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Vanessa Volpe

Asst Professor

Department of Psychology

Poe Hall 703

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Dr. Volpe is an applied developmental health psychologist with a focus on the reduction of racial/ethnic health disparities. She studies the ways that racism and other intersectional forms of oppression impact the stress-related health and health care 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. She employs an eclectic set of methodologies to answer research questions about health and oppression, from laboratory-based physiological studies to community-engaged research, encompassing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods analytic approaches.

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


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., 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, 31(Suppl 1), 311-318.

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. Advance online publication.

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. Advance online publication.

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. Advance online publication.

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, 5, 302-314.

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, 64, 179-185.


B.S. Applied Psychology New York University 2011

M.A. Psychology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2013

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