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Sandra Soto

Assistant Professor

shsoto@live.unc.edu

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 5106

Currently Accepting PhD Students

Dr. Soto is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the social influences of physical activity and dietary intake among Hispanic individuals. By incorporating Hispanic cultural values, Dr. Soto aims to develop effective behavioral modification interventions to prevent and manage chronic diseases.

She received NIH funding for her dissertation through the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA F31) from the National Institute of Nursing Research (1F31NR015965-01A1). Her dissertation studied how children and their acculturation impacts their Hispanic mothers’ dietary intake and related behaviors. Recently, as a T32 trainee at the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she has developed skills in intervention development and dyadic research on physical activity support among couples with osteoarthritis.

As a North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (TraCS) Pilot Grant Awardee (UL1TR002489), she used qualitative methods to explore dyadic support for physical activity among Hispanic women with osteoarthritis. This preliminary study will inform a culturally sensitive dyadic intervention for Hispanics with osteoarthritis and their self-selected physical activity supporter.

2018 Meritorious Student Abstract Award
Society of Behavioral Medicine’s (SBM) Annual Conference
How does gender moderate the association between partner support for physical activity and physical activity among individuals with osteoarthritis?
2016 GMaP Travel Award
Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities
2016 Underrepresented Student Workshop Travel Award
The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology
2016 Meritorious Student Abstract Award
Society of Behavioral Medicine’s (SBM) Annual Conference
Leisure-time physical activity and social network support among Latinas
2015 – 2016 Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer (TREC) scholarship
Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego
2014 Student Travel Fund Award
San Diego State University Division of Research Affairs
2013 Meritorious Student Abstract Award
Society of Behavioral Medicine’s (SBM) Annual Conference
Social support for physical activity among Latinas living in San Diego County
2012 Annual Conference Scholarship
Society for Public Health Education, San Diego Chapter

Troxel, M., Linas, K., Jacobstein, D., Biel, M., Soto, S.H., Lorenzo-Hubert, I., Dos-Santos, S., Mendez R., Anthony, B.J. (in press). Implementing Autism Screening for Latino Children in Primary Care: Perspectives from Parents and Providers. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 12(2).

Soto, S.H., Arredondo, E.M., Shakya, H.B., Roesch, S., Marcus, B., Parada, H., Ayala, G.X. (2019). Family environment, children’s acculturation and mothers’ dietary intake and behaviors among Latinas: an autoregressive cross-lagged study. Social Science & Medicine. 228, 93-102.

Arredondo, E.M., Ayala, G.X., Soto, S.H., Slymen, D., Horton, L.A., Parada, H., Campbell, N., Ibarra, L., Engelberg, M., Elder, J. (2018). Latina mothers as agents of change in children’s eating habits: Findings from the randomized controlled trial Entre Familia: Reflejos de Salud. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 15(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12966-018-0714-0

Soto, S.H., Arredondo, E.M., Ayala, G.X., Marcus, B., Shakya, H.B. (2018). Exploring how children influence their Latina mothers’ dietary behaviors: qualitative interviews with mothers of bicultural and assimilated children. Appetite, 129, 217-227. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.06.040

Soto, S.H., Sanz, S., Merchant, K.M., Nichols, J.M., Arredondo, E.M. (2018). Lessons learned from a feasibility study delivered in two WIC sites to promote physical activity among pregnant Latinas. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2018.04.004

Soto, S.H., Arredondo, E.M., Marcus, B., Shakya, H.B., Roesch, S., Ayala, G. X. (2017). Effects of Latino children on their mothers’ dietary intake and dietary behaviors: the role of children’s acculturation and the mother-child acculturation gap. Social Science & Medicine, 191, 125-133. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.09.004

Soto, S.H., Haughton, J., Arredondo, E.M., Shakya, H. (2017). Leisure-time physical activity and characteristics of social network support for exercise among Latinas. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32(2), 432-439. DOI: org/10.1177/0890117117699927

Kowitt, S., Ayala, G. X., Cherrington, A., Horton, L.A., Safford, M. M., Soto, S.C., Tang, T.S., Fisher, F., B. (2017). Examining the Support Peer Supporters Provide Using Structural Equation Modeling: Nondirective and Directive Support in Diabetes Management. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(6), 810-821. DOI: 10.1007/s12160-017-9904-2

