Yumary Ruiz

Yumary Ruiz

Associate Professor
Office: Matthews Hall 214D
Phone: (765) 494-9112
Email: ruiz46@purdue.edu

Research Interests:

Dr. Yumary Ruiz’s research focuses on youth health disparities and protective factors that enable youth to overcome adversity. She uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to identify specific interactions between cognitive processes (e.g., attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge) and social factors (e.g., migration) that affect health. Her work also seeks to identify health-promoting mechanisms, such as social support (e.g., parents, adult mentors, providers) and individual characteristics (e.g., resilience and coping strategies) that can be targeted to mitigate the harmful effects of socioeconomic and health disadvantages. The overarching goal of her research program is to develop innovative and empirically based interventions (e.g., use of mentors, provider–parent collaborations, and community health workers) to reduce health disparities among youth.

Currently Dr. Ruiz’s research focuses in the following areas:

  • Latinx Health and Wellbeing: Understanding how population mobility, vulnerability, coping and resilience affect the health and well-being of Latinx populations, with a particular emphasis on Latinx youth.
  • Health Behaviors among Vulnerable Youth: Identifying the influence of multilevel factors on behavior and highlight the protective role of social factors (i.e., caregivers, providers, adult-mentors) on negative health outcomes.
  • Intervention Research and Health Disparities: Applying community-engaged and community participatory research approaches to enhance competencies among practitioners, community organizations, indigenous leaders (e.g., community health workers), and youth to conduct health promotion research and activities and empower communities to reduce health disparities.

Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Spencer Foundation, the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and several other funders.  She has published in prominent journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, Pediatrics, Contraception, Global Public Health, Journal of Adolescence Research, Social Development, American Journal of Sexuality Education, and Children and Youth Services Review. She began her career as a public health practitioner, where she developed expertise in developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based initiatives to address childhood health and safety hazards in low-income, resource-poor neighborhoods.

Dr. Ruiz teaches undergraduate and master’s level public health courses.

Public Health Research Lab:

Dr. Ruiz is recruiting research assistants to work in her research lab. Please click here to apply.

Prospective Graduate Students:

Dr. Ruiz is accepting graduate students interested in health disparities amoung youth. Students interested in earning an MS or PhD under the supervision of Dr. Ruiz should contact her via email at ruiz46@purdue.edu.  Please note "Interested in (insert MS or PhD)" in email subject heading.


  • 2006, PhD, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Purdue University
  • 2000, MPH, Community Health Education, Department of Health Sciences, San Jose State University
  • 1996, BS, Biology, College of Life Sciences, University of California Los Angeles

Selected Publications:

Google Scholar

  • Ruiz, Y., Taylor, Z.E., & Cavin, R. (2020). Parent-child communication as a protective factor against adolescent substance use: Reported narratives from youth from Latinx Farmworker Families. Journal of Adolescence. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0743558420906084 
  • Guilamo-Ramos, V., Benzekri, A., Thimm-Kaiser, M., Dittus, P., Ruiz, Y., Cleland, C.M. & McCoy, W. (in press) A triadic intervention for adolescent sexual health: A randomized clinical trial. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.02.025
  • McDavid, L., McDonough, M., Wong, J., Snyder, F., Ruiz, Y., Blankenship, B. (in press). Effects of a Summer Physical Activity-Based Positive Youth Development Program on Academic Outcomes.  Journal of Adolescence
  • Taylor, Z. E., & Ruiz, Y. (2019). Executive function, dispositional resilience, and cognitive engagement in Latinx children of migrant farmworkers. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 57-63. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.02.025
  • Ruiz, Y., Riciputi, S., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Chang Alexander, S. (2019). Exploring views about LARCs among parenting rural Latinx teenagers, their mothers, and providers: Implications for sexualityeducation and care. American Journal of Sexuality Education. doi:10.1080/15546128.2018.1537199
  • Taylor, Z. E., Ruiz, Y., & Nair, (2019). The role of ego-resiliency on adjustment and academic efficacy: A convergent mixed-method examination of children in Latino migrant farmworker families. Social Development, 28, 200-217. doi:10.1111/sode.12328
  • Guilamo-Ramos, V., Bowman, A., Benzekri, A., Ruiz, Y., Beltran, O. (2018) Misalignment of sexual and reproductive health priorities among older Latino adolescents and their mothers. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2018.11.011
  • 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. doi:10.1037/rmh0000082
  • Guilamo-Ramos, V., Lee, J. J., Ruiz, Y., Hagan, H., Delva, M., Quiñones, Z., & Kamler, A., Robles, G. (2015). Illicit drug use and HIV risk in the Dominican Republic: Tourism areas create drug use opportunities. Global Public Health, 10, 318-330. 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. doi:2105/AJPH.2013.301770
  • 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. doi:2105/AJPH.2011.300429 
  • Azar, C.F., & Ruiz, Y. (2003). “We are all public health”: September 11th and its aftermath through the eyes of public health educators at ground zero. Health Promotion Practice, 4, 362-366. doi:1177/1524839903255771


