Andrea DeMaria

Andrea DeMaria


Dr. Andrea DeMaria is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health. She is a passionate mentor, researcher, and explorer—the HHS study abroad programs she pioneered, which blend facets of health, culture, and personal development, demonstrate this.

Upon her arrival at Purdue University in 2016, Dr. DeMaria began conversations about conducting part of her research agenda in Italy, which organically developed into a research-based study abroad program, first implemented in Summer 2017. Her women’s health program in Florence, Italy, where she and her students conduct international reproductive health research and engage in immersive field experiences, is one of HHS’s only long-term, research-based programs. Outcomes include a robust dataset, student co-authored research manuscripts, and rich cultural development. Her program is spearheading innovative approaches to study abroad. Dr. DeMaria values partnership in her study abroad programs, partnering with Florence University of the Arts and local businesses to ensure successful student-community engagement and rich, culturally-centered research results. To date, her programs have provided opportunities for 70+ HHS students.

From 2017 through 2019 (2020 canceled due to COVID-19), Dr. DeMaria and her students have conducted 118 in-depth interviews with English-speaking women and men aged 18–50 living in or near Florence, Italy, who were using the Italian health care system. This ongoing research project has explored 1) reproductive health and family planning decision making; 2) sexual health experiences and condom purchasing; 3) genital health, hygiene, and menstruation he researchers; 4) la bella figura, cultural ideals, and social norms; and 5) pregnancy and breastfeeding, among other related topics. These concepts were explored at the intersection of attitudes, behaviors, and cultural constructs specific to Italy.

To date, Dr. DeMaria and many of her program participants have co-authored 8 publications, with an additional 3 more papers in various stages of review. Findings have been presented nationally and internationally, including presentations in Ireland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, and California. Dr. DeMaria’s program empowers students to learn and apply that knowledge from pre-departure to in-country, and beyond.


Contextualizing challenges of reproduction and motherhood in Florence, Italy:a qualitative study

Examining Consumer Purchase Behaviors and Attitudes toward Condom and Pharmacy Vending Machines in
Italy: A Qualitative Study

Breastfeeding trends, influences, and perceptions among Italian women: a qualitative study

La Bella Figura: The role of a cultural philosophy on Italian consumerism

‘It’s just a very personal thing’: contraceptive influences and decision making among women living in Italy

"It's not perfect, but it's mine": Genital self-image among women living in Italy 

“You have to be clean:” a qualitative study of pubic hair grooming behaviours among women living in Italy

Condom-vending machines in Italy: a qualitative exploration of gender
differences to improve promotion and use

“And Understand I am a Person and Not Just a Number:” Reproductive Healthcare Experiences of Italian Women

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