Helen Land

Associate Professor

Helen Land focuses on how culture, gender, stress, coping, and spirituality affect physical and mental well-being in vulnerable populations,

Media Contact
Helen Land
Email:  land@usc.edu
Phone:  +1 213.740.0299
Rank:  Tenure Track Faculty
Department:  Adult Mental Health and Wellness

Helen Land

Associate Professor

Helen Land focuses on how culture, gender, stress, coping, and spirituality affect physical and mental well-being in vulnerable populations,

Media Contact


Prior to joining the USC faculty in 1983, Helen Land was a psychiatric social worker and in-service coordinator, first with emotionally disturbed children and their families in residential treatment, and later with abused, neglected and high-risk infants and their families. Her research focuses on ways in which culture and gender factors, stress, role strain, coping and spirituality interact to affect both physical and mental well-being in vulnerable populations, particularly those struggling with immigration, poverty, violence, HIV/AIDS and family caregiving. Her publications include articles on longitudinal investigations examining how stress proliferation, stress buffers, and physical and mental well-being differ across various groups infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including heterosexual females, men who have sex with men (MSM), Anglo men and women, and Latinas. She has published validation studies examining factorial invariance across groups affected by HIV, and she has developed ethnic sensitive burden instruments for the assessment of stress proliferation in caregiving. In addition to authoring AIDS: A Complete Guide to Psychosocial Intervention, Land is co-editor (with Herman Curiel) of Outreach and Care Approaches to HIV/AIDS along the U.S.-Mexico Border. She is also the consulting editor on several social work journals. Land consults and trains in the areas of couples and family therapy, spirituality and clinical practice, and HIV/AIDS. Formerly chair of the Mental Health concentration in the Master of Social Work program, she continues to teach advanced clinical practice courses and elective classes in couples therapy, spirituality, religion, and faith in clinical practice, as well as Explanatory Theories of Human Behavior and Theories and Practice with Small Systems in the doctoral program. To reference the work of Helen Land online, we ask that you directly quote their work where possible and attribute it to "Helen Land, a faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work” (LINK: https://dworakpeck.usc.edu)


University of Pittsburgh

PhD 1983

Syracuse University

MSW 1975

University of Pittsburgh

BASW 1974

Area of Expertise

  • Health
  • Spirituality
  • Gender
  • Social Work Education
  • Social Work
  • Culture
  • Stress Coping and Resilience
  • Mental Health

Industry Experience

  • Social Services
  • Research
  • Education/Learning
  • Health and Wellness

Research Interest

  • Behavioral Health
  • Diversity/Cross Cultural
  • Health
  • Mental Health
  • Religion/Spirituality


Editor, Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services
Hutto Patterson Award for Excellence in Research and Teaching, USC School of Social Work

Articles & Publications

Stress and Depression Among HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Gay and Bisexual AIDS Caregivers | AIDS and Behavior

Helen Land, Sharon M. Hudson, Burton Stiefel
2003 From a survey of 416 gay and bisexual male AIDS caregivers, we examined differences in the stress process and predictors of depressive symptomatology by caregivers' HIV serostatus (n = 164 HIV-positive and n = 252 HIV-negative). Results indicate that HIV-positive caregivers reported higher levels of depressive symptomatology than those who were HIV-negative. Parallel regression analyses revealed that a younger age, role-related stress, and low self-esteem were common predictors of depressive symptomatology for both groups...


HIV Serostatus and Factors Related to Physical and Mental Well-being in Latina Family AIDS Caregivers | Social Science & Medicine

Land, Helen, Sharon M. Hudson, and Burton Stiefel
2002 In a survey of 154 Latina AIDS caregivers living in Los Angeles, we examined differences in the stress process for those who were HIV seropositive, seronegative, and those with an unknown serostatus. Most caregivers were monolingual, poor, suffered from chronic physical illness unrelated to HIV, and received few services. All three subsamples reached clinical cut-off levels for depression on the brief symptom inventory.