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Sandra Soto, PhD, is a researcher at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center. Her work examines the social influences of physical activity and dietary intake among Latinos. By incorporating Latino cultural values, Dr. Soto aims to develop effective behavioral modification interventions to prevent and manage chronic diseases.

Dr. Soto’s NIH-funded dissertation (1F31NR015965-01A1) research examined how children and their acculturation impacts their Latina mothers’ dietary intake and related behaviors. Dr. Soto conducted her postdoctoral training under the T32 program at the School of Nursing at UNC where she developed skills in intervention development and dyadic research on physical activity support among couples with osteoarthritis.

Dr. Soto recently received a Career Development Award from NIHMD (K01MD015290) to develop a dyadic physical activity (PA) intervention for Latinos with osteoarthritis and a member of their social network. This study will develop an intervention shaped by the cultural value of interdependence to engage Latinos with osteoarthritis and their family members/friends equally, thus positively influencing each other’s PA. By using a factorial experiment, this study will identify the most potent dyadic PA intervention components that will be retained and tested as an intervention package in a future randomized controlled trial.

Key Team Members:

Christina Perez
Research Assistant

Marcela Abrego
Intervention Specialist

Myra Collina
Student Research Assistant