Rebecca A Seligman

  • Source: Scopus
20022021

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Research Interests

Professor Seligman is a medical and psychological anthropologist who focuses on transcultural psychiatry, or the study of mental health in cross-cultural perspective. Her research interests involve critical examination of the social and political-economic forces that affect the experience and distribution of mental and physical illness, with an emphasis on the physical processes and mechanisms through which such forces become embodied. Seligman is interested in the relationships of stress, social disadvantage, and cultural models of selfhood to outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, somatization, diabetes, and depression. She is also exploring current neurobiological research concerning these phenomena.

Her past research has explored the connection between mental health and religious participation in northeastern Brazil. Her book on this research was recently published.

Her current research focuses on mental and physical health disparities among Mexican Americans.  This includes research on the links between diabetes and depressed affect among Mexican Americans, and in particular, the relationships among negative emotion, social relationships, and blood sugar. In addition, Seligman is working on a project investigating mental health and psychiatric treatment among Mexican American youth.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Anthropology, PhD, Emory University

… → 2004

Anthropology, MA, Emory University

… → 2001

Anthropology, BA, Skidmore College

… → 1995

Research interests

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Latin America
  • Psychological Anthropology
  • Cultural influences on mental health and healing
  • Self and narrative
  • Embodiment and mind-body interaction
  • Psychophysiology neuroscience
  • Cultural neuroscience
  • Immigrant and refugee mental health
  • Ritual

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