Photo of Hope Landrine

Hope Landrine





Training Location(s):

PhD, University of Rhode Island (1983)

MA, City University of New York

Primary Affiliation(s):

State University of San Diego (Present)

Public Health Foundation, Los Angeles County (Present)

Other Media:

Professional Website

Hope Landrine at East Carolina University

Career Focus:

Racial and ethnic disparities in health and health behaviors; women's health; discrimination; poverty.


When asked when and how she first developed a feminist identity, Hope Landrine reflects on the tremendous impact of early feminist literature and scholarship. During a summer break from college in the early 1970s, Landrine first encountered Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique at her local public library. Landrine notes that she picked up the book because she thought "the title was intriguing." As she turned the book over, she read, "this book is about the problem that has no name" and was instantly drawn into the first few pages. On that day she returned home from the library with two other feminist books.

At the end of that summer, Landrine notes, "I went back to college as somebody else." Like many African Americans in the 1960s and 70s, Landrine had been raised in the harsh reality of the impoverished inner city. Thus, in part due to her observation of gross inequities, Landrine remarks that she had always been interested in political issues, "I grew up in a welfare family in the slums... so poverty was something I was interested in. I had been a member of the 'Young Socialist Alliance' and I had been the president of the Black Student Union before I went home and read all of those books and then I came back and I joined other groups and started to do other things and thought in a very different way."

The classic text on women's health, Our Bodies Ourselves, was published in 1973, and unsurprisingly, Landrine purchased it the first week it was released. As much as The Feminine Mystique had focused her own radical political views through a feminist lens, Our Bodies Ourselves would also change the course of her activism. Landrine contacted the Boston Women's Health Collective - authors of Our Bodies - and, for a significant period of time, remained in correspondence with one of the women in the collective. A year later, as she graduated from college with a psychology degree, Landrine moved to Boston where she would work for the Cambridge Women's Center until she enrolled in a Master's program at the City University of New York, under the supervision of Stanley Milgram. Indeed, Landrine was among the very last students to be supervised by Milgram.

She admits that she had not really been interested in psychology as an undergraduate. In fact, "I went there by default, not desire. And even as an undergraduate, I had concerns about it ... I thought it was conservative. I perceived it ... as a field that seemed to have the potential to defend the status quo - not challenge it - by locating problems within people instead of outside of them." And when she came back from that famous "eye-opening" summer vacation, she saw it as even more conservative, "I saw it as conservative and sexist on top of everything else! So, I graduated with no plan for graduate school; no desire to actually pursue psychology at all!"

While working at the Cambridge Women's Center in the greater Boston area, she was introduced to "a new concept of feminist therapy and tailoring treatments for populations" that got her interested in psychology again. Landrine's Master's thesis was a radical study in which she tested the notion of whether women made feminist statements because they had low self-esteem or because they had high self-esteem. In 1976, as she remarks, "the idea that women became feminist because they could not get a man and because they could not think much of themselves was very popular." What she found, on the contrary, was that, in fact, women tended to make more feminist statements when high self-esteem was experimentally raised in the laboratory.

Later, she was accepted for doctoral study at the University of Rhode Island in the clinical psychology program. Then, she says, "My goal was to figure out how psychiatric disorders could be a product of inequality without any psychological or intra-psychic processes." She wrote a thesis entitled "The Politics of Madness" where she developed what she called "a purely political theory of psychopathology."

Landrine puts tremendous importance on mentoring. She believes that the mentoring she received throughout her academic life is indeed what kept her from dropping out - specifically during her years as a PhD student. In the racially hostile academic environment of the mid-1970s, it was socially progressive psychologists Bernice and Al Lott, as mentors, who really made a difference for Landrine. She says: "They ran interference for me and they took care of me. I would not have made it through school without them and I think having me as their student changed them ... they got to see that their colleagues were not quite who they thought!"

Landrine became involved in Division 35 of the American Psychological Association soon after graduating with a PhD in clinical psychology and she stayed active in the Division for a long a period of time. When Bernice Lott became president of Division 35 in 1990, she immediately appointed Landrine to direct the Division's task force on cultural diversity: "I was still a pretty young assistant professor. That was a good experience. So, again, there [was] Bernice putting me in things and making sure that I [was] part of things!" From 1990 onward, Landrine became part of the editorial board of the Division's journal, Psychology of Women Quarterly. She then became the associate editor of the journal for several years.

During the second half of her career, Landrine was heavily involved in the area of health psychology. Her perspectives were influenced more by public health approaches than by psychological ones: "My own health research is not terribly psychological, and I think the best that could happen to health psychology is for it to be less psychological and to pay more attention to social context." To achieve this goal, Landrine believed that a substantial focus must be turned to the health disparities and issues faced by ethnic minorities, specifically those living in segregated and poor neighborhoods. She published extensively in this area and received Fellow status in Division 38 for her outstanding contributions to health psychology.

She retired from East Carolina University in 2018 as director of the Center for Health Disparities, and professor of psychology and f public health in the Brody School of Medicine. Dr. Hope Landrine died a year later on September 3, 2019 in Greenville, NC, after a brief illness.

by Axelle Karera (2010)

Updated (2020)

To cite this article, see Credits

Selected Works

Landrine, H., Klonoff, E.A., Corral, I., Fernandez, S., & Roesch, S. (2006). Conceptualizing and measuring ethnic discrimination in health research. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29(1), 79-94.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E.A. (2004). Culture change and ethnic minority health-behavior: An operant theory of acculturation. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27(6), 527-555.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E.A. (2000). Racial discrimination and smoking among Blacks. Ethnicity and Disease, 10(2), 195-202.

Landrine, H., Klonoff, E.A., Gibbs, J., Manning, V., & Lund, M. (1995). Physical and psychiatric correlates of gender discrimination. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19(4), 473-492.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E.A. (1994). Cultural diversity in causal attributions for illness. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17(2), 181-193.

Landrine, H. (1992). Clinical implications of cultural differences: The referential versus the indexical self. Clinical Psychology Review, 4, 401-415.

Landrine, H., Klonoff, E.A., & Brown-Collins, A. (1992). Cultural diversity and methodology in feminist psychology: Critique, proposal, empirical example. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 16(2), 145-163.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E.A. (1997). Discrimination against women: Prevalence, consequences, remedies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E.A. (1996). African American acculturation: Deconstructing race and reviving culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Landrine, H. (1995). Bringing cultural diversity to feminist psychology: Theory, research, and practice. Washington: American Psychological Association.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E.A. (2001). Cultural diversity and health psychology. In A. Baum, J. Singer, & T. Revenson (Eds.), Handbook of Health Psychology (pp. 855-895). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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