Derek M. Griffith
Professor of Medicine, Health & Society
Secondary Faculty Appointments:
Founder and Director, Center for Research on Men’s Health
Faculty Member, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Cancer Health Outcomes and Control Research Program
Scholar, Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research, Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health
PhD, DePaul University
Derek M. Griffith is a leading social scientist focused on social influences on men’s health and racial and ethnic health disparities. He primarily focuses on identifying and addressing psychosocial, cultural and environmental determinants of African American men’s health and well-being. Funded by several institutes within the National Institutes of Health and foundations such as the American Cancer Society and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Griffith specializes in informing, developing and testing interventions to improve African American men’s lifestyle behaviors and chronic disease risk, morbidity and mortality, including reducing obesity and increasing healthy eating, physical activity and screening, often using a community-based participatory research approach. His research has been featured in such news outlets as MSN, NPR, Time Magazine, US News & World Report and USA Today.
- Men’s Health / Men’s Health Equity
- Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
- Health Equity Promotion Interventions
- Racism as a Social Determinant of Health
Project Summary: The goal of this project is to help develop evidence-based approaches to improve the health and health care utilization of African American men. This project will (1) explore how African American men understand and define trust, respect, and trustworthiness in seeking health care, (2) identify the drivers and influencers of this trust, (3) assess what factors influence how African American men perceive that a provider respects them and is worthy of trust, and (4) develop a measure that captures dimensions of trust salient to African American men across the course of life.
Tennessee Men’s Health Report Card
The goal of the Tennessee Men’s Health Report Card is to monitor the health and well-being of men in Tennessee and to inform strategies to improve the health of men in the state. Following the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017 editions, the team will begin work on the fifth edition of the men’s health report card this fall. This initiative continues to distinguish Tennessee as the only state in the U.S. that has regularly published a report card to guide the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies to improve men’s health.
Mighty Men: A Faith-Based Weight Loss Intervention to Reduce Cancer Disparities
ACS Research Updates
Description: Mighty Men is a 6-month faith-based weight-loss intervention for obese African American men 35-74 years old. This project aims to use tailored goals and messages alongside self-monitoring techniques and small group training and community resources to increase perceived efficacy and encourage healthy behavior changes. The main goal of this study is to produce and maintain weight loss by focusing on increasing physical activity level and healthy eating among participating men.
Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health
The center will use interdisciplinary team science to develop prevention and treatment strategies to eliminate health disparities, specifically those among African-Americans and Latinos that take individual variability into account. Dr. Griffith’s project will develop and pilot test a person-specific weight loss intervention for middle-aged African-American and Latino men (Tailor Made: Solutions for Your Health).
Honors and Awards
Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior (2018).
The American Academy of Health Behavior is a multidisciplinary society of health behavior scholars and researchers. Fellow status is a special membership category granted to qualifying Full Members in recognition of significant contributions to the field of health behavior research as noted by authorship or co-authorship of at least 50 research publications and either one of three criteria: (a) at least 75 scientific papers presented at national or international professional meetings; (b) receipt of at least $1.5 million (or U.S. dollar equivalents) in external research grants as a Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI); (c) receipt of at least 25 external research grants as a PI or Co-PI; or (d) significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in health behavior, health education, or health promotion through research conducted and disseminated of such magnitude as to equal any of the other categories above.
Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow (2016-2018).
The Vanderbilt University Chancellor Faculty Fellows Program was launched in September 2014 under the Trans-Institutional Programs initiative to support outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. Candidates are nominated by their deans. Candidates may NOT nominate themselves nor contribute supporting information to the nomination materials. On a competitive basis, the Provost’s Office will award tenured associate professors the title of Chancellor Faculty Fellow. The designation will include an unrestricted allocation of $40K a year for two fiscal years.
Tom Bruce Award (2013).
