Dr. Deshira Wallace

Deshira D. Wallace, PhD, MSPH

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior


Dr. Deshira Wallace is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research is focused on examining the effects of structural and psychosocial stressors on cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes prevention and management among US Latines and in Latin America. Further, she uses an intersectionality framework to examine risk factors, coping behaviors, and chronic health outcomes, particularly among Latines and Latin Americans of African descent in an aim to further unpack health inequities within the Latine and Latin American population. She works at the intersection of health sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to not only highlight health disparities, but to also critically examine how these disparities and inequities came about.

Dr. Wallace employs both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods include in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and cognitive interviews. Quantitative methods employed are primarily factor analysis and analyses using structural equation modeling techniques.

Deshira Wallace in the Gillings News

Teaching Interests

HBEH 763: Scale Development Methods

Research Activities

 - Health equity
 - Diabetes 
 - Cardiovascular disease
 - Psychosocial stress and health
 - Psychometrics and scale development
 - Latinx/e and Latin American health

Key Publications

The role of stress responses on engagement in dietary and physical activity behaviors among Latino adults living with prediabetes. Wallace DD, Barrington C, Albrecht S, Gottfredson NC, Carter-Edwards L, Lytle LA (2021). Ethnicity and Health, 10.

“All of that causes me stress:” An exploration of the sources of stress experienced by Latinxs living with prediabetes. Wallace DD, Lytle LA, Albrecht S, Barrington C (2021). Journal of Latinx Psychology, 9(3), 204-216.

Types and sources of social support among adults living with Type 2 diabetes in rural communities in the Dominican Republic. Wallace DD, Gonzalez Rodriguez H, Walker E, Dethlefs H, Dowd RA, Filipi L, Barrington C (2019). Global Public Health, 14(1), 135-146.

Multilevel analysis exploring the links between stress, depression, and sleep problems among two-year college students. Wallace DD, Boynton MH, Lytle LA (2017). Journal of American College Health, 65(3), 187-196.


  • PhD, Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019
  • MSPH, Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015
  • BA, Environmental Sciences and Policy, Duke University, 2010