  • Guttmacher, S., Kelly, P.J., & Ruiz-Janecko, Y (2010). Community-based health interventions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Selected Presentations

  • Amireault, S., Spencer, J., Ruiz, Y., & Lane, S. (June, 2019). Do types of physical activity impact alcohol consumption differently among university students? North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Baltimore, MD.
  • Kanani, J., Ruiz, Y., McDavid, L., McDonough, M. H., & Snyder, F. J. (April, 2019). Are they too young? Views about community and community change from young adolescents. Indiana Public Health Association, West Lafayette, IN.
    • Awarded the “2nd Place Outstanding Poster Award” 
  • Ruiz, Y., McDavid, L., Gundlach, E., Vinze, S., McDonough, M.H., DeBate, R. & Snyder, F.J. (March, 2019). Perceptions of e-cigarette safety among pre-adolescents and young adolescents from low-income families living in the Midwest: A mixed methods study. [Poster presentation] American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB), Greenville, SC.
  • Ruiz, Y., Riciputi, S., McDonough, M.H., McDavid, L., & Snyder, F.J. (November, 2018) Substance use communication and person-level antecedents of alcohol and e-cigarette expectancies among multi-ethnic preadolescents from low-income families.  [Oral presentation] American Public Health Association (APHA), San Diego, CA.
  • Taylor, Z. E., & Ruiz, Y. (May, 2018). Executive function, resilience, and academic engagement in Latino children of migrant farmworkers. [Poster presentation] 30th Association for Psychological Science (APS) Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA.
  • Knisel, E., McDonough, M.H., Ruiz, Y., Snyder, F., McDavid, M.L. (May, 2018). Examining decision-making and critical thinking in a physical-activity-based positive youth development program for youth from low-income families, [Poster presentation] Congress of the European College of Sport Science Annual Conference, Cologne, Germany.
  • Ruiz, Y., Taylor, Z.E., Cavin, R., Arkans, E.L., & Gomez Hastamorir, O.F. (March, 2018). 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.
    • Awarded the “2018 Outstanding Research Poster” 
  • Ross, C., Snyder, F. J., McDonough, M. H., McDavid, L., Riciputi, S., Blankenship, B. T., & Ruiz, Y. (April, 2018). E-cigarette use and its association with future combustible cigarette use among children and young adolescents from low-income families. [Poster presentation] Adolescent Health Conference. Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Ruiz, Y., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Alexander, S.C., & Ramos-Ortiz, J. (November, 2017). 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, GA.
  • Ruiz, Y., Taylor, Z., & Cavin, R. Children’s (November, 2017). Perceptions of parent-child communication about alcohol and tobacco use in Latino migrant farm worker families. [Poster presentation] American Public Health Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • Riciputi, S., Snyder, F.J. , Boyer, P., McDonough, M.H., Blankenship, B.T., Ruiz, Y., McDavid, L., Wynkoop, R., Thomas, J., Nicley, D., & McKee, R.K. 4-H PALS: A physical-activity based positive youth development program for urban youth. (November, 2017). [Poster presentation] National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Annual Conference. Indianapolis, IN.
  • Taylor, Z. E. & Ruiz, Y. (June, 2017). Resilience in Latino children of migrant farmworkers: A mixed methods approach. [Oral presentation] Pathways to Resilience IV: Global South Perspectives Conference. Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Snyder F. J., McDonough, M. H., Riciputi, S., McDavid, L., Boyer, P., Ruiz, Y., & Blankenship, B. (April, 2017). Electronic and combustible cigarette use among children and young adolescents from low-income families. [Poster presentation] Society for Public Health Education, Denver, CO.
  • Majed, E., Ruiz, Y., Snyder, F. J., McDonough, M. H., McDavid, L., & Blankenship, B. T. (April, 2017). Social capital and developmental assets predict prosocial bystander behavior among youth in a physical activity-based positive youth development intervention. [Poster presentation], Indiana Public Health Association, West Lafayette, IN. 