The Tom Bruce Award is presented by the Community-Based Public Health Caucus (CBPH) at the annual American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in recognition of an individual’s leadership in community-based public health. The award recognizes “an individual who has made a significant contribution to the CBPH Caucus and the CBPH Movement”. Quoting from the award, Dr. Griffith’s research on “eliminating health disparities that vary by race, ethnicity and gender” earned him his award. The Tom Bruce Award was established in 2006 by the CBPH Caucus of APHA to celebrate the work and the legacy of Dr. Bruce, who many in the CBPH Movement have called the “Father of CBPH.” Past winners of the Tom Bruce Award include Meredith Minkler, Barbara Israel, Geni Eng, Bonnie Duran and Nina Wallerstein.
Associate Editor (2013-2017): Health Education & Behavior
Associate Editor (2017-2019): Ethnicity & Disease
Advisory Board – Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disparity Issues (2017-2019): American Journal of Men’s Health.
- Lead Editor (2019): Men’s Health Equity: A Handbook. (Eds). Derek M. Griffith, Marino A. Bruce & Roland J. Thorpe, Jr. New York, NY: Routledge/ Taylor & Francis.
- Editor (2019): Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional. (Eds). Chandra L. Ford, Derek M. Griffith, Marino A. Bruce & Keon L. Gilbert. Washington, DC: APHA Press.
Roles on Peer-Reviewed Journal Editorial Boards:
- Editorial Board (2018-present); Associate Editor (2013-2018): Health Education & Behavior.
- Editorial Board (2018-present): International Journal of Men’s Social and Community Health.
- Associate Editor (2017-2019); Editorial Board (2016): Ethnicity & Disease.
- Editorial Advisory Board – Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Disparity Issues (2017-2019): American Journal of Men’s Health.
- Associate Editor (2012-2015): Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, & Action.
Guest Editor of Peer-Reviewed Journal Special Issues or Supplements:
- Guest Editor (2018): Family and Community Health Issue on “Diversity in Health Disparities and Health Equity Research in Family and Community Health” (Co-Edited with Drs. Marino Bruce and Roland Thorpe). Volume 41, Issue #4 (October – December 2018 Issue).
- Guest Editor (2017): Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings Special Issue on Health Disparities & Diversity” (Co-Edited with Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble). Volume 24, Issue #3-4.
- Lead Guest Editor (2017): Health Education & Behavior Special Issue on “Advancing Qualitative Research to Promote Health Equity” (Co-Edited with Drs. Rachel C. Shelton & Michelle C. Kegler). Volume 44, Issue #5 (October 2017 issue).
- Guest Editor (2015): Family and Community Health Special Issue on “Social Determinants of Men’s Health Disparities” (Co-Edited with Drs. Marino Bruce and Roland Thorpe). Volume 38, Issue #4 (October – December 2015 Issue).
- Guest Editor (2013): International Journal of Men’s Health Special Issue on “Practical Solutions to Address Men’s Health Disparities” (Co-Edited with Dr. Daphne Watkins). Volume 12, Issue #3 (Fall 2013 Issue).
- Guest Editor (2013): American Journal of Men’s Health Special Supplement on “The Health of African American Men: Implications for Research and Practice” (Co-Edited with Dr. Leonard Jack). Volume 7, Issue #4 (Supplement to the July 2013 Issue).
Men’s Health/ Men’s Health Equity
Men’s Health Equity: A Handbook. (Eds). Derek M. Griffith, Marino A. Bruce & Roland J. Thorpe, Jr. New York, NY: Routledge/ Taylor & Francis. https://www.routledge.com/Mens-Health-Equity-A-Handbook-1st-Edition/Griffith-Bruce-Thorpe-Jr/p/book/9781138052970
Griffith, D.M., Cornish, E.K., Sherman, L.D. & Moore, H. J.* (2019). Middle-aged men’s health: Patterns and causes of health disparities during a pivotal period in the lifecourse. In D.M. Griffith, M.A. Bruce, & R.J. Thorpe, Jr. (Eds.), Men’s Health Equity: A Handbook. New York, NY: Routledge.
Griffith, D.M., Pennings, J.S., Bruce, M.A. & Ayers, G.D. (2019). Measuring the dimensions of African American Manhood: A factor analysis. In D.M. Griffith, M.A. Bruce, & R.J. Thorpe, Jr. (Eds.), Men’s Health Equity: A Handbook. New York, NY: Routledge.
