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Vanessa Volpe

Asst Professor


Department of Psychology

Poe Hall 703

View CV 


Dr. Volpe is an applied developmental health psychologist with a focus on health equity. Broadly, she studies the ways that racism and other intersectional forms of oppression impact the stress-related health outcomes of Black people from across the African diaspora in the United States. She has a particular focus on online, technological, and structural racism contexts and processes during late adolescence and young adulthood. She employs an eclectic set of methodologies to answer research questions about health, oppression, and empowerment, from laboratory-based physiological studies to community-engaged research, encompassing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods analytic approaches. She is currently focused on understanding the complex and dynamic ways that race-related experiences in online and technological environments provide both challenges to health and opportunities for liberation.

Specific research areas: Black communities, racism, stress and coping, psychophysiology, online contexts and technology, social media, strengths/protective factors, cardiovascular risk, health behaviors.


Research Publications

Find a list of all her publications at: Be sure to sort by year to see the most recent work.

Representative publications:

Volpe, V. V., Benson, G. P., Czoty, L., & Daniel, C. (2022). Not just time on social media: Experiences of online racial/ethnic discrimination and worse sleep quality for Black, Latinx, Asian, and Multiracial young adults. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Volpe, V. V., Smith, N. A., Skinner, O. D., Lozada, F. T., Hope, E. C., & Del Toro, J. (2022). Centering the heterogeneity of Black adolescents’ experiences: Guidance for within-group designs among African diasporic communities. Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Volpe, V. V., Hoggard, L. S., Willis, H. A., & Tynes, B. M. (2021). Anti-Black structural racism goes online: A conceptual model for racial health disparities research. Ethnicity & Disease.

Volpe, V. V., Schorpp, K., Cacace, S., Benson, G. P., & Banos, N. C. (2021). State- and provider-level racism and health care in the United States. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Volpe, V. V., Willis, H. A., Joseph, P., & Tynes, B. M. (2020). Liberatory media literacy as protective against trauma for emerging adults of color. Journal of Traumatic Stress.

Volpe, V. V., Katsiaficas, D., Benson, G. P., & Zelaya Rivera, S. (2020). A mixed-methods investigation of Black college-attending emerging adults’ experiences with multilevel racism. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

Volpe, V. V., Katsiaficas, D., & Neal, A. J. (2021). “Easier said than done”: A qualitative investigation of Black emerging adults coping with multilevel racism. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Volpe, V. V., Dawson, D. N., Rahal, D., Wiley, K., & Vesslee, S. (2019). Bringing psychological science to bear on racial health disparities: The promise of centering Black health through a Critical Race framework. Translational Issues in Psychological Science.

Volpe, V. V., Lee, D., Hoggard, L.S., & Rahal, D. (2019). Racial discrimination and acute physiological responses among Black young adults: The role of racial identity. Journal of Adolescent Health.


Ph.D. Developmental Psychology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2016