Wallis Adams, PhD Faculty Profile

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Wallis  Adams, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Sociology

My work focuses on mental health and health services; In particular, I explore issues of stigma, expertise, social inclusion, health social movements, and identity. I am currently leading two projects related to the ‘peer support’ workforce, a recovery-oriented mental health service in which individuals with lived experience of mental health conditions and service use provide non-clinical support services to others with similar histories. The first project draws on qualitative interviews with peer and non-peer staff to explore how experiential knowledge is accepted, rejected, integrated, and colonized within interprofessional mental healthcare teams in Massachusetts. The second is a national survey of peer support employees with the aim to assess changes in employment rates, work tasks, economic impact, challenges, and organizational/ interpersonal support due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related crises. Past research projects have focused on the intersection of behavioral health and the criminal justice system, multiple stigmas and stigma resistance, medication and identity, and barriers to social participation among public mental health service users. Prior to joining CSU East Bay, I taught the following courses:  Sociology of Mental Illness, Social Deviance, Law and Social Justice, Research Methods, Health and Society, and Sociology of Violence. Gender Pronouns: she/ her/ hers.

Sociology of Mental Health; Medical Sociology; Experiential Expertise and Professions; Stigma; Criminal Justice System Involvement; Community-Involved Mixed-Methods Research

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University
  • Ph.D., Sociology, Northeastern University
  • M.P.H. (Master of Public Health), California State University, Northridge
  • B.A., Gender Studies, Oberlin College
Spring Semester 2023
Course #SecCourse TitleDaysFromToLocationCampus
SOC 3831Mental Health and IllnessARRWEB-ASYNCHOnline Campus
SOC 41302Medical SociologyTTH10:00AM11:40AMWEB-SYNCHOnline Campus
SOC 49102Professional DevelopmentTH1:15PM2:15PMMI-4115Hayward Campus

Adams, W. 2020. (In Press). Unintended Consequences of Institutionalizing Peer Support Work in Mental Healthcare. Social Science & Medicine.

Scoglio, A., Adams, W., & Lincoln, A. (2020). Meaning and Management of Multiple Medications among Public Mental Health Service Users. Community Mental Health Journal, 56(2): 313-321

Adams, W., & Lincoln, A. (In Press). Forensic Peer Specialists: Training, Employment and Lived Experience. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.

Lincoln, A., Adams, W., Eyllon, M., Garverich, S, Prener, C., Griffith, J., Paasche-Orlow, M., & Hopper, K. (2017). The Double Stigma of Limited Literacy and Mental Illness: Examining barriers to recovery and participation among public mental health services users.  Society and Mental Health, 7(3): 121-141.

Guzzardo, M., Adams, W., Todorova, I., & Falcon, L. (2017). Harmonizing traditional beliefs with new realities: Social support experiences of Puerto Ricans with disabilities. Sage Open, 7(2).

Lincoln, A., & Adams, W. (2016). “Understandings of community among people using publicly funded community mental health services”. Book Chapter in Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 17: 50 Years after Deinstitutionalization: Mental Illness in Contemporary Communities, Ed. Brea Perry. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Guzzardo, M., Adams, W., Todorova, I., & Falcon, L. (2016). Resonating sentiments on Puerto Rican identity through poetry: Voices of the diaspora. Qualitative Inquiry, 22(5): 428-443.

Guzzardo, M., Todorova, I., Adams, W., & Falcon, L. (2016). “Half here, half there”: Dialogical selves among older Puerto Ricans of the diaspora. Journal of Constructive Psychology, 29(1): 51-65.

Adams, W., Todorova, I., Guzzardo, M., & Falcon, L. (2015). “The problem here is that they want to solve everything with pills”: Medication use and identity among Mainland Puerto Ricans. Sociology of Health and Illness, 37(6): 904-919.

Adams, W., Todorova, I., & Falcon, L.  (2015). Puerto Rican Victimization and Crime on the Mainland: The Role of Acculturation. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 37(1): 59-74.

Todorova, I., Guzzardo, M., Adams, W., & Falcon, L. (2015). Gratitude and Longing: Meanings of Health in Aging for Puerto Rican Adults in the Mainland.  Journal of Health Psychology, 20(12): 1602-1612.