Yumary Ruiz

Dr. Yumary Ruiz is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Purdue University.  She has expertise in migration research, qualitative research methods, and applied public health research that informs community-based initiatives that target health disparities. Her scientific studies examine how individual decision-making processes interact with societal factors to influence health. Her work is innovative in that it identifies not only negative impacts, but also protective factors. Her research program includes two related lines of inquiry.

In her first line of research, she explores population mobility and its impact on risk and health promotive factors. Particularly, she examines health stressors faced by children of Latino Migrant Farmworker families and seeks to identify protective factors that help these children cope. This work is guided by a socioecological framework that integrates migration theory, cumulative risk theory, and risk-and-resilience theory. Recently, pilot study revealed that these children are at high-risk for depression, anxiety, and substance use (Taylor & Ruiz, 2018), but also uncovered coping strategies, including encouragement and communication with their family and individual-level traits such as perseverance and optimism as protective factors (Ruiz, et al., under review).

In her second line of research, Dr. Ruiz, examines how the individual and social environment interact to influence decision-making processes that underlie risky behavior among vulnerable youth. In this area, Dr. Ruiz has been working on two initiatives. In the first initiative, she examines the protective role of prosocial factors on risky decision-making among multi-ethnic low-income adolescents who participate in an out-of-school positive youth development program.  Particularly, this project, which is guided by a positive youth development framework, and explores the influence of individual and social processes on substance use decision-making. In the second initiative, she investigates contraceptive decision-making among adolescent Latina mothers, and explores how nurses and parents might support these vulnerable teens. Most recently, Dr. Ruiz applies the Unified Theory of Behavior Change framework to examine contraceptive behaviors among Latina adolescent mothers (ages 15-19) and to explore how nurses and mothers support protective contraceptive behaviors among these at-risk teen mothers who reside in rural areas.  Dr. Ruiz has worked extensively at the community-level and as a public health practitioner she has expertise in developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based initiatives.

 Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&pli=1&user=J7fMhsYAAAAJ

Public Health Research Lab

Dr. Ruiz is recruiting research assistants and interns to work in her research lab.  Interested students should email resume to ruiz46@purdue.edu.  Please note “Dr. Ruiz Research Lab” in email subject heading.

Prospective Graduate Students 

Dr. Ruiz is recruiting graduate students interested in reducing health disparities among pre- and adolescent youth. Students interested in earning an MS or PhD in health promotion under the supervision of Dr. Ruiz should contact her via email.  Please note “Interested in (insert MS or PHD) in Health Promotion” in email subject heading.


Ph.D., Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (2006)
M.P.H., Community Health Education, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA (2000)
B.S., Biology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (1996)

Selected Publications:

  • Taylor, Z. E. & Ruiz, Y. (2017). Contextual stressors and the mental health outcomes of Latino children in rural migrant farmworker families in the Midwest. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 41(4), 284-298. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rmh0000082 
  • Guilamo-Ramos, V., Lee, J. J., Ruiz, Y., Hagan, H., Delva, M., Quiñones, Z., Kamler, A., Robles, G. (2014). Illicit drug use and HIV risk in the Dominican Republic: Tourism areas create drug use opportunities. Global Public Health, 1-13. Published online, October 20, 2014 DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2014.966250.
  • Ruiz, Y., Guilamo-Ramos, V., McCarthy, K., Muñoz-Laboy, M.A., Lourdes Rosas López, M. (2014). Exploring Migratory Dynamics on HIV Transmission: The Case of Mexicans in New York City and Puebla, Mexico. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1036-1044
  • Ruiz, Y., Matos, S, Kapadia, S., Islam, N., Cusack, A., Kwong, S., & Trinh-Shevrin, C. (2012). Lessons Learned from a Community-Academic Initiative (CAI): The Development of a Core Competency-Based Training for CAI-Community Health Workers. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 2372-2379. 
  • Azar, C.F. & Ruiz, Y. (2003). “We are all Public Health”: September 11 and its aftermath through the eyes of public health educators at ground zero. Health Promotion Practice, 4, 362-366


  • Guttmacher, S., Kelly, P.J., & Ruiz-Janecko, Y# (2010). Community-Based Health Interventions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Selected Presentations

  • Ruiz, Y., Taylor, Z.E., Cavin, R.,3 Arkans, E.L.,1 & Gomez Hastamorir, O.F. 1 Educational challenges and supportive resources associated with the academic success of Latino children in migrant farmworker families. [Poster presentation] American Academy of Health Behavior, Portland, OR., March, 2018
  • Ruiz, Y.,* Guilamo-Ramos, V., Alexander, S.C., & Ramos-Ortiz, J.3  Health care provider’s perceptions of providing dual‐protection contraceptive counseling to previously pregnant Latina teenagers: Addressing adolescent sexual reproductive health in rural communities. [Poster presentation] American Public Health Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November, 2017
  • Ruiz, Y.*, Taylor, Z., & Cavin, R.3 Children’s perceptions of parent-child communication about alcohol and tobacco use in Latino migrant farm worker families.  [Poster presentation] American Public Health Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November, 2017
  • Snyder, F. J.,* McDonough, M. H., Riciputi, S.,2 McDavid, L., Boyer, P.,2 Ruiz, Y., & Blankenship, B. Electronic and combustible cigarette use among children and young adolescents from low-income families.  [Poster presentation] Society for Public Health Education, Denver, CO. April 2017.
  • Kapadia, S.,* Guttmacher, S., Kwon, S., Shijian, L., Park, R., Rey, M., Ruiz, Y., Shapiro, E., Trinh-Shevrin, C., Van Devanter, N., Islam, N. (2012 Evaluation of a community-based participatory research student training program [Poster Presentation] American Public Health Association, San Francisco, CA. October 2012.
  • Matos, S.,* Ruiz, Y., Kapadia, S., Islam, N., Cusack, A., Kwong, S., Hicks, A., Yu, K.,1 Trinh-Shevrin, C.  & Rey, M. Lessons learned from a Community-Academic Initiative (CAI): The development of a core competency-based training for CAI-community health workers. [Oral Presentation] American Public Health Association, Washington, DC. October 2011.
  • Kapadia, F,* Ruiz Y, & Bello V.2 Formal and informal social support and social ties among recent male and female migrants from Puebla, Mexico. [Poster Presentation] American Public Health Association, Washington, DC. October 2011.
  • Ruiz Y, * Kapadia F, Bello V.2 Influence of recent migration on sexual and contraceptive decision making among migrants from Puebla, Mexico residing in New York City. [Roundtable Presentation] American Public Health Association, Washington, DC. October 2011.


Yumary Ruiz

Assistant Professor

Lambert, Room 106D
Phone: (765) 494-9112
Fax: (765) 496-1239
Email: ruiz46@purdue.edu

Health Promotion/Public Health

Health & Kinesiology, 800 W. Stadium Ave., West Lafayette, IN 47907, PH:(765) 494-3170, Fax: (765) 496-1239

2016 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Health & Kinesiology

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue Marketing and Media at marketing@purdue.edu.