PMCH - Division of Sociomedical Sciences
Department of Family Medicine - Director, Research Program
B.A. Social Science, University of California, Irvine, California
Ph.D. Social Science, University of California, Irvine, California
Dr. Weller’s PhD is in Social Science and her expertise is in the area of research methods (statistics, epidemiology, and data collection). She is skilled in both qualitative and quantitative methods. She has two books on methods: Systematic Data Collection (Sage Pub) covers a wide variety of interviewing and data collection methods and Metric Scaling (Sage Pub.) covers multivariate techniques of principal components, multidimensional scaling, and correspondence analysis. For over a decade, she has been the co-director and a teacher in the National Science Foundation’s Summer Institute for Research Design. Her research interests focus on minority health issues with a focus on the measurement of beliefs. She is the co-developer of the Cultural Consensus Model (Romney, Weller, &Batchelder 1986; Romney, Batchelder, & Weller 1987; Weller 2007), a formal mathematical model for the assessment of cultural beliefs. Her research (funded by NSF) concerns the measurement of beliefs and practices among Latinos in Guatemala, Mexico, South Texas, and Connecticut. Papers include studies of Latino beliefs about AIDS/SIDA, diabetes, asthma, the common cold, and folk illnesses, as well as comparisons between community and physician beliefs on AIDS, diabetes, and the common cold. Research on diabetes also has examined the effectiveness of diabetes screening guidelines using the NHANES data (in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dallo& Weller 2003). She is also the co-author on the meta-analysis of condom effectiveness for sexually transmitted HIV (Davis & Weller 1999; Weller & Davis 2001) and served on the federal consensus panel to summarize research concerning condoms and sexually transmitted diseases. Current work concerns decision-making of Galveston residents when asked to evacuate for hurricane Ike. Another project is examining beliefs about the common cold and H1N1 flu in the US and Mexico.