Dr. Norma Olvera

Name: Dr. Norma E. Olvera

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

Department: Educational Psychology

Program: Health Education

Office Number: 318F FH

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., 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

Kellam, S.F., Olvera, N., Leung, P., Liu, J., & Smith, D. (2013). Effect of exercise dosages on adiposity indices in overweight girls. Salud Publica de Mexico, 55(3), 415-422.

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.

Olvera, N., Smith, D., Lee, C. Liu, J., Lee, J., Kim, J. H., & Kellam, S.F. (2011). Comparing high and low acculturated mothers and physical activity in Hispanic children. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8, S206-S213.

Olvera, N., Kellam, S., Menefee, K., Lee, J., & Smith, D. W. (2010). Physical activity in Latino children: Research and its implications. The Journal of Applied Research on Children. Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, article 3. Epub September 30. (First journal issue, 1519 downloads since publication as of Nov 2012)
Arbona C., Olvera, N., Rodriguez, N., Hagan, J., Linares, A. & Weinser, M. (2010). Acculturative stress among documented and undocumented Latino immigrants in the United States. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 32(3), 362-384.

Olvera, N., Bush, JA, Sharma, S., Knox, B., Scherer, R., Butte NF. (2010). BOUNCE: A community-based mother-daughter healthy lifestyle intervention for low-income Latino families. Obesity, 18(2), 102-104.

Olvera N, Scherer R, McLeod J, Graham M, Knox B, Hall K, Butte NF, Bush JA, Smith DW, & Bloom J. (2010). BOUNCE: An exploratory healthy lifestyle summer intervention for girls. American Journal of Health Behavior, 32(2), 144-155.

Olvera, N., Power, T. (2010). Parenting Styles and Obesity in Mexican-American children: A longitudinal study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(3):243-249. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Major Research Projects

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

Major Funded Proposals

Norma Olvera, N. (PI), Dennis Smith, Jian Liu, and Patrick Leung (Co-Investigators). From Mothers to Daughters: A Physical Activity Dosage Intervention to Impact Adiposity. Awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Salud America Program. Direct cost: $66,784. Indirect Cost: $8,014. Total $74,798. July 1 2009-June 30, 2011.

Dr. Norma Olvera (Principal Investigator), Drs. Dennis Smith and Jill A. Bush (Co-Investigators and Dr. Chanam Lee (Principal Investigator, contractor). Urban Hispanic Perceptions of Environment and Activity among Kids (UH-PEAK). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ($150,000.00). January 2008-June 2009

Awards and Honors

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- present

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.