Griffith, D.M. (2018). “Centering the Margins”: Moving equity to the center of men’s health research. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(5), 1317-1327.
Griffith, D. M. & Cornish, E.K. (2018). “What defines a man?”: Perspectives of African American men on the components and consequences of manhood. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 19(1), 78-88.
Dean, D.**, Griffith, D.M., McKissic, S., Cornish, E.K. & Johnson-Lawrence, V. (2018). Men on the Move—Nashville: Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-enhanced, physical activity pilot intervention for overweight and obese, middle and older-age African American men. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(4), 798-811.
Gilbert, K.L., Ray, R., Siddiqi, A., Shetty, S.***, Baker, E.A., Elder, K. & Griffith, D.M. (2016). Visible and invisible trends in African American men’s health: Pitfalls and promises for addressing racial, ethnic and gender health inequities. Annual Review of Public Health, 37, 295-311.
Ellis, K.R.***, Griffith, D.M., Allen, J.O.***, Thorpe, Jr. R.J. & Bruce, M.A. (2015). “If you do nothing about stress, the next thing you know, you’re shattered”: Perspectives on African American men’s stress, coping and health from African American men and key women in their lives. Social Science & Medicine, 139, 107-114.
Griffith, D.M., Brinkley-Rubinstein, L.***, Thorpe, Jr. R.J., Bruce, M.A. & Metzl., J.M. (2015). The interdependence of African American men’s definitions of manhood and health. Family and Community Health, 38(4), 284-296. Special Issue on Social Determinants of Men’s Health Disparities.
Griffith, D.M. (2015). “I AM a Man”: Manhood, minority men’s health and health equity. Ethnicity & Disease, 25(3), 287-293. Focus – Minority Men’s Health.
Newton, Jr., R.L., Griffith, D.M., Kearney, W. & Bennett, G.G. (2014). A systematic review of weight loss, physical activity, and dietary interventions involving African American men. Obesity Reviews, 15(supplement 4), 93-106. AACORN supplement.
Griffith, D.M. (2012). An intersectional approach to men’s health. Journal of Men’s Health, 9(2), 106–112.
Griffith, D.M., Gunter, K.** & Watkins, D.C. (2012). Measuring masculinity in research on men of color: findings and future directions. American Journal of Public Health, 102(S2), S187-S194.
Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional. (Eds). Chandra L. Ford, Derek M. Griffith, Marino A. Bruce & Keon L. Gilbert. Publisher: APHA Press. https://secure.apha.org/imis/ItemDetail?iProductCode=978-087553-3032&CATEGORY=BK
Came, H. & Griffith, D. (2018). Tackling racism as a wicked public health problem: Enabling allies in anti-racism praxis. Social Science & Medicine, 199, 181-188.
Griffith, D.M., Johnson, J.***, Ellis, K.**, Schulz, A.J. (2010). Cultural Context and a Critical Approach to Eliminating Health Disparities. Ethnicity and Disease, 20(1), 71-76.
Griffith, D.M., Mason, M., Yonas, M., Eng, E., Jeffries, V., Plihcik, S., & Parks, B. (2007). Dismantling Institutional Racism: Theory and Action. American Journal of Community Psychology, 39(3-4), 381-392.
Watts, R.J., Griffith, D.M., & Abdul-Adil, J. (1999). Sociopolitical development as an antidote for oppression: Theory and action. American Journal of Community Psychology, 27 (2), 255-271.
Griffith, D.M., Shelton, R.C. & Kegler, M.C. (2017). Advancing the science of qualitative research to promote health equity. Health Education & Behavior, 44(5), 673-676.
Griffith, D.M., Pichon, L.****, Campbell, B. & Allen, J.O. (2010). YOUR Blessed Health: A Faith-based, CBPR Approach to Addressing HIV/AIDS among African Americans. AIDS Education and Prevention, 22(3), 203-217.
Bediako, S.M. & Griffith, D.M. (2007). Eliminating Racial/ Ethnic Health Disparities: Reconsidering Comparative Approaches. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 2(1), 49-62.
ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0018-9176