Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research


We Can Do More (WCDM): Assessing Implicit Bias and Related Factors among Reproductive Health Professionals.

Project Overview

The objective of this formative research study is to assess mental associations, attitudes, and stereotypes towards attributes associated with contraception methods and race/ethnicity among Harris County providers who work in reproductive health settings.


The overall purpose of this study is a part of a larger contraception access initiative whose aim is to expand contraceptive access in Harris County, including the access of the most effective contraception methods (IUD/Implant).

This study will assess implicit bias among reproductive health care providers using the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Over the past decade, the IAT has been used in hundreds of setting to examine bias, however, only few studies have used these measures in healthcare settings (Maina et al, 2019). Furthermore, the degree of implicit bias among providers in reproductive healthcare settings is unknown although disparities in family planning (Dehlendorf et al, 2010) and provider discrimination persists (Dehlendorf and Ruskin, 2010).

The study team has developed 3 separate IATs on reproductive health and stereotypes that will be used to examine the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., long-term contraception, short-term contraception) and attributes (e.g., evaluations like good/bad or stereotypes like Black women/White women). See below for a brief description for each of the 3 IATs.

IAT1. Contraception Evaluative IAT (Long-Term Contraception-Short-Term Contraception/Good Words-Bad Words) This IAT would assess respondents’ implicit attitudes toward short-term compared to long-term contraception. A positive IAT-D score would indicate an implicit preference for Long-term contraception over short-term contraception.

IAT2. Race-Stereotyping IAT (Long-Term Contraception-Short-Term Contraception/White Women-Black Women) This IAT would assess respondents’ implicit associations between short-term and long-term contraception and Black and White women. A positive IAT-D score would indicate a stronger association between short-term contraception and Black women and long-term contraception and White women compared to the reverse.

IAT3. Responsibility-Stereotyping IAT (White-Women-Black Women/Responsible-Irresponsible) This IAT would assess respondents’ implicit associations between white women and black women and responsibility. A positive IAT-D score would indicate a stronger association between white women and responsibility and black women and irresponsibility compared to the reverse

Funders: Rockwell Fund Inc. and Episcopal Health Foundation.

Partners: Project Implicit

Project Details

Susan Tortolero Emery, PhD - Principal Investigator

Kimberly Baker, DrPH - Co-Principal Investigator

Brianna Lewis - Study Coordinator

Evelyn Staley - Research Associate

Sylvia Ayieko - G

Project Staff

Project personnel are listed below. Click on a name to view the individual profile.