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Eric Wright


Ph.D., 1994, Indiana University, Sociology
M.A., 1987, Indiana University, Sociology
B.A., 1984, Lewis and Clark College, Sociology


Medical Sociology
Mental Health and Addiction
Sexuality and Sexual Health
LGBT Health and Health Disparities
Health Systems and Policy


Eric R. Wright is a 2nd