplace Intervention on Parent-Child Relationships. J Child Fam Stud. 2016 Feb 01; 25(2):553-561. PMID: 26957897.
    Citations: 3     
  23. Sparer EH, Okechukwu CA, Manjourides J, Herrick RF, Katz JN, Dennerlein JT. Length of time spent working on a commercial construction site and the associations with worker characteristics. Am J Ind Med. 2015 Sep; 58(9):964-73. PMID: 26122700.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  24. Davis KD, Lawson KM, Almeida DM, Kelly EL, King RB, Hammer L, Casper LM, Okechukwu CA, Hanson G, McHale SM. Parents' daily time with their children: a workplace intervention. Pediatrics. 2015 May; 135(5):875-82. PMID: 25869371.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  25. Tamers SL, Okechukwu C, Marino M, Guéguen A, Goldberg M, Zins M. Effect of stressful life events on changes in smoking among the French: longitudinal findings from GAZEL. Eur J Public Health. 2015 Aug; 25(4):711-5. PMID: 25762691.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  26. Okechukwu CA. Long working hours are linked to risky alcohol consumption. BMJ. 2015 Jan 13; 350:g7800. PMID: 25587066.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  27. Arias OE, Caban-Martinez AJ, Umukoro PE, Okechukwu CA, Dennerlein JT. Physical activity levels at work and outside of work among commercial construction workers. J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Jan; 57(1):73-8. PMID: 25563543.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  28. Lee RM, Emmons KM, Okechukwu CA, Barrett JL, Kenney EL, Cradock AL, Giles CM, deBlois ME, Gortmaker SL. Validity of a practitioner-administered observational tool to measure physical activity, nutrition, and screen time in school-age programs. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 Nov 28; 11:145. PMID: 25429898.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  29. Dutra LM, Kim SS, Williams DR, Kawachi I, Okechukwu CA. Worksite safety climate, smoking, and the use of protective equipment by blue-collar building workers enrolled in the MassBUILT smoking cessation trial. J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Oct; 56(10):1082-7. PMID: 25285831.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  30. Buxton OM, Okechukwu CA. Long working hours can be toxic. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 Jan; 3(1):3-4. PMID: 25262543.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  31. Hurtado DA, Berkman LF, Buxton OM, Okechukwu CA. Schedule Control and Nursing Home Quality: Exploratory Evidence of a Psychosocial Predictor of Resident Care. J Appl Gerontol. 2016 Feb; 35(2):244-53. PMID: 25186313.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  32. Kelly EL, Moen P, Oakes JM, Fan W, Okechukwu C, Davis KD, Hammer L, Kossek E, King RB, Hanson G, Mierzwa F, Casper L. Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict: Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network* Am Sociol Rev. 2014 Jun 01; 79(3):485-516. PMID: 25349460.
    Citations: 67     Fields:    
  33. Sparer EH, Okechukwu CA, Manjourides J, Herrick RF, Katz JN, Dennerlein JT. 0056 Patterns of site-employment of construction workers on and off commercial construction sites in new England and the relationship to musculoskeletal pain. Occup Environ Med. 2014 Jun; 71 Suppl 1:A5. PMID: 25018381.
