Dr. Karen D. Lincoln is a social worker and sociologist with expertise in societal and social determinants of health and well-being among Black Americans. As a social scientist, she focuses on the social, psychosocial, and public health factors related to mental health disparities. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. As a researcher, Dr. Lincoln grapples with issues that are locally, regionally, and nationally meaningful to achieve health equity within a generation. The primary objective of her research agenda involves contributing to theoretical, methodological, and empirical knowledge on Black American health and well-being across the lifespan. She is particularly interested in investigating the psychosocial, behavioral, and biological mechanisms whereby societal and social determinants impact well-being among adults and older adults. Findings from her work can inform interventions spanning multiple ecological levels that are relevant to clinical practice, including improving clinical and community-based care for persons with mental health disorders, chronic health conditions, and cognitive impairment.
Dr. Lincoln has published over 79 articles and book chapters in the areas of social stress, aging and health disparities, and is an active public scholar and aging advocate, with op-eds in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets focused on long-term care and policies to support poor seniors. She has been PI or Co-I on NIH-funded grants that have investigated a number of issues around health disparities among underserved populations. Dr. Lincoln was ranked third among the most influential African American social work scholars in the United States and was recently named among the Top 2% of Scientists Worldwide by Elsevier and Stanford University.