Joseph Day, Dr.PH

  Associate Professor
  708-235-7389ext. 7389
  Office Location: G 121
  College: CHHS

Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health



Public Health



“I received my Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from the School of Public Health, Division of Community Health Sciences, and University of Illinois at Chicago. I am currently an associate professor and director of the Community Health program at Governor’s State University (GSU). My research has involved the examination of adversity at both the individual and community level on children and young adults and the subsequent development of chronic diseases including cancer and the use of opioids, underage drinking, tobacco and other substance use. Ultimately my interest includes violence and chronic disease prevention, health disparities and health behaviors that place youth at greater risk.

My Master’s thesis examined the relationship between physician bias and the diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder in young black males. It demonstrated that implicit bias is an important factor in how members of minority groups are diagnosed. This study was especially impactful in that it revealed that black male children may be given a diagnosis that is more reflective of cultural stereotypes than with real symptomatology:

Joseph Day & Linda Buyer. The Effect of Race on the Diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder; 2002. ERIC Document Reproduction Service ED470718.

My dissertation focused on the impact of environmental factors on youth development in terms of the accumulation of social-environmental risk factors, psychological distress, and risk behavior among youth from low resource urban communities. The findings suggest that risk: 1) from the neighborhood, school, and peers serve as a significant linear predictor of greater reported levels of substance use and violence related behavior and 2) the home was a marginally significant linear predictor of greater reported levels of symptoms of both depression and anxiety. When examining higher-order curvilinear trends for each type of risk and their interactions, the findings revealed a positive somewhat accelerating curvilinear relationship between level of home risk and depressive symptoms. In addition, a significant interaction was found which demonstrated that an increased level of risk from the home was predictive of a stronger association between neighborhood, school, and peers and the outcomes of substance use, violence-related behavior and anxiety. It may be the case that it is when youth lack access to several protective resources that they become most apt to exhibit reduced resilience to the types of stressors and conditions of disadvantage that are endemic to many low resource urban communities:

Joseph Day, Peter Ji, David DuBois, Silverthorn, Naida& Brian Flay. (2015). Cumulative social-environmental adversity exposure as predictor of psychological distress and risk behavior in urban youth. Child Adolescent Social Work Journal, 33(3), 1–17. Journal of School Health 11/2013; 83(11):771-9.

As a Co-PI on the ““Improving Diabetes Self-Management in Minorities study (P.I. Dr. Laurie Ruggiero)”” I focused on understanding the challenges experienced in the recruitment and retention of male black research participants who were recruited to the parent study. I learned a great deal about the development and implementation of interventions and the recruitment participants for these interventions.

Laurie Ruggiero, Barth B. Riley, Rosalba Hernandez, Lauretta T. Quinn, Ben S. Gerber, Amparo Castillo, Joseph Day, Diana Ingram, Yamin Wang, and Paula Butler (2014) Medical Assistant Coaching to Support Diabetes Self-Care Among Low-Income Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations Randomized Controlled Trial. Western journal of nursing research, 0193945914522862.

- Joseph Day, Dr.PH