School of Health and Human Sciences

Michelle Martin Romero

Michelle Martin Romero, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University
Office: Coleman 437 E
Phone: 336-334-5532
Curriculum Vitae

Brief Bio

Personal Introduction

I am a proud descendant of the African diaspora and stand firmly in the fight for racial equity and social justice here in the U.S. and across the globe. I recognize both the privilege and the responsibility that I have and strive to uphold my commitment to racial equity and social justice through the research I conduct and with every breath that I take. I am an avid music lover who likes to dabble in singing and sometimes songwriting, too; you can always find me listening to a mix of R&B, bachata, alternative rock, and “world music”.  I am also a self-proclaimed connoisseur of food and artisan soap who happens to love making the two (not at the same time). Sunshine, laughter, mangoes, and homemade chocolate chip cookies are some of my favorite things.

Professional Bio

Dr. Michelle Martin Romero is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. At the heart of her research lies the objective to understand agency and resilience in the context of health disparities among racial-ethnic minoritized youth and families living in poor/low-income settings.

Three pressing questions guide this objective:

1) How do youth contribute to and shape the health and well-being of their families?

2) How do youth and families cope together in response to uncontrollable stressors (e.g., poverty and racial-ethnic discrimination)?

3) How are family stress and coping experiences linked to obesity-related health behaviors and outcomes?

To answer these questions, Dr. Martin Romero uses a multi-method approach that is conceptually grounded in ecological, developmental, and family systems perspectives to center on the intersection of racial stress and trauma, family dynamics, and obesity risk among marginalized populations. 

  • Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. in Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S. in Health Education with Minor in Family, Youth, & Community Sciences, summa cum laude,
    University of Florida

Class Schedule Fall 2022

  • HEA 705 – 01  Qualitative Methods Public Health

Research Interests

  • Obesity-related health behaviors and outcomes
  • Racialized stress and trauma
  • Racial-ethnic minoritized youth and families 
  • Poverty
  • Youth voice and agency
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • Participatory, community-engaged research

Current Projects

I currently lead the Racial-Ethnic Stress & Trauma (REST) and Youth Health project. This multi-method project seeks to understand racial-ethnic minoritized youths’ (children, adolescents, and emerging adults) lived experiences in the context of direct and vicarious forms of racial discrimination/racism and the potential health behavior and health outcome implications shaped by the resulting racial-ethnic stress and trauma. The overall project’s research questions include: 1) How and in what ways are youth exposed to racism? and 2) How might such exposure shape (or disrupt) everyday health behaviors and routines, like food practices and sleep hygiene? Preliminary data collection is scheduled to begin in mid-late fall 2020. 

I also collaborate with various research teams including 1) Shift-and-Persist project with Dr. Gabriela Livas Stein of UNCG Psychology, Psychology PhD student Keita Christophe, and the CAMINOS Lab to explore culturally-specific coping mechanisms in the face of poverty and racial discrimination; 2) Promoting Dialogues/One Talk at a Time co-led by Dr. Gabriela Livas Stein of UNCG Psychology, Dr. Laura Gonzalez of UNCG Education, Dr. Stephanie Irby Coard of UNCG HDFS, and Dr. Lisa Kiang of Psychology at Wake Forest University; I serve as a qualitative methodologist as the team explores racial socialization conversations and the related development and implementation of a video-based intervention for Black, Asian, Latinx, and White families, and 3) Longitudinal Analysis of Social Determinants of Health project team co-led by Dr. Jennifer Toller Erausquin of PHE, Dr. Tom McCoy of the UNCG School of Nursing, Dr. Robin Bartlett of the University of Alabama, Dr. Eunhee Park of the University at Buffalo, and PHE PhD student Rachel Faller where our work centers on understanding links between adverse childhood experiences and Latinx health in later life. 

Selected Publications

Martin Romero, M.Y., & Francis, L.A. (2020). Youth involvement in food preparation practices at home: A multi-method exploration of Latinx youth experiences and perspectives. Appetite. 

Christophe, N.K., Stein, G.L., Martin Romero, M.Y., Chan, M., Jensen, M., Gonzalez, L.M., & Kiang, L. (2019). Coping and culture: The protective effects of shift-and-persist and ethnic-racial identity on depressive symptoms in Latinx youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 

Martin Romero, M.Y., Jeitner, E.C., & Francis, L.A. (2019). Visualizing perceived enablers of and barriers to healthy eating by youth in rural El Salvador. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51, 348-356.

Selected manuscripts under review

Martin Romero, M.Y., Francis, L.A., & Armendariz, M. (under review). Helping to feed the family: Food preparation as context for youth development and family well-being among low-income, im/migrant Latinx families. 

Martin Romero, M.Y., Gonzalez, L., Stein, G.L., Alvarado, S., Kiang, L., & Coard, S. (under review). Coping (together) with hate: an exploration of strategies employed in response to racial-ethnic discrimination among Mexican American adolescents and parents.

Christophe, N. K., Stein, G.L., Martin Romero, M.Y., Patel, P.,& Sircar, J. (under review). Culturally-informed shift-&-persist: A higher-order factor model and prospective associations with discrimination and depressive symptoms.