Dr. Norma Olvera

Name: Dr. Norma E. Olvera

Title: Professor & The Obesity Society Fellow, Director of The Latino Health Disparities Lab

Department: Psychological Health and Learning Sciences

Program: Health Education

Office Number: Farish Hall 318F

Phone: 832-842-5925

Fax: 713-743-4996

Email: nolvera@uh.edu

Research Interests:

To examine parental , cultural, psychological (e.g., teasing and body image dissatisfaction), and socio-environmental factors associated with childhood obesity in Hispanic and African American children and families.

Development and evaluation of community- and family-based childhood obesity treatments involving: behavioral, nutrition, and exercise components, use of technology (e.g., Nano, IPAD), and use of accelerometry

Recent Publications:

Olvera, N., McCarley, K., Rodriguez, A. X., Noor, N., & Hernandez-Valero, M. A. (2014, in press). Body image disturbances and predictors of body dissatisfaction in Hispanic and white preadolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/jora.12165.

*Kim, J. H., Lee, C., Olvera, N., & Ellis, C. D. (2014). The role of landscape spatial patterns on childhood obesity in Hispanic children residing in inner-city neighborhoods. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(8), 1449-1457. DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2012.0503.

*Graham, M. H., Bush, J. A., Olvera, N., Puyau, M. R., & Butte, N. F. (2014). Effectiveness of the modified progressive aerobic capacity endurance run test for assessing aerobic fitness in Hispanic children who are obese. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(10), 2880-2887. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000544.

*Rodriguez, A. X., Olvera, N., Leung, P., O’Connor, D., & Smith, D. (2014). Association between the summer season and body fatness and aerobic fitness among Hispanic children. Journal of School Health, 84, 233–238. DOI: 10.1111/josh.12141

*Leung, P., Lachapelle, A., Scinta, A., & Olvera, N. (2014). Factors contributing to depressive symptoms among Mexican Americans and Latinos. Social Work,59(1), 1–10. DOI: 10.1093sw/swt047

Olvera, N., Leung, P., Kellam, S. F., & Liu, J. (2013). Body fat and fitness improvements in Hispanic and African American girls. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38(9), 987-996. DOI: 10.1093/jpepsy/jst041

Olvera, N., Leung, P., Kellam, S. F., Smith, D. W. & Liu, J. (2013). Summer and follow-up interventions to affect adiposity with mothers and daughters. American Journal of Preventive Medicine,44, 258–266. DOI : 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.11.018

Olvera, N., Dempsey A., Gonzalez, E. & Abramson, C. (2013). Weight-related teasing, emotional eating and weight control behaviors in Hispanic and African American girls. Eating Behaviors, 14, 513-517. DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2013.06.012

Hernandez-Valero, M.A., Bustamente-Montes, L.P., Hernandez, M., Halley-Castillo, E., Wilkinson, A.V. Bondy, M. D., & Olvera, N. (2012). Higher risk for obesity among Mexican-American and Mexican immigrant children and adolescents than among peers in Mexico. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14:517-522. DOI 10.1007/s10903-011-9535-9.

Taylor, W.C., Franzini, L. Olvera, N., Poston, W.C. & Lin, G. (2012). Environmental audits of friendliness toward physical activity in three income levels. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. doi:10.1007/s11524-011-9663-5.

Olvera, N., Smith, D., Lee, C., Liu, J., Lee, J., Kellam, S., F. & Kim, J., H. (2012). Hispanic maternal and children’s perception of neighborhood safety related to walking and cycling. Health and Place, 18, 71-75.

Major Research Projects

FUN WITH FOOD! Use of IPADs to deliver a nutrition program
LACE UP AND MOVE! Use of Nano technology to promote walking
Urban Hispanic Perceptions of Environment and Activity among Kids Study (UHPEAK) Study
BOUNCE: A Healthy Lifestyle After School Program for Hispanic Girls and Mothers
BOUNCE Lite: A Summer Healthy Lifestyle Program for Minority Girls

Awards and Honors

2014 Lifetime Faculty Award For Mentoring Undergraduate Research, University of Houston
2014 Texas Society for Public Health Education Faculty Award
2013 Distinguished Nationally Known Health Professional Award, American Public Health Association Latino Caucus for Public Health.

2012 Heroes in Health Education awarded by the Society for Public Health Education.

Fellow, The Obesity Society, 2012

President, Hispanic Health Coalition, 2011- 2014

BOUNCE Healthy Lifestyle Summer Program received honorable mention 2010 Texas Cardiovascular Health Promotion Awards by The Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease, Texas Department of State Health Services.

National Cancer Research Awareness Award, Health Disparities Research Center, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, April 2009

BOUNCE Lite: A Summer Healthy Lifestyle Program for Minority Girls, Best Nutrition and Physical Activity Practices, Texas Public Health Association, 2006.


B.A. in Clinical Psychology, National Autonomous University of Mexico , 1982.
M.A. in Developmental Psychology , University of Houston, 1988.
Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, University of Houston, 1992.