Mellissa Withers, PhD, MHS

Associate Professor of Clinical Population and Public Health Sciences

Director of Pedagogical Enrichment and Training

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Dr. Mellissa Withers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences (DPPHS). She is Director of the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a non-profit network of 60 universities in the region. She is also director of pedagogical enrichment and training for the DPHHS.

She earned a PhD in community health sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a minor in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Master’s in Health Systems (International Health) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in international development from UC Berkeley.

Her primary research interests lie in community participatory research, immigrant health, mental health, maternal health, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, and global sexual and reproductive health.

She teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in global health, leadership, ethics, community organizing, and research methodology.


  • Empowering the next generation: integrating adolescents into the Reproductive Justice movement Med Humanit. 2024 Feb 22; 50(1):95-102. . View in PubMed
  • Transforming masculine norms to improve men’s contraceptive acceptance: results from a pilot intervention with men in western Kenya Sex Reprod Health Matters. 2023 Dec; 31(1):2170084. . View in PubMed
  • Psychosocial barriers to, and enablers of, intimate partner violence disclosure among Asian-American immigrant women Cult Health Sex. 2023 Dec; 25(12):1659-1674. . View in PubMed
  • “They should ask about our feelings”: Mongolian women’s experiences of postpartum depression Transcult Psychiatry. 2023 12; 60(6):1005-1016. . View in PubMed
  • Breaking the Cycle of Family Violence: A Critique of Family Violence Interventions Trauma Violence Abuse. 2023 10; 24(4):2544-2559. . View in PubMed
  • Factors of Overweight and Obesity Among Employees of Petrochemical Manufacturing Companies J Community Health. 2023 06; 48(3):381-389. . View in PubMed
  • Resilience level and its association with maladaptive coping behaviours in the COVID-19 pandemic: a global survey of the general populations Global Health. 2023 01 03; 19(1):1. . View in PubMed
  • Factors associated with weight gain during COVID-19 pandemic: A global study PLoS One. 2023; 18(4):e0284283. . View in PubMed
  • An assessment of workplace wellness policies and programs of universities in the Asia-Pacific Work. 2023; 75(3):837-847. . View in PubMed
  • Factors Associated with Vaccination Intention against the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Population-Based Study Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Sep 16; 10(9). . View in PubMed
  • Perceptions of perinatal depression among low-income mothers and families in Mumbai, India Asian J Psychiatr. 2022 May; 71:103048. . View in PubMed
  • Reducing stigma associated with mental health problems among university students in the Asia-Pacific: A video content analysis of student-driven proposals Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2022 06; 68(4):827-835. . View in PubMed
  • Encouraging Asian Immigrant Women to Disclose Intimate Partner Violence in Primary Care Settings J Interpers Violence. 2022 04; 37(7-8):NP5626-NP5648. . View in PubMed
  • Attitudes about involvement in hypothetical clinical trial protocols in Mexican and Mexican-American at risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimers Res Ther. 2022 11 15; 14(1):173. . View in PubMed
  • Engaging youth in global health and social justice: a decade of experience teaching a high school summer course Glob Health Action. 2022 12 31; 15(1):1987045. . View in PubMed
  • Challenges of Using Videos in Exam Rooms of Safety-Net Clinics to Encourage Patient Self-Disclosure of Intimate Partner Violence and to Increase Provider Screening Violence Against Women. 2021 12; 27(15-16):2990-3010. . View in PubMed
  • “I’m not going to be a guinea pig:” Medical mistrust as a barrier to male contraception for Black American men in Los Angeles, CA Contraception. 2021 10; 104(4):361-366. . View in PubMed
  • Measuring Men’s Gender Norm Beliefs Related to Contraception: Development of the Masculine Norms and Family Planning Acceptance Scale Arch Sex Behav. 2021 08; 50(6):2691-2702. . View in PubMed
  • “My backpack is so heavy”: Experiences of Latino caregivers of family with early-onset Alzheimer’s J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 06; 69(6):1539-1547. . View in PubMed
  • Mobility restrictions were associated with reductions in COVID-19 incidence early in the pandemic: evidence from a real-time evaluation in 34 countries Sci Rep. 2021 07 02; 11(1):13717. . View in PubMed
  • Needs, gaps and opportunities for standard and e-mental health care among at-risk populations in the Asia Pacific in the context of COVID-19: a rapid scoping review Int J Equity Health. 2021 07 12; 20(1):161. . View in PubMed
