Tamara Taggart

Tamara Taggart

Tamara Taggart

Assistant Professor

School: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Department: Prevention and Community Health


Office Phone: 202-994-0276

Dr. Taggart conducts socioepidemiologic studies to examine the social-structural (e.g., neighborhoods and social networks) and cultural determinants of health, and then uses CBPR approaches to develop and implement interventions to reduce HIV risk and substance use among racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged adolescents and emerging adults. Her current work focuses on three areas: (1) Applying a community engaged framework to examine systems level factors associated with PrEP uptake among young people; (2) Utilizing activity space assessments and biopsychosocial models of stress to examine the mechanisms connecting discriminatory neighborhood environments and HIV-related behaviors; and (3) Investigating the role of religion, spirituality, and religious institutions on HIV syndemics.

Behavioral Health

Health Disparities



Program Evaluation

Social Determinants of Health

Substance Abuse Prevention & Cessation

AB, Dartmouth College (2003)

MPH, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (2010)

PhD, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health (2016)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University (2018)

Dr. Taggart's current projects examine the ways in which sociocontextual factors and cultural identity factors influence health behaviors among racial/ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged adolescents and emerging adults. Drawing on ecological systems theory, she explores these factors by:

1) Conducting socioepidemiologic studies to examine the social-structural and cultural determinants of sexual health and substance use. For example, her work examines the mechanisms by which neighborhood factors, social networks, and cultural identities potentiate HIV-related behaviors among racial/ethnic minority adolescents and emerging adults. Specifically, Dr. Taggart uses the activity space approach to understand the link between racially discriminatory neighborhood contexts and HIV-related behaviors. The activity space approach has individuals map the places they travel to, social network members they socialize with at the location, and the behaviors they engage in at those locations.

2) Using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods to develop and evaluate interventions to reduce HIV risk behaviors and substance use. For example, she is conducting a mixed-methods study to improve the acceptability and delivery of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to Black and Hispanic/Latino adolescents. Using focus groups with adolescents, parents, and providers and surveys with Black and Hispanic/Latino adolescents, this research examines the individual-, interpersonal-, and community-level factors influencing PrEP implementation and delivery to adolescents; and the medical provider- and organizational-level factors influencing PrEP provisions to adolescents.

Integrating techniques, theories, and concepts from epidemiology, psychology, and sociology, the ultimate goal of Dr. Taggart's program of research is to reduce health disparities and improve the health of adolescents and emerging adults.

Taggart T, Powell W, Gottfredson N, Ennett S, Eng E, Chatters LM (2018). A person-centered approach to the study of Black adolescent religiosity, racial identity, and sexual initiation. Journal of Research on Adolescence (In Press).

Calabrese SK, Dovidio JF, Tekeste M, Taggart T, Galvao RW, Safon CB, Willie TC, Caldwell A, Kaplan C, Kershaw TS (2018). HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis stigma as a multidimensional barrier to uptake among women who attend Planned Parenthood. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 79(1), 46-53.

Taggart T, Gottfredson N, Powell W, Ennett S, Chatters LM, Carter-Edwards L, Eng E (2018). The Role of Religious Socialization and Religiosity in African American and Caribbean Black Adolescents' Sexual Initiation. Journal of Religion and Health (In Press).

Taggart T, Brown A, Kershaw T (2018). Neighborhood contexts and marijuana use among urban dwelling emerging adult men. American Journal of Men’s Health 12(4), 944-951.

Ritchwood TD, Peasant C, Powell TW, Taggart T, Corbie-Smith G, Akers AY (2018). Predictors of caregiver communication about reproductive and sexual health and sensitive sex topics. Journal of Family Issues, 39(8), 2207-2231.

Taggart T, Ellen J, Arrington-Sanders R (2017). Young African American male-male romantic relationships: Experiences, expectations, and condom use. Journal of LGBT Youth, 14(4), 380-392.

Google Scholar Citations