Dr. Mindi Spencer

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Columbia, South Carolina
United States

Focus Areas

Aging / Gerontology
Social Justice
Gender Issues


Dr. Mindi Spencer received her Ph.D. in Life-Span Developmental Psychology from West Virginia University in 2006, with Graduate Certificates in Gerontology and Women’s Studies. Her research focuses on how cultural and psychosocial factors contribute to decreased quality of life in older adulthood. During graduate school, she was involved in collaborative, published research on health-related quality of life in Appalachia, rural aging, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and disability and health care access among American Indian elders. She received recognition for her work by selection as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Minority Aging Network In Psychology, Grantmakers in Aging Fellow, AARP Scholar, and Health Disparities Scholar by the National Institutes of Health. As a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Spencer continued her work across two main lines of research. The first was an attempt to understand sociocultural stress and coping among American Indian and African American caregivers. For the second, she used epidemiologic data to understand racial variations in the tandem interaction of self-report and performance-based measures of physical functioning. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that the results of her research have relevance to long-term care policy and late-life disability prevention. Dr. Spencer will continue her work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina, with a joint appointment in the Institute for Southern Studies.