  • Tobacco use and E-cigarette regulation: Perspectives of University Students in the Asia-Pacific Addict Behav. 2020 08; 107:106420. . View in PubMed
  • The Manila Declaration on Migration and Health: commentary of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Global Health Program Global Health. 2020 01 22; 16(1):12. . View in PubMed
  • Social, economic, and political events affect gender equity in China, Nepal, and Nicaragua: a matched, interrupted time-series study Glob Health Action. 2020; 13(1):1712147. . View in PubMed
  • A mixed-methods study of cultural beliefs about dementia and genetic testing among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans at-risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease J Genet Couns. 2019 10; 28(5):921-932. . View in PubMed
  • Teledermatology: Meeting the Need for Specialized Care in Rural Haiti J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2019; 30(4):1394-1406. . View in PubMed
  • The Manila Declaration on the Drug Problem in the Philippines Ann Glob Health. 2019 03 05; 85(1). . View in PubMed
  • Establishing Competencies for a Global Health Workforce: Recommendations from the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Ann Glob Health. 2019 03 26; 85(1). . View in PubMed
  • Postpartum depression in Mongolia: A qualitative exploration of health care providers’ perspectives Midwifery. 2018 Oct; 65:18-25. . View in PubMed
  • Best Practices in Global Health Practicums: Recommendations from the Association of Pacific Rim Universities J Community Health. 2018 06; 43(3):467-476. . View in PubMed
  • Traditional beliefs and practices in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum: A review of the evidence from Asian countries Midwifery. 2018 Jan; 56:158-170. . View in PubMed
  • Identification and Treatment Optimization of Comorbid Depression in Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatol Ther. 2017 Dec; 4(2):281-291. . View in PubMed
  • WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT AND FAMILY PLANNING: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE J Biosoc Sci. 2017 Nov; 49(6):713-743. . View in PubMed
  • Intimate Partner Violence Screening Practices in California After Passage of the Affordable Care Act Violence Against Women. 2017 06; 23(7):871-886. . View in PubMed
  • Gendered power dynamics and women’s negotiation of family planning in a high HIV prevalence setting: a qualitative study of couples in western Kenya Cult Health Sex. 2016; 18(4):453-69. . View in PubMed
  • Training the next generation of global health experts: experiences and recommendations from Pacific Rim universities Global Health. 2016 06 23; 12(1):34. . View in PubMed
  • The APRU Global Health Program: Past and Future J Epidemiol. 2016; 26(4):166-70. . View in PubMed
  • Men’s Perspectives on Their Role in Family Planning in Nyanza Province, Kenya Stud Fam Plann. 2015 Jun; 46(2):201-15. . View in PubMed
  • Perspectives of vulnerable US Hispanics with rheumatoid arthritis on depression: awareness, barriers to disclosure, and treatment options. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2015 Apr; 67(4):484-92. . View in PubMed
  • Perceptions of misoprostol among providers and women seeking post-abortion care in Zimbabwe Reprod Health Matters. 2015 Feb; 22(44 Suppl 1):16-25. . View in PubMed
  • ‘Women now wear trousers’: men’s perceptions of family planning in the context of changing gender relations in western Kenya Cult Health Sex. 2015; 17(9):1132-46. . View in PubMed
  • Women’s empowerment and fertility: a review of the literature Soc Sci Med. 2014 Aug; 115:111-20. . View in PubMed
  • Gender, masculinity and migration: Mexican men and reproductive health in the Californian context Cult Health Sex. 2014; 16(8):989-1002. . View in PubMed
  • Rape myth attitudes in rural Kenya: toward the development of a culturally relevant attitude scale and “blame index” J Interpers Violence. 2013 Jul; 28(10):2156-78. . View in PubMed
  • Promoting volunteerism in global health: lessons from a medical mission in northern Mexico J Community Health. 2013 Apr; 38(2):374-84. . View in PubMed
  • Fertility intentions among HIV-infected, sero-concordant couples in Nyanza province, Kenya Cult Health Sex. 2013; 15(10):1175-90. . View in PubMed
  • The changing contexts of fertility outcomes: case studies from a remote village in Bali, Indonesia Cult Health Sex. 2012; 14(3):347-60. . View in PubMed
  • Age matters: differential impact of service quality on contraceptive uptake among post-abortion clients in Kenya Cult Health Sex. 2012; 14(8):849-62. . View in PubMed
  • Health Care Women Int. 2012; 33(9):814-32. . View in PubMed
  • Womens Health Issues. 2011 Nov-Dec; 21(6):444-9. . View in PubMed
  • Desire for more children, contraceptive use and unmet need for family planning in a remote area of Bali, Indonesia J Biosoc Sci. 2010 Jul; 42(4):549-62. . View in PubMed
  • Predictors of workplace sexual health policy at sex work establishments in the Philippines AIDS Care. 2007 Sep; 19(8):1020-5. . View in PubMed