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profileCassandra A. Okechukwu, Sc.D.

TitleAssociate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
InstitutionHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
DepartmentDept of Social and Behavioral Sciences
AddressHarvard School of Public Health
Kresge Bldg, 7th Floor
677 Huntington Ave
Boston MA 02115
Phone617/432-4486
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Collapse Overview 
Collapse overview
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.

CURRENT RESEARCH

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).


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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.
R03DA038697     (OKECHUKWU, CASSANDRA A.)Mar 1, 2015 - Feb 28, 2017
NIH/NIDA
Drug abuse and jobs: racial disparities in labor force participation and outcomes
Role: Principal Investigator

Collapse Bibliographic 
Collapse selected publications
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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  1. 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 Aug; 26(8):2129-2138. PMID: 28315179.
    View in: PubMed
  2. 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 Apr; 28(4):351-360. PMID: 28255678.
    View in: PubMed
  3. 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. 2017 Jan 10. PMID: 28074001.
    View in: PubMed
  4. 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 May 25. PMID: 27225680.
    View in: PubMed
  5. 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 Nov; 23(6):1053-1059. PMID: 27206459.
    View in: PubMed
  6. 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; PMCID: PMC4848161 [Available on 05/01/17].
  7. 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; PMCID: PMC4796406.
  8. 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; PMCID: PMC4904717 [Available on 03/01/17].
  9. 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; PMCID: PMC4958024 [Available on 12/01/16].
  10. 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; PMCID: PMC4605159 [Available on 11/01/16].
  11. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  12. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  13. 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; PMCID: PMC4411779 [Available on 05/01/16].
  14. 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; PMCID: PMC4809990.
  15. Okechukwu CA. Long working hours are linked to risky alcohol consumption. BMJ. 2015 Jan 13; 350:g7800. PMID: 25587066.
    View in: PubMed
  16. 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; PMCID: PMC4530451.
  17. 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; PMCID: PMC4264534.
  18. 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; PMCID: PMC4187209.
  19. Buxton OM, Okechukwu CA. Long working hours can be toxic. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 Jan; 3(1):3-4. PMID: 25262543.
    View in: PubMed
  20. 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; PMCID: PMC4346551 [Available on 02/01/17].
  21. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  22. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  23. 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; PMCID: PMC4032208.
  24. 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; PMCID: PMC4214915.
  25. 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; PMCID: PMC3903768.
  26. 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; PMCID: PMC3981189.
  27. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  28. 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; PMCID: PMC4184212.
  29. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  30. 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; PMCID: PMC3983176.
  31. 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; PMCID: PMC3884002.
  32. 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; PMCID: PMC3883941.
  33. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  34. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  35. 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; PMCID: PMC3552033.
  36. 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; PMCID: PMC3540137.
  37. Buxton OM, Okechukwu CA. Authors' response. J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Nov; 54(11):1322-3. PMID: 23135300.
    View in: PubMed
  38. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  39. 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; PMCID: PMC4040442.
  40. 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; PMCID: PMC3510701.
  41. 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; PMCID: PMC4502574.
  42. 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; PMCID: PMC4524503.
  43. 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; PMCID: PMC3490565.
  44. 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; PMCID: PMC3441822.
  45. 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; PMCID: PMC3308601.
  46. 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; PMCID: PMC3526833.
  47. 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; PMCID: PMC2854860.
  48. 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; PMCID: PMC2821850.
  49. 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; PMCID: PMC2694320.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  52. 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; PMCID: PMC2737381.
  53. 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; PMCID: PMC4518720.
  54. 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.
    View in: PubMed
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