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Carol R. Underwood, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

111 Market Place, Suite 310
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

410 659 6300

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PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1993
MA, Columbia University, 1987
MA, University of Kansas, 1983


My overarching research goal is to understand more fully the role of communication in enhancing health actions—preventive and curative—and health outcomes in communities around the world. In particular, I strive to incorporate phenomenology, cultural studies, and critical theory into research designs to gain a deeper understanding of how social norms, social ties, and social structures affect health.

A key aspect of my work is to translate theory and research findings into workable programmatic recommendations, with particularly attention to achieving gender equity.

  • gender and culture, health communication, health literacy,Muslim world &
  • Islamic thought, family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention
  • adolescent health,qualitative and participatory research methods, Persian (Farsi, Dari, Tajiki) speaker

Selected publications from the past five years.

  • Schwandt HM & Underwood C. 2016. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique.  International Journal of Educational Development 46:53-58. (
  • Underwood C & Schwandt HM. 2015. Assessing girls’ HIV vulnerability: Evidence from Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. Health Policy and Planning. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czv12
  • Underwood, C., *Hendrickson, Z., Van Lith, L., Kunda, J., & Mallalieu, E.  2014. The Role of Community-level Factors Across the Treatment Cascade: A Critical Review. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 66, S311-S318.
  • Underwood, C., Skinner, J., Osman, N. & Schwandt, H.  2011. “Structural Determinants of Adolescent Girls’ Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS: Views from community members in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique.”  Social Science and Medicine, 73(2): 343-350.
  • Underwood, C., Brown, J., Sherard, D., Tushabe, B. & Abdur-Rahman, A. 2011. “Ritual Communication and Changing Gender Norms in Uganda: A Study of African Transformation.”  Journal of Communication, 61: 197-218.