Josefina (she/her/ella) is a Propel Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health in the School of Medicine with Dr. Mathew Kiang’s lab. Her research is about health and socioeconomic inequities across the life course. She is interested in diverging outcomes across race/ethnicity and documentation status. Josefina earned her B.A. in psychology with a public health minor from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She pursued her doctoral education in sociology at UCLA as well. Her doctoral studies were supported by the Health Policy Research Scholars program, a program by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Centering Agency: Examining the Relationship between Acts of Resistance, Anxiety, and Depression Among Undocumented College Students SOCIETY AND MENTAL HEALTH Morales Hernandez, M., Flores Morales, J., Enriquez, L. E. 2024
  • Do ties protect? Examining economic insecurity and mental health in mixed-status families among undocumented undergraduates FAMILY RELATIONS Morales, J., Enriquez, L., Ayon, C. 2024

    View details for DOI 10.1111/fare.12992

    View details for Web of Science ID 001147743900001

  • Explaining obesity disparities by urbanicity, 2006 to 2016: A decomposition analysis. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) Zang, E., Flores Morales, J., Luo, L., Baid, D. 2023


    OBJECTIVE: A large, and potentially growing, disparity in obesity prevalence exists between large central metros and less urban United States counties. This study examines its key predictors.METHODS: Using a rich county-year data set spanning 2006 to 2016, the authors conducted a Gelbach decomposition to examine the relative importance of demographic, socioeconomic, environmental, and behavioral factors in shaping the baseline obesity gap and the growth rate over time between large central metros and other counties.RESULTS: Predictors included in this model explain almost the entire obesity gap between large central metros and other counties in the baseline year but can explain only ~32% of the growing gap. At baseline, demographic predictors explain more than half the obesity gap, and socioeconomic and behavioral predictors explain the other half. Behavioral and socioeconomic predictors explain more than half the growing gap over time whereas controlling for environmental and demographic predictors decreases the obesity gap by urbanicity over time.CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest policy makers should prioritize interventions targeting health behaviors of residents in non-large central metros to slow the growth of the obesity gap between large central metros and other counties. However, to fundamentally eliminate the obesity gap, in addition to improving health behaviors, policies addressing socioeconomic inequalities are needed.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/oby.23608

    View details for PubMedID 36621926

  • Aging and undocumented: The sociology of aging meets immigration status. Sociology compass Flores Morales, J. 2021; 15 (4): e12859


    Being undocumented is strongly correlated with low wages, employment in high risk occupations, and poor healthcare access. We know surprisingly little about the social lives of older undocumented adults despite the vast literature about youth and young undocumented migrants. Literature about the immigrant health paradox casts doubts on the argument that unequal social conditions translate to poorer self-reported health and mortality, but few of these studies consider immigration status as the dynamic variable that it is. Reviewing research about older migrants and minorities, I point to the emergence of undocumented older persons as a demographic group that merits attention from researchers and policymakers. This nexus offers important lessons for understanding stratification and inequality. This review offers new research directions that take into account multilevel consequences of growing old undocumented. Rather than arguing that older-aged undocumented migrants are aging into exclusion, I argue that we need careful empirical research to examine how the continuity of exclusion via policies can magnify inequalities on the basis of immigration status and racialization in older age.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/soc4.12859

    View details for PubMedID 33868455

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8047879