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Larissa Jennings, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street, E5038
Baltimore, Maryland 21205



PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2005
BA, Harvard University, 2001


Research Interests

I am a reproductive health behavioral scientist with training in biostatistics, epidemiology, program evaluation and social anthropology.  My research has largely centered on perinatal health services research in developing countries. I have several years of research field and programmatic experience designing and evaluating maternal, newborn, and HIV-related health behavioral programs.

Recently, I have been pursuing a new line of research that focuses on the design and evaluation of small-scale economic strengthening activities (entrepreneurship, livelihood, youth savings accounts, cash incentives, and financial or vocational training) to address sexual and reproductive health disparities among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. and in developing countries. I am also interested in the use of mobile and social networking technologies to mitigate economic health disparities. My current research spans across several health disparity populations, including: African-American unstably housed youth, reservation-based Native American adolescents, post-conflict Congolese youth, and Kenyan young adults living in urban slums. My research draws on a combination of research methodologies, including biostatistics, qualitative research, psychometric analysis, and systematic reviews.

Prior International and U.S.-based field work:

Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Thailand, and Bangladesh; Fort Apache, AZ; Baltimore, MD; and Washington D.C.

Languages: English, French


economic-strengthening interventions, asset development, empowerment, poverty reduction health approaches, adolescents, young adults, mHealth, perinatal health, maternal and newborn care, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, health disparities, homelessness, gender, psychosocial outcomes, biostatistics, qualitative research, social anthropology, mixed methods, implementation research – U.S. minority and underrepresented populations, sub-Saharan Africa

Honors and Awards

  • Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01), National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2015-2020
  • Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, JHSPH, Qualitative Research, 2014-2015 
  • NIMHD LRP Award in Health Disparities Research, 2014-2016     
  • NIH HPTN Prevention Scholars Award, 2013-2014           
  • NIH PRIDE Scholars Award in Comparative Effectiveness Research, 2013-2014           
  • Leopold Schepp Foundation Language Training Grant, 2006-2007 
  • Minority Health Training Grant, JHSPH, Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, 2005-2009 
  • Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, JHSPH, 2005  
  • Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholar Award, 2003-2004 


Selected Publications

  • Jennings L, Omoni A, Akerele A, Ibrahim Y, Ekanem E. Disparities in mobile phone use and maternal health service utilization in Nigeria: a population-based survey. International Journal of Medical Informatics 2015; 84: 341-48.

    Jennings L, Shore D, Strohminger N, Burgundi A. Economic-strengthening activities for U.S. minority homeless youth: a qualitative inquiry on value, barriers, and impact on health. Children and Youth Services Review 2015; 49: 39-47.

  • Aguiar C, Jennings L. Impact of male partner antenatal accompaniment on perinatal health outcomes in developing countries: a systematic literature review. Reproductive Health 2015; 1-8. 

    Jennings L. Do men need empowering too? A systematic review of entrepreneurial education and microenterprise development on health disparities among inner-city black male youth. Journal of Uran Health 2014 Oct; 91(5):836-50.

  • Jennings L, Na M, Cherewick M, Hindin M, Mullany B, Ahmed S. Women’s empowerment and male involvement in antenatal care: analyses of demographic and health surveys (DHS) in selected African countries. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014 Aug 30;14(1):297.

    Jennings L, Yebadokpo A, Affo J, Tankoano A, Agbogbe M. Use of job aids to improve facility-based postnatal counseling and care in rural Benin. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2014 Jun 11. DOI 10.1007/s10995-014-1537-5.

  • Kabagenyi A, Jennings L, Atuyambe L, Reid A, Nalwadda G, Ntozi J. Barriers to male involvement in contraceptive uptake and reproductive health: a qualitative study of men and women’s perceptions in two rural districts in Uganda. Reproductive Health 2014, Mar 5; 11(1):21.

    Jennings L, Rompalo A, Wang J, Hughes J, Adimora A, Hodder S, Soto-Torres LE, Frew PM, Haley DF, and the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN064) Women’s HIV SeroIncidence Study (ISIS). Prevalence and correlates of knowledge of male partner HIV testing and serostatus among African-American women living in high poverty, high HIV prevalence communities (HPTN 064). AIDS and Behavior 2014. 

  • Jennings L, Gagliardi L. Influence of mHealth interventions on gender roles in developing countries: a systematic literature review.International Journal for Equity in Health 2013 Oct 16; 12(1):85.

    Jennings L, Ong’ech J, Simuyu R, Sirengo M, Kassaye S. Exploring the use of mobile technology for the enhancement of the mother-to-child transmission of HIV program in Nyanza, Kenya: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1131.