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McNair Scholar 2015Noussaiba Ayour

Noussaiba Ayour is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in biology, society, and environment and minoring in public health. Her research interests focus on the impact of psychosocial stress on the development of obesity. Ms. Ayour plans on attaining her M.P.H. in Community Health Promotion.

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My dream is to become an advocate for change that promotes healthier communities both nationally and internationally while being happy doing the work I love.

Research project

Intimate Partner Violence & Weight Gain in Young Women

Abstract: Intimate partner violence (IPV) and obesity are national public health problems. This study explored the association between IPV exposure during young adulthood and subsequent weight gain in young women. Data was retrieved from participants (N=619) in the longitudinal Project EAT study. Participant height and body weight were self-reported at study baseline and again at 5 years (EAT II) and 10 years (EAT III). IPV victimization was self-reported at EAT II in 2004. Linear regression analyses were conducted to examine 5-year (EAT II to EAT III) body mass index (BMI) change as a function of IPV exposure, and were adjusted for sociodemographics and baseline BMI. A positive association was found between sexual IPV and physical IPV and weight gain, with women exposed to both physical and sexual IPV gaining 1.62 kg/m2 (95% CI: 0.60 -2.63) more, over 5 years, than women unexposed to IPV. Survivors of IPV may be at heightened risk for accelerated weight gain, which warrants clinical attention. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Susan M. Mason is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. Mason attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she received her M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health in 2004 and her Ph.D. in Epidemiology in 2010. Her research specializes in understanding how stress affects women’s health, especially during the reproductive ages—young adulthood. Mason is published in multiple research journals and has presented her work at conferences nationwide. Mason has been a McNair faculty mentor for one year.