Courses Recently Taught

  • PUBH 492 (formally HK 496): Mentoring Research in Public Health
  • PUBH 320 (formally HK 366): Health Behavior & Health Promotion
  • PUBH 225 (formally HK 226): Contemporary Women’s Health
  • PUBH 205 (formally HK 215): Basic Public Health Studies
  • PUBH 602 (formally HK 576): Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior


  • 2020-2021. A Pilot Intervention to Increase Sports Enjoyment and Physical Activity in Girls Clifford B. Kinley Trust Award, Purdue University. Co-Investigator (PI: Dr. Jorge Banda, Department of Public Health). $20,000
  • 2019-2024. Indiana CYFAR Sustainable Community Project – Indiana JUNTOS. United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Dr. Casey Down Mull, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service). $640,000.  
  • 2019-2021. Factors Associated with the Maintenance of Physical Activity Beyond Program Termination: A Longitudinal Investigation Among Rural Older Adults. Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Co-Investigator (PIs: Dr. Steve Amireault, Health & Kinesiology; Dr. Angela Abbot, Purdue Extension, Health and Human Sciences). $24,430.
  • 2018-2019. Exploring Substance Use and Intentions among Pre- and Young Adolescents from Low-Income Families: Risk and Protective Factors. Clifford B. Kinley Trust Award, Purdue University. Co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Lindley McDavid, Evaluation and Learning Research Center). $20,000.
  • 2016-2017. Mental and Physical Health in Children of Latino Migrat Farm Workers (LMFWs): A Longitudinal Multi-Level Approach Examining Risk and Protective Factors. The Spencer Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Zoe Taylor, Human Development and Family Studies). $50,000.
  • 2016-2017. Children in Rural Indiana Migrant Farmworker Families: An Examination of Educational Aspirations and Health. Agricultural Research and Extension Leading to Economic Development in Indiana Agriculture and Rural Communities (AgSEED). Co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Zoe Taylor, Human Development and Family Studies) $50,000.
  • 2016. Providers, patient, and parent perspectives on contraceptive decision-making in Latina adolescents who have experienced a recent pregnancy. Purdue Research Foundation Summer Faculty Grant Program. Principal Investigator. $8,000.
  • 2015-2016. Providers, Patient, and Parent Perspectives on Contraceptive Decision -making in Latina Teens Who Have Experienced a Recent Pregnancy. Clifford B. Kinley Trust Award, Purdue University. Principal Investigator. $20,000.
  • 2014-2019. Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk Sustainable Community Projects (CYFAR) / 4-H PALS Purdue University Sustainable Community Project. United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Co-Principal Investigator, started serving is this role 2016 (PI: Renee McKee, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service). $601,542.


  • 2019 - Faculty Member of the Year Award, Public Health Graduate Program, Purdue University
  • 2018 - Outstanding Research Poster Award, American Academy of Health Behavior
  • 2017 - Featured Grantee for Spencer Foundation Award