Mark C. Edberg

Mark C. Edberg

Associate Professor of Prevention and Community Health, Anthropology, and International Affairs
Faculty: Full-Time
2175 K St., 7th floor
Phone: 202-994-3584
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Applied and public health anthropology, social-behavioral theory, violence, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS risk, marginalized and immigrant populations.

Dr. Edberg is an academic and applied anthropologist with more than 25 years’ experience in social research, focusing on public health. He is Associate Professor in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at GW, with secondary appointments in the Department of Anthropology and Elliott School of International Affairs. His work focuses on marginalized and vulnerable populations (e.g., regarding HIV/AIDS, violence, substance abuse, health disparities), and he directs two centers – the Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health, and the Center for Social Well-Being and Development (global focus). His regional focus is Latin America/Caribbean and North America, but he has also worked in Africa and with Southeast Asian populations.

For Dr. Edberg's complete CV, click here

Current Research

Prof. Edberg studies how poverty and marginalization intersect with key health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, substance use, and youth violence. A researcher and consultant with strong interests in theory and in developing and evaluating prevention programs, Dr. Edberg says, "It has been my goal to contribute whatever I can to bridging the gap between the public health approach to these challenges and the ways in which affected populations understand and frame their relationship to a specific issue." He has done field or project work in urban areas of America and in Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean and retains a strong interest in immigrant and refugee populations, collaborating closely with organizations in the Hispanic/Latino and Southeast Asian communities.

Prof. Edberg also has experience in social marketing, mass media and public information. Finally, he is a working musician and founder of The Furies, a modern rock band that plays original music in the DC area, and a new band called the Black Shag Sherpas.

Ongoing and Recent Projects:

  • Director, UNICEF Belize-GWU Centre of Knowledge, which takes a social-ecological approach to understanding contributing factors and the relationship between health, education and other issues in Belize.
  • Center Director/PI for a P20 Exploratory Research Center funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). The Center is called the Collaborative Center on Latino Immigrant/Refugee Health Disparities, and involves a collaboration with a Latino community to address co-occurring disparities of substance abuse, violence and sex risk among Latino youth.
  • PI on an effort for the Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) to develop a protective factors theoretical framework for use in program/policy development and evaluation of all the at-risk populations they serve. This project is conducted under a contract with Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG).


Ph.D. 2000, University of Virginia
M.A. 1989, American University
M.A. 1982, UCLA
B.A. 1978, UC-Santa Barbara


Books and Monographs

2013  Rosenfeld, R., M. Edberg, X. Fang and C.S. Florence, eds. Economics and Youth Violence: Crime, Disadvantage and Community. New York: New York University Press.

2012  Edberg, M. Culture, Health and Diversity: Understanding People, Reducing Disparities. Boston: Jones & Bartlett.

2011  Edberg, M., C. Chambers, and D. Shaw. Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Belize, 2010: An Ecological Overview. Belmopan: Government of Belize/UNICEF Belize.

2009  Edberg, M. Essential Readings in Health Behavior: Social and Behavioral Theory in Public Health. Second publication as part of a book series entitled "Essentials of Public Health." Boston: Jones and Bartlett.

2008  Edberg, M. Development of UNICEF Latin America-Caribbean (LAC) Adolescent Well-Being Indicators: Background and Proposed Indicators. Panama City, Panama: UNICEF LAC.

2009  Edberg, M. Essentials of Health Behavior: Social and Behavioral Theory in Public Health. Volume in the series "Essentials of Public Health." Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

2004  Edberg, Mark Cameron. El narcotraficante: Narcocorridos and the Construction of a Cultural Persona on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Inter-America Series. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2013  Edberg, M., P. Bourgois. "Street markets, adolescent identity and violence: A generative dynamic." In R. Rosenfeld, M. Edberg, X. Fang and C.S. Florence, eds., Economics and Youth Violence: Crime, Disadvantage and Community. New York: New York University Press.

2011  Edberg, M. "Narcocorridos: Narratives of a cultural persona and power on the border." In A.L. Madrid, ed., Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2011  Edberg, M., K. Corey, and M. Cohen. "Using a qualitative approach to develop and evaluation data set for community-based health promotion programs addressing racial/ethnic health disparities," Health Promotion Practice (June 15). DOI: 10.1177/1524839910362035.

2010  Edberg, M., S. Cleary, J. Klevens, E. Collins, R. Leiva, M. Bazurto, I. Rivera, A.T. delCid, L. Montero, and M. Calderon. "The SAFER Latinos project: Addressing a community ecology underlying Latino youth violence," Journal of Primary Prevention 31: 247-257.

2010  Edberg, M., S. Cleary, and A. Vyas. "A trajectory model for understanding and assessing health disparities in immigrant/refugee communities," Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (February). DOI: 10.1007/s10903-010-9337-5.


2013 Praxis Award for excellence in applied anthropology, from the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists (WAPA) and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA).

Classes Taught

To see syllabi, click on the course title.

Anth 3531/6531: Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
PubH 2112: Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion
PubH 2113: Impact of Culture on Health
PubH 6126: Health Behavior and Health Education
PubH 6530: Qualitative Methods in Health Promotion
PubH 6515: High Risk and Special Populations
PubH 6530: Qualitative Methods in Health Promotion
PubH 8408: Doctoral Seminar in Social/Behavioral Theory


Last updated March 17, 2017