Janis H. Jenkins, Ph.D. 

Professor of Anthropology
Adjunct Professor


Contact Information

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA U.S.A. 92093-0532
T: (858) 534-6468 (SSB284 Office)
T: (858) 534-6860 (SSRB334 Lab)


Dr. Jenkins is a medical and psychiatric anthropologist. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA and NIH-funded post-doctoral training in Clinically Relevant Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School. Currently she is Co-Principal Investigator for an NIH study entitled “Southwest Youth and the Experience of Psychiatric Treatment” (SWYEPT). Dr. Jenkins has taught on the faculty at Harvard University, Case Western Reserve University, and UCSD. She has been Principal Investigator on a series of NIH-funded grants, and is the recipient of awards from the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Russell Sage Foundation, the School for Advanced Research, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the Departments of Mental Health in California and Ohio.

Research Interests

Research Focus

Dr. Jenkins is internationally recognized for expertise on the convergence of anthropology and psychiatry. Her principal interests are culture and psychopathology, psychopharmacology, gender, ethnicity, adolescence, migration, resilience, and qualitative methods. Her ethnographic research has been with Latino and Central American immigrants and refugees, Euro-American and Native American populations. A primary impetus to her research has been the WHO IPSS findings that demonstrated better long-term course and outcome in developing countries. She has conducted studies of the mental health consequences of violence and warfare, and identified culturally specific symptoms of depression and PTSD as of clinical and theoretical significance for mind-body relations. Her current research examines psychiatric disorder, cultural meaning, and structural violence among adolescents in residential facilities.

Clinical Focus

Dr. Jenkins’ research, teaching and supervision is in the area of adult and adolescent populations utilizing theories and methods from clinically relevant medical/psychiatric anthropology for graduate and health science students and fellows. Studies have concerned family intervention, psychopharmacology, outpatient and inpatient residential treatment. She has served as mentor for a numerous doctoral, post-doctoral, and faculty research and training grants in the social and medical sciences.


  • Jenkins, Janis H. and Elizabeth Carpenter-Song. “Awareness of Stigma among Persons with Schizophrenia: Marking the Contexts of Lived Experience.” Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 197(7):520-529, 2009.
  • Hollifield, M., T. Warner, B. Krakow, J.H. Jenkins, and J. Westermeyer. The Range of Symptoms in Refugees of War: The New Mexico Refugee Symptom Checklist-121. Journal Nervous and Mental Disease 197:117-125, 2009.
  • Jenkins, Janis H. Anthropology and Psychiatry: The Contemporary Convergence. In Textbook of Cultural Psychiatry. Bhugra, Dinesh and Kamaldeep Bhui., Editors. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Jenkins, Janis H. and Elizabeth Carpenter-Song. The New Paradigm of Recovery from Schizophrenia: Cultural Conundrums of Improvement without Cure. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 29(4):379-413, 2005.
  • Jenkins, Janis H. and Robert J. Barrett. Schizophrenia, Culture, and Subjectivity: The Edge of Experience. Janis H. Jenkins and Robert J. Barrett, Eds. Cambridge University Press, 2004.