Alisa Lincoln

Alisa Lincoln



Public Health and Health Sciences

Research Interests

Public mental health; health disparities; CBPR; marginalization, exclusion and health; stigma


Professor Lincoln’s research examines the way that social exclusion and marginalization both contributes to and is a consequence of poor health, and specifically mental health. She examines questions related to social factors and their relationships with mental health and mental health services focusing on how social disadvantage impacts people’s mental health and their experiences and outcome in mental health care.  Her work has examined public mental health services, racial and ethnic disparities and health, and literacy and health.


  1. Examining the meaning and impact of literacy (reading, numeracy and aural) in the lives of people with serious mental illness and the ways in which limited literacy serves as a barrier to recovery and participation both in the US and Australia;
  2. Examining the ways discrimination, neighborhood social capital and civic participation relate to mental health status and vulnerability to radicalization among Somali young adults in four cities in the US and Canada;
  3. Examining disparities in access to and outcomes of mental health care;
  4. Developing public evaluation partnerships and research projects.
  5. Developing innovative models by which we can increase the inclusion of communities and stakeholders in the process of research and has led some of the first federally funded studies exploring the use of Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPR) in mental health care.

Her multiple research teams also prioritize the inclusion of students through a shared mentorship approach including undergraduates, master’s level, doctoral level and post-doctoral students. She has over 20 years of continuous research funding from sources including NIMH, NIMHD, SAMHSA, and NIJ. Finally, she is the Chair of the Mental Health Section of the American Sociological Association, and an Elected Fellow in the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) and the American Psycho-Pathological Association (APPA).

Recent Publications

Ellis, B. H., Lincoln, A. K., Abdi, S. M., Nimmons, E. A., Lakin, P. R., Issa, O., & Decker, S. H. (in-press). “We All Have Stories”: Black Muslim Immigrants’ Experience with the Police.Race and Justice.

Alegria, M., Nakash, O., Johnson, K., Ault-Brutus, A., Carson, N., Fillbrunn, N., Cheng, A., Harris, T., Polo, A., Lincoln, A. K., Freeman, E., Bostford, B.,  Rosenbaum, M.,  Epelbaum, C., LaRoche, M., Okpokwasili – Johnson, E., Carrasco, M., Shrout, P. (in-press). Effectiveness of the DECIDE Interventions in Patient-Provider Shared-Decision Making and Quality of Care. JAMA Psychiatry.

Lincoln, A. K., *Adams, W., *Eyllon, M., *Garverich, S., Prener, C., Griffith, J., Paasche-Orlow, M., Hopper, K. (2017). The Double-Stigma of Limited Literacy and Mental Illness: examining barriers to recovery and participation among public mental health service users. Society and Mental Health. 7 (3), 121-141

Cook, B.L., Zuvekas, S.H., Chen, J., Progavac, A., Lincoln, A.K. (2017) Assessing the Individual, Neighborhood, and Policy Predictors of Disparities in Mental Health Care. Medical Care Research and Review.  74 (4), 404-430.

Lincoln, A.K., Wallace, L.*, Kaminski, M.S.*, Lindeman, K., Aulier, L., Delman, J. (2016). Understanding The Frequent Use Of Psychiatric Emergency Services: A Community-Based Participatory Research Approach. Community Mental Health Journal. 52 (8), 1015-1021.

Recent Projects

Northeastern University Public Evaluation Lab (NU-PEL) – founding faculty co-director
Exploring Pathways Among Discrimination and Health Among Somali Young Adults


Society and Health (PHTH1120/SOCL1120)

Society, Behavior and Health (PHTH 6204)

Community Service

Chair, Section on the Sociology of Mental Health, American Sociological Association