Celia C. Lo, Ph.D.



Sociology and Social Work

Celia C. Lo, Ph.D.


CFO 306


Throughout my career, I have been fascinated by the seeming connections among health, substance use, violence, and crime. Because I am curious about interfaces, much of my work has been interdisciplinary in nature. Nevertheless, the theoretical orientation of my research has stemmed specifically from sociology, criminology, or public health. The research I have published offers evidence that strain may serve to link negative emotions to social inequality, relating the personal to the institutional. In addition, when drug and alcohol consumption have been institutionally deemed deviant or criminal behavior, then substance use--a health behavior--becomes linked to deviance or crime. Deviance and crime, in turn, are associated with the allocation of social resources, which is a process that has historically shortchanged those outside the ethnic majority or the middle and upper classes. Conceptualizing substance use as both a deviant behavior and a health-risk behavior, I have focused my most recent research on possible links between contextual-level economic conditions and the individual-level social-structural factors of race/ethnicity, substance use, and health.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Alabama, 1993
M.A., Sociology, University of Alabama, 1988

Research Interests

Alcohol and Drugs; Mental Health; Disparities in Health-Risk Behaviors and Health; Health and Illness; Deviance and Crime; Victimization

Latest Articles

Working Alliance in Case Management: An Essential Element for Successful Outcome
British Journal of Social Work (2019)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia C Lo, Bethany Womack

Understanding the Interconnection between Routine Screening Behavior, Socio-Demographic Characteristics, Quality of care, Trust, and Communication Experiences with Healthcare Professionals
Cogent Social Sciences (2019)
Ann Oyare Amuta-Jimenez, Fadeke Ogunyankin, Celia C Lo

Racial Disparities in the Proportion of Needed Services Maltreated Children Received
Children and Youth Services Review (2018)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia C Lo

Racial/Ethnic Differences in HIV Testing: An Application of the Health Services Utilization Model
Sage Open Medicine (2018)
Celia Lo, Ratonia C. Runnels, Tyrone Cheng

Risk and Protective Factors in Adult-Onset Drinking: Multiple Disadvantage Model
International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society (2018)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia C Lo

Explaining Restrictive TANF Policies: Group Threat Hypothesis and State Economy Conditions
Journal of Social Service Research (2018)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia Lo

How SES May Figure in Perceptions of Zika Virus's Risks and in Preventive Action
Sociological Spectrum (2018)
Celia C Lo, Andrea Laurent-Simpson

A Longitudinal Analysis of Factors Associated with Therapeutic Alliance
Community Mental Health Journal (2018)
Tyrone C. Cheng, Celia C. Lo

Do Social Work Education, Job Description, and Ethnic/Racial Matching Foster Child-Welfare Caseworkers' Therapeutic Alliances?
Child & Family Social Work (2018)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia Lo

Family's Role in Adolescents' Current Alcohol Use in Bagcilar, Turkey
Journal of Substance Use (2018)
Suheyl Gurbuz, Özgür Solako─člu, Celia Lo

Racial Differences in College Students' Assessments of Campus Race Relations
Journal of College Student Development (2017)
Celia C Lo, Debra McCallum, Michael Hughes, Gabrielle P. A Smith

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Cigarette Use: The Roles of Mental Illness and Health-Care Access/Utilization
Substance Use and Misuse (2017)
Celia Lo, Fan Yang, William Ash-Houchen

Intersections of Gender and Sexual Minority Status: Co-Occurring Bullying Victimization among Adolescents
Computers in Human Behavior (2017)
William Ash-Houchen, Celia Lo

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Emotional Health: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants' Adolescent Children
Community Mental Health Journal (2017)
Celia C Lo, Laura M Hopson, Gaynell M Simpson, Tyrone C Cheng

Skin Deep: Enhanced Variable May Help Explain Racial Disparities in Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes
Diabetes Therapy (2017)
Celia C Lo, Joanna Lara, Tyrone C Cheng

Social risk and protective factors in adolescents' reduction and cessation of alcohol use
Substance Use and Misuse (2017)
Celia C Lo, Tyrone C Cheng

The Double-Edged Sword of Gender Equality: A Cross- National Study of Crime Victimization
International Criminal Justice Review (2017)
Celia C Lo, William Ash-Houchen, Heather M Gerling

Social Status, Discrimination, and Minority Individuals' Mental Health
Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2017)
Celia C Lo, Tyrone C Cheng

Intergenerational welfare use among immigrants: Myth of culture of poverty and welfare Dependency
Journal of Sociology and Social Work (2017)
Celia Lo, Tyrone C Cheng

Linking worker-parent working alliance to parent progress in child welfare: A longitudinal analysis
Children and Youth Services Review (2016)
Celia C Lo, Tyrone C Cheng

Racial Disparities in Children's Health: A Longitudinal Analysis of Mothers Based on the Multiple Disadvantage Model
Journal of Community Health (2016)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia C Lo

Racial Attitudes Characterizing Social Work Students at a Southern University
Smith College Studies in Social Work (2016)
Celia Lo, Tyrone C Cheng, Gabrielle P. A Smith

Rural-to-Urban Migration, Strain, and Juvenile Delinquency: A Study of Eight-Grade Students in Guangzhou, China
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (2016)
Celia C Lo, Tyrone C Cheng, Maggie Bohm, Hua (Sara) Zhong

Does Working Alliance Affect the Health of Young Children in the Child Welfare System
Families in Society (2016)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia Lo

Racial disparities in welfare dependence and financial independence: Links to socioeconomic status, local economy, and state TANF policies
Journal of Social Service Research (2016)
Celia Lo, Tyrone C Cheng, Joe Weber

Racial Disparities in Intimate Partner Violence Examined Through the Multiple Disadvantage Model
Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2016)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia Lo

Racial Disparities in Welfare Dependence and Financial Independence: Links to Human Capital, Local Economy, and State Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Policies
Journal of Social Service Research (2016)
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia Lo, Jow Weber

Current Projects

Linking childhood victimization to crime, substance use, and health. Childhood victimization taking direct or vicarious forms and occurring before and after adolescence, constitutes serious strain that can lead to crime, substance use, and illness. Explaining health disparities among Asian immigrant groups. In the United States, the concepts "model minority" and "healthy immigrant effect" popularly justify the assumption of good health for the lumped-together group of Asian immigrants. And yet science has identified health disparities between one Asian immigrant group and another. Analyzing NHIS data covering a quarter-century, I plan to weigh social-structural status, acculturation, and further relevant factors as I model and explain several health outcomes for distinct groups of Asian immigrants. Develop programs teaching women immigrants from Nigeria about beneficial HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. Experimental research would evaluate this population's potential use of self-sampling as an alternative to clinic-based pap tests. Studies show this population to have a low rate of participation in cervical cancer screening.

Professional Affiliations

  • Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society
  • American Public Health Association
  • American Society of Criminology
  • American Sociological Association