Alisa Lincoln Biography

Alisa Lincoln - Northeastern University

Alisa K. Lincoln, MPH, PhD

Director, IHESJR
Associate Dean of Research, CSSH
Professor of Health Sciences and Sociology

Areas of Expertise

Public Mental Health
Health Equity
Refugee and Immigrant Health
Substance use


Alisa K. Lincoln is an Inter-disciplinary Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, the Director of the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research at Northeastern University, And Associate Dean of Research in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. 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.

Her current work includes:

  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. Continuing to examine the role of housing and housing instability in the health of transition-aged youth with serious mental illness;
  4. Examining disparities in access to and outcomes of mental health care; and 5) developing public evaluation partnerships and research projects. She continues to develop 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).

Publications – Past Five Years

Alegria, M., Nakash, O., Johnson, K., Ault-Brutus, A., Carson, N., Fillbrunn, Wang, Y., Cheng, A., Harris, T., Polo, A., Lincoln, A.,… Shrout, P. (2018). Effectiveness of the DECIDE interventions in patient-provider shared-decision making and quality of care. JAMA Psychiatry. 75(4), 325-335.

Alegria, M., Trinh-Shevrin, C., Chung, B., Ault, A., Lincoln, A. K., & Wells, K. (2017). CBPR in Health Care Settings. In Wallerstein (Ed.), Duran (Ed.), Oetzel (Ed.) and Minkler (Ed.) Community-Based Participatory Research in Health: Advancing Social and Health Equity.

Beatriz E. D., Lincoln A., Alder J., Daley N., Simmons F., Ibeh K.,…Molnar B. E. (2018) Evaluation of a teen dating violence prevention intervention among urban middle-school youth using Youth Participatory Action Research: Lessons learned from Start Strong Boston. Journal of Family Violence, 33(8): 563-578.

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.

Ellis, H. B. Abdi, S., Lazarevic, V., White, M. T., Lincoln, A. K., Stern, J., & Horgan, J. G. (2016). Relation of psychosocial factors to diverse behaviors and attitudes among Somali refugees. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 86(4), 393-408.

Ellis, H. B., Abdi, S. M., Miller, A. B., White, M. T., & Lincoln, A. K. (2015). Protective factors for violence perpetration in Somali youth: The role of community belonging and neighborhood cohesion. Psychology of Violence. 5(4), 384-392.

Ellis, B. H., Lincoln, A. K., Abdi, S. M., Nimmons, E. A., Lakin, P. R., Issa, O., & Decker, S. H. (2018). “We all have stories”: Black Muslim immigrants’ experience with the police. Race and Justice, 1-22.

Lincoln, A. K., & Adams, W. (2016) Understandings of community among people using publicly funded community mental health services. Advances in Medical Sociology, 17, 147-174.

Lincoln, A. K., Adams, W., Eyllon, M., Garverich, S., Prener, C., Griffith, J.,… & 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.

Lincoln, A. K., Arford, T., Doran, M., Hopper, K. & Guyer, M. (2015). Brief report: A preliminary examination of the meaning and impact of limited literacy in the lives of people with serious mental illness. Journal of Community Psychology, 43(3), 315–320.

Lincoln, A. K., Borg, R., & Delman, J. (2014). Developing a community-based participatory research model to engage transition age youth using mental health service in research.  Family and Community Health, 38(1), 87-97.

Lincoln, A. K., Lazarevic, V., White, M. T., & Ellis, H. B. (2015). The Impact of acculturation style and acculturative hassles on the mental health of Somali adolescent refugees. Journal Of Immigrant And Minority Health, 18(4), 771-778.

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. https//

Prener, C., & Lincoln, A. K. (2015). “Whose job is it, anyway?”: Examining urban emergency medical services and “psych calls”. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 85(6), 612-619.

Schmidt, N. M., Lincoln, A. K., Nguyen, Q. C., Acevedo-Garcia, D., & Osypuk, T. L. (2014). Examining mediators of housing mobility on adolescent asthma: Results from a housing voucher experiment. Social Science & Medicine, 107, 136-144.

Weine, E. R., Kim, S. N., & Lincoln, A. K. (2015). Understanding lay assessments of alcohol use disorder: Need for treatment and associated stigma. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 51(1), 98-105.