Dr. Norma Olvera

Dr. Norma E Olvera


Title: Professor & The Obesity Society Fellow, 2017 USDA E. Kika de la Garza Fellow, 2016 ADVANCE Administrative 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

Website: http://bounce.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:

Arbona, C., Fan, W., & Olvera, N. (2018). Minority status stress, depression, persistence intentions and GPA among Hispanic college students: A mediation model. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 40, 414-430 doi.org/10.1177/0739986318799077

Olvera, N., Matthews-Ewald, M., *Kim, M., *Posada, L., *Rancine, M., & Arbona, C. (2018). The moderating effect of daughter and maternal acculturation and parenting strategies on unhealthy weight control strategies in Hispanic girls. Appetite, 120, 557-564. doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.10.009

Arbona, C., *Pao, C., *Long, A., & Olvera, N. (2017). Perceived stress in Black and Latino Firefighters: Associations with risk and protective factors. Ethnicity and Disease, 27, 421-428. doi:10.18865/ed.27.4.421

Arbona, C., Burridge A., & Olvera, N. (2017). The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale: Measurement equivalence across gender groups in Hispanic college students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 219, 112-118.

Olvera, N., McCarley, K., Matthews-Ewald, M., *Fisher, F., *Jones, M., & *Flynn E, G. (2017). Pathways for disordered eating behaviors in minority girls: The role of adiposity, peer weight-related teasing, and desire to be thinner. Journal of Early Adolescence, 37(3), 367-386. doi: 10.1177/0272431615609155

Olvera, N., Matthews-Ewald, M. R., McCarley, K., Scherer, R., & Posada, A. (2016). Hispanic maternal influences on daughters’ unhealthy weight control behaviors. The role of maternal acculturation, adiposity, and body image disturbances. Body Image, 19, 208-215. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.10.003

Matthews-Ewald, M. R., *Posada, A., Weisner, M., & Olvera, N. (2015). An exploratory factor analysis of the Parenting Strategies for Eating and Physical Activity Scale (PEAS) for use in Hispanic mothers of adolescent and preadolescent daughters with overweight. Eating Behaviors, 19, 193-199. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.10.001

Olvera, N., McCarley, K., Rodriguez, A. X., *Noor, N., & Hernandez-Valero, M. A. (2015). Body image disturbances and predictors of body dissatisfaction in Hispanic and white preadolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 25(4), 728-738. 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

Current Research Projects

LACE UP AND MOVE! An After School Exercise Program
BOUNCE: A Summer Healthy Lifestyle Program for Minority Girls and Boys


United Health Foundation
Aetna Foundation

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 Fellow, The Obesity Society



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