Perez L.G., Chavez A., Marquez D.X., Soto S.C., Haughton J., & Arredondo E.M. (2016). Associations of acculturation with self-report and objective physical activity and sedentary behaviors among Latinas. Health Education & Behavior, 51(6), 810-821. DOI: 10.1177/1090198116669802.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E.M., Villodas, M.T, Elder, J.P., Quintanar, E., Madanat, H. (2016). Depression and chronic health conditions among Latinos: the role of social networks. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 18(6), 1292-1300. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-016-0378-2.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E.M., Horton, L.A., Ayala, G.X. (2016). Validation of the Modified Parenting Strategies for Eating and Physical Activity Scale-Diet (PEAS-Diet) in Latino Children. Appetite, 98, 55-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.12.003.

Soto, S.C., Louie, S., Cherrington, A., Parada, H., Horton, L.A., Ayala, G.X. (2015). An ecological perspective on diabetes self-care support, self-management behaviors, and hemoglobin A1C among Latinos. The Diabetes Educator, 41(2), 214-223. DOI: 0145721715569078.

Bronheim, S.M., Soto, S.C., Anthony, B.J. (2015) Addressing disparities in access to information for Hispanic families of children with special health care needs. Journal of Health Disparities and Practice: 8(2), 29-46.

Soto, S.C., Linas, K., Malloy, M., Jacobstein, D.M., Biel, M.G., Migdal, T., Anthony, B. (2015). A review of cultural adaptations of screening tools for autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 19(6), 646-661. DOI: org/10.1177/1362361314541012.

Book Chapters

Soto, S.C., Chavez, A., Haughton, J., Arredondo, E.M. (2018). Development of culturally appropriate strategies for promoting physical activity. Bopp, M. (Ed.), Physical Activity and diverse populations: evidence and practice. Routledge.

Manuscripts in Press

Soto, S.H., Callahan, L.F., Bahorski, S., Altpeter, M., Hales, D., Phillips, A., Carthron, D., Rini, C. (in press). The role of cohabitating partner and relationship characteristics on physical activity among individuals with osteoarthritis. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Submitted Manuscripts

SCIENTIFIC ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Rini, C., Hales, D., Bahorski, S., Altpeter, M., Carthron, D., Phillips, A., Upchurch, J., Griesemer, I., Wasser, H., Soto, S.H., Rimmler, S., Patel, B., Ellis, K., and Callahan, L.F. (2018). Dyadic Study of Partner Social Support for Physical Activity and Its Role in the Initiation and Maintenance of Increased Physical Activity Among Insufficiently Active People with Hip/Knee Osteoarthritis. Abstract presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Professionals Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL.

Soto, S.H., Callahan, L.F., Bahorski, S., Altpeter, M., Phillips, A., Hales, D., Rini, C. (2018). How does gender moderate the association between partner support for physical activity and physical activity among individuals with osteoarthritis? Paper presentation at the 39th Annual Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E.M., Horton, L., Strong, D., Ayala, G.X. (2014). Factor Analysis of a modified Parenting Strategies for Eating and Physical Activity Scale (PEAS) in Latino Children. Short oral presentation at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity’s Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E.M. (2013). Motivational interviews in a physical activity intervention among Latinas. Oral presentation at the San Diego State University Student Research Symposium, San Diego, CA.

Soto, S.C., Thomas, M., Anthony, B. (2012). Increasing access to information and support for families of children with special needs. Oral presentation at the 25th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference, Tampa, FL.

Anthony, B., Soto, S.C., Holland, C. (2012). Using a Delphi study process to refine a model of technical assistance. Oral presentation at the 25th Annual Children’s Mental Health Research and Policy Conference, Tampa, FL.

SCIENTIFIC POSTER PRESENTATIONS

Soto, S.H., Callahan, L.F., Bahorski, S., Altpeter, M., Carthron, D., Rini, C. (2019). Dyadic influences on spousal companionship support for physical activity among individuals with osteoarthritis. Poster presentation at the 40th Annual Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting, Washington, DC.

