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Public Health Program

Pauline Lubens

Pauline Lubens
Pauline Lubens

Adjunct Lecturer


BA: University of Michigan, History
MPH: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
PhD: University of California, Irvine, Public Health

Pauline Lubens’ research centers on the public health effects of armed conflict within the social ecological framework, which examines health risks as arising from multiple levels: the individual, family, community, and the institutional. Her research has specifically focused on the emotional, psychosocial, and somatic health outcomes associated with armed conflict in U.S. combat veterans, military families, and refugees. She also has an interest in the transgenerational effects of war and displacement on refugee families. She has studied grief in combat veterans who have lost comrades to combat and suicide, and has also conducted a qualitative study exploring the integration and resettlement experiences of Iraqi refugees living in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area. During her MPH program, she designed War and Public Health, a course that examines how armed conflict impedes the mission of public health, and the curriculum also focuses on the specific psychosocial and physical health outcomes associated with exposure to war. In addition to her focus on the public health effects of war, she was part of a research team at the University of California, Irvine that conducted a longitudinal study of the psychological outcomes predicted by exposure to media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings among several thousand individuals across the U.S – particularly on the psychological impact of exposure to graphic images of the bombing. Her previous career was working as a photojournalist for several newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News, which she left in 2010 to pursue an MPH. The cumulative effect of a succession of personal journeys through armed conflict inspired her to leave journalism to pursue a Public Health teaching and research career focusing on the toll of war. She has served on the advisory boards of a refugee assistance non-profit organization and a women’s veterans organization.


Lubens, P., & Bruckner, T.A. (2018). A Review of Military Health Research Using a Social-Ecological Rramework. American Journal of Health Promotion.

Lubens, P., & Holman, E.A. (2017). The unintended consequences of disaster-related media coverage. In R.J. Ursano, C.S. Fullerton, L. Weisaeth, & B. Raphael (Eds.), Textbook of disaster psychiatry (pp. 181-193). London: Cambridge University Press.

Lubens, P. (2015). Journalists and public health professionals: Challenges of a Symbiotic Relationship. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 9(1), 59-63.

Bruckner, T.A., Kim, Y., Lubens, P., Singh, A., Snowden, L., & Chakravarthy, B. (2015). Emergency mental health services for children after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 1-8.

Garfin, D.R., Holman, E.A., Lubens, P., & Silver, R.C. (2014). Don't overlook television news content when linking TV-watching and all-cause mortality. Journal of the American Heart Association (Published online July 22, 2014).

Wiist, W.H., Barker, K., Arya, N., Rohde, J., Donohoe, M., White, S., Lubens, P., Gorman, G., & Hagopian, A. (2014). The role of public health in the prevention of war: Rationale and competencies. American Journal of Public Health, 104(6), e34-e47. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301778

Conference Presentations

Lubens, P. (2017, November). "How do soldiers grieve? A qualitative project exploring how U.S. combat veterans experience the combat and suicide deaths of comrades." Oral presentation at American Public Health Association annual meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Lubens, P., & Gorman, G. (2016, November). "Health consequences of the civil war in Syria and resultant refugee crisis: Missed opportunities for primary prevention?" Co-Moderator of panel discussion at American Public Health Association annual meeting, Denver, CO.

Redmond, S., Lubens, P., Silver, R. C. (2016, November). "Posttraumatic stress among photojournalists: An occupational hazard of repeated exposure to trauma." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, Dallas, TX.

Lubens, P. (2012, October). "Veterans and military family health: A ground-level view." Oral presentation at American Public Health Association annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.


PHSC 11 – Women’s Health
PHSC 100 – Epidemiology
PHSC 114 -- War and Public Health
PHSC139 – Experiential Learning in Public Health

Valeriote Goldman Symposium: Public Health & Social Justice