  34. Sabbath EL, Gutierrez LA, Okechukwu CA, Singh-Manoux A, Amieva H, Goldberg M, Zins M, Berr C. Time may not fully attenuate solvent-associated cognitive deficits in highly exposed workers. Neurology. 2014 May 13; 82(19):1716-23. PMID: 24821933.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  35. Dutra LM, Williams DR, Kawachi I, Okechukwu CA. Racial and non-racial discrimination and smoking status among South African adults 10 years after apartheid. Tob Control. 2014 Nov; 23(e2):e114-21. PMID: 24789604.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  36. Tamers SL, Okechukwu C, Bohl AA, Guéguen A, Goldberg M, Zins M. The impact of stressful life events on excessive alcohol consumption in the French population: findings from the GAZEL cohort study. PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e87653. PMID: 24475318.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  37. Dutra LM, Williams DR, Gupta J, Kawachi I, Okechukwu CA. Human rights violations and smoking status among South African adults enrolled in the South Africa Stress and Health (SASH) study. Soc Sci Med. 2014 Mar; 105:103-11. PMID: 24509050.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  38. Lee RM, Okechukwu C, Emmons KM, Gortmaker SL. Impact of implementation factors on children's water consumption in the Out-of-School Nutrition and Physical Activity group-randomized trial. New Dir Youth Dev. 2014; 2014(143):79-101. PMID: 25530242.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  39. Sorensen G, McLellan D, Dennerlein JT, Pronk NP, Allen JD, Boden LI, Okechukwu CA, Hashimoto D, Stoddard A, Wagner GR. Integration of health protection and health promotion: rationale, indicators, and metrics. J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Dec; 55(12 Suppl):S12-8. PMID: 24284762.
    Citations: 36     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  40. Sabbath EL, Hurtado DA, Okechukwu CA, Tamers SL, Nelson C, Kim SS, Wagner G, Sorenson G. Occupational injury among hospital patient-care workers: what is the association with workplace verbal abuse? Am J Ind Med. 2014 Feb; 57(2):222-32. PMID: 24151093.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  41. Cheng KW, Okechukwu CA, McMillen R, Glantz SA. Association between clean indoor air laws and voluntary smokefree rules in homes and cars. Tob Control. 2015 Mar; 24(2):168-74. PMID: 24114562.
    Citations: 30     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  42. Okechukwu CA, Souza K, Davis KD, de Castro AB. Discrimination, harassment, abuse, and bullying in the workplace: contribution of workplace injustice to occupational health disparities. Am J Ind Med. 2014 May; 57(5):573-86. PMID: 23813664.
    Citations: 34     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  43. Kim SS, Dutra LM, Okechukwu CA. Contractor-, steward-, and coworker-safety practice: associations with musculoskeletal pain and injury-related absence among construction apprentices. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2014 Jul; 87(5):493-500. PMID: 23748366.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  44. Kim SS, Okechukwu CA, Dennerlein JT, Boden LI, Hopcia K, Hashimoto DM, Sorensen G. Association between perceived inadequate staffing and musculoskeletal pain among hospital patient care workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2014 Apr; 87(3):323-30. PMID: 23475312.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  45. Chin DL, Hong O, Gillen M, Bates MN, Okechukwu CA. Heavy and light/moderate smoking among building trades construction workers. Public Health Nurs. 2013 Mar; 30(2):128-39. PMID: 23452107.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  46. Okechukwu CA, Dutra LM, Bacic J, El Ayadi A, Emmons KM. Home matters: work and household predictors of smoking and cessation among blue-collar workers. Prev Med. 2013 Feb; 56(2):130-4. PMID: 23262360.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  47. Tamers SL, Okechukwu C, Allen J, Yang M, Stoddard A, Tucker-Seeley R, Sorensen G. Are social relationships a healthy influence on obesogenic behaviors among racially/ethnically diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged residents? Prev Med. 2013 Jan; 56(1):70-4. PMID: 23200880.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  48. Buxton OM, Okechukwu CA. Authors' response. J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Nov; 54(11):1322-3. PMID: 23135300.
  49. Chin DL, Hong O, Gillen M, Bates MN, Okechukwu CA. Occupational factors and smoking cessation among unionized building trades workers. Workplace Health Saf. 2012 Oct; 60(10):445-52. PMID: 23054164.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  50. Kim SS, Okechukwu CA, Buxton OM, Dennerlein JT, Boden LI, Hashimoto DM, Sorensen G. Association between work-family conflict and musculoskeletal pain among hospital patient care workers. Am J Ind Med. 2013 Apr; 56(4):488-95. PMID: 23019044.
    Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  51. Okechukwu C, Bacic J, Cheng KW, Catalano R. Smoking among construction workers: the nonlinear influence of the economy, cigarette prices, and antismoking sentiment. Soc Sci Med. 2012 Oct; 75(8):1379-86. PMID: 22795358.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  52. Kim SS, Perry MJ, Okechukwu CA. Association between perceived union connection and upper body musculoskeletal pains among unionized construction apprentices. Am J Ind Med. 2013 Feb; 56(2):189-96. PMID: 22544333.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  53. Chin DL, Hong O, Gillen M, Bates MN, Okechukwu CA. Cigarette smoking in building trades workers: the impact of work environment. Am J Ind Med. 2012 May; 55(5):429-39. PMID: 22392815.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  54. Okechukwu CA, El Ayadi AM, Tamers SL, Sabbath EL, Berkman L. Household food insufficiency, financial strain, work-family spillover, and depressive symptoms in the working class: the Work, Family, and Health Network study. Am J Public Health. 2012 Jan; 102(1):126-33. PMID: 22095360.
    Citations: 40     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  55. Okechukwu CA, Krieger N, Sorensen G, Li Y, Barbeau EM. Testing hypothesized psychosocial mediators: lessons learned in the MassBUILT study. Health Educ Behav. 2011 Aug; 38(4):404-11. PMID: 21474634.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  56. Okechukwu CA, Nguyen K, Hickman NJ. Partner smoking characteristics: Associations with smoking and quitting among blue-collar apprentices. Am J Ind Med. 2010 Nov; 53(11):1102-8. PMID: 20721966.
    Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  57. Berkman LF, Buxton O, Ertel K, Okechukwu C. Managers' practices related to work-family balance predict employee cardiovascular risk and sleep duration in extended care settings. J Occup Health Psychol. 2010 Jul; 15(3):316-29. PMID: 20604637.
    Citations: 40     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  58. Lathan CS, Okechukwu C, Drake BF, Bennett GG. Racial differences in the perception of lung cancer: the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey. Cancer. 2010 Apr 15; 116(8):1981-6. PMID: 20186766.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  59. Okechukwu CA, Krieger N, Chen J, Sorensen G, Li Y, Barbeau EM. The association of workplace hazards and smoking in a U.S. multiethnic working-class population. Public Health Rep. 2010 Mar-Apr; 125(2):225-33. PMID: 20297749.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  60. Okechukwu CA, Krieger N, Sorensen G, Li Y, Barbeau EM. MassBuilt: effectiveness of an apprenticeship site-based smoking cessation intervention for unionized building trades workers. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Aug; 20(6):887-94. PMID: 19301135.
    Citations: 27     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  61. Patel, P., Okechukwu, C., Collin, J., & Hughes B. Third World Quarterly. Bringing “light, life and happiness”: British American Tobacco and music sponsorship in sub-Saharan Africa. 2009; 4(30):685-700. View Publication.
  62. Patel P, Okechukwu CA, Collin J, Hughes B. Bringing 'Light, Life and Happiness': British American Tobacco and musicsponsorship in sub-Saharan Africa. Third World Q. 2009; 30(4):685-700. PMID: 25737602.
    Citations: 5     
  63. Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Okechukwu CA, Arthur CM, Askew S, Sorensen G, Emmons KM. Nativity and cigarette smoking among lower income blacks: results from the Healthy Directions Study. J Immigr Minor Health. 2008 Aug; 10(4):305-11. PMID: 17924192.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  64. Drake BF, Lathan CS, Okechukwu CA, Bennett GG. Racial differences in prostate cancer screening by family history. Ann Epidemiol. 2008 Jul; 18(7):579-83. PMID: 18486487.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  65. McPhaul KM, Rosen J, Bobb S, Okechukwu C, Geiger-Brown J, Kauffman K, Johnson JV, Lipscomb J. An exploratory study of mandated safety measures for home visiting case managers. Can J Nurs Res. 2007 Dec; 39(4):173-89. PMID: 18277794.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.