Soto, S.H., Arredondo, E.M, Ayala, G.X., Marcus, B., Shakya, H.B. (2018). Exploring how bicultural and assimilated children influence their Latina mothers’ diet. Poster presentation at the 39th Annual Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Soto, S.H., Arredondo, E.M, Roesch, S., Marcus, B. Shakya, H., Ayala, G.X. (2017). Family-level factors and dietary intake among Latinas: An autoregressive cross-lagged analysis. Poster presentation at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity’s Annual Meeting, Victoria, BC.

Soto, S. H., Arredondo, E. M., Marcus, B., Shakya, H., Roesch, S., Ayala, G. X. (2017). The role of Latino children’s acculturation on their mothers’ dietary intake and dietary behaviors. Poster presentation at the 38th Annual Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Breton, J., Soto, S.H., (2017). Exploring why some traditional Latina mothers are more permissive with their children’s dietary intake. Poster presentation at the 4th  Annual Conference for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, San Diego, CA. (mentee presentation)

Soto, S.C., Shakya, H., Haughton, J., Arredondo, E.M. (2016). Leisure-time physical activity and social network support among Latinas. Poster presentation at the 37th Annual Society of Behavioral Medicine Meeting, Washington, DC.

Soto, S.C., Shakya, H., Haughton, J., Arredondo, E.M. (2016). Leisure time moderate-to-physical activity and the role of social network support for physical activity among adult Latinas. Poster presentation at the Active Living Research Conference, Clearwater, FL.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E.A., Elder, J., Quintanar, E., Madanat, H. (2015). Depression and chronic health conditions among Latinos: the role of social networks. Poster presentation at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Soto, S.C., Sanz, S., Montanez, J., Merchant, K., Nichols, J., Arredondo, E.A. (2015). A pilot study to promote physical activity among pregnant women enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Poster presentation at the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools’ Professional Development Workshop, Bethesda, MD.

Soto, S.C., Louie, L., Cherrington, A., Ayala, G.X. (2014). An ecological perspective on perceived social support and diabetes self-care behaviors. Poster presentation at the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E., Horton, L., Strong, D., Ayala, G.X. (2014). Validation of a modified Parenting Strategies for Eating and Physical Activity Questionnaire in Latino Children. Poster presentation at the San Diego State University 2013 Student Research Symposium, San Diego, CA.

Bronheim, S., Soto, S.C., Thomas, J., Anthony, B. (2013). Addressing disparities in access to information for Hispanic families of children with special health care needs: Increasing use of family-to-family centers. Poster presented at the 141st American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

Soto, S.C., Arredondo, E., Holub, C., Ayala, G.X., Elder, J., Chanson, D., Burke, K., Haughton, J. (2013). Social support for physical activity among Latinas living in San Diego County. Poster presented at the 34th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Francisco, CA.

2018 – 2019 Pilot grant award, NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (TraCS) (UL1TR002489)
Role: PI
Exploring physical activity motivation between Latinas with osteoarthritis and their supportive person
2018 – 2019 Matching grant award, Thurston Arthritis Research Center
Role: PI
Exploring physical activity motivation between Latinas with osteoarthritis and their supportive person
2017 – 2019 Post-Doctoral Traineeship, NIH National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) T32 Postdoctoral Training Fellow (2T32NR007091)
Role: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Interventions for the prevention and management of chronic illness
2016 – 2017 Predoctoral Fellowship, NIH National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) F31, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (1F31NR015965-01A1)
Role: Predoctoral Fellow
Parent/child acculturation and family dynamics: Impact on Latina mothers’ diet
2016 Research Mini-Grant Award
Undergraduate Research Program, Division of Undergraduate Studies, San Diego State University
Role: PI/Mentor for undergraduate student
Children’s influence on their Latino mothers’ dietary behaviors: A qualitative analysis
2012 – 2015 Community Engagement Award
Howell Foundation
Role: Program Coordinator
Promoting physical activity among pregnant Latinas: For Our Health
  • Chronic illness prevention from a family and interpersonal perspective among minority populations
  • Behavioral science
  • Physical activity intervention