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Irena Stepanikova

Associate Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Heritage Hall 460
(205) 934-3943

Research and Teaching Interests: Medical sociology, Race/ethnicity, Social psychology, Quantitative methods

Office Hours: By appointment


  • BA, Campbellsville University, Psychology and English
  • MA, Masaryk University (Czech Republic), Psychology and English
  • MA, Stanford University, Sociology
  • PhD, Stanford University, Sociology

I earned a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University, specializing in social psychology. My teaching and research interests include medical sociology, social psychology, health disparities, and research methods. I study how social factors affect human health and quality of health care, how physicians communicate with patients, and how trust between patients and physicians develops. I currently explore the implication of perceived discrimination for the health of children and adults.

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  • Recent Courses
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Introduction to Medical Sociology
    • Disparities in Health
    • Research Methods
  • Select Publications
    • Irena Stepanikova. "Racial and Ethnic Biases, Time Pressure, and Medical Decisions," Journal of Health and Social Behavior 53 (2012):329-43.
    • Irena Stepanikova, Qian Zhang, Darryl Wieland, Paul Eleazer, Thomas Stewart. "Non-Verbal Communication between Primary Care Physicians and Older Patients: How Does Race Matter?," Journal of General Internal Medicine 27 (No. 5, 2012):576-81.
    • Irena Stepanikova, Jennifer Triplett, Brent Simpson. "Implicit Racial Bias and Prosocial Behavior," Social Science Research 40 (No. 4, 2011):1186-95.
    • Irena Stepanikova, Norman Nie, Xiaobin He. "Time on the Internet, Loneliness and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Panel Time-Diary Data," Computers in Human Behavior 26 (No. 3, 2010):329-38.
    • Irena Stepanikova and Karen Cook. "The Effects of Poverty and Lack of Insurance on Perceptions of Racial and Ethnic Bias in Health Care," Health Services Research 43 (No. 3, 2008):915-30.
    • Irena Stepanikova. "Patient-Physician Racial Concordance and Perceived Medical Errors," Social Science and Medicine 63 (No. 12, 2006):3060-66.
    • Irena Stepanikova, Stefanie B. Mollborn, Karen S. Cook, Roderick Kramer, David Thom. "Patients’ Race, Ethnicity, Language and Trust in Their Physicians," Journal of Health and Social Behavior 47 (No. 4, 2006):390-405.
    • Stefanie B. Mollborn, Irena Stepanikova, Karen S. Cook. "Delayed Care and Unmet Needs Among Health Care Users: When Does Fiduciary Trust in Physician Matter?," Health Services Research 40 (No. 6 Pt. 1, 2005):1898-1917.
    • Irena Stepanikova and Karen S. Cook. "Insurance Policies and Perceived Quality of Primary Care among Privately Insured Patients: Do Features of Managed Care Widen the Racial, Ethnic and Language-Based Gaps?," Medical Care 42 (No. 10, 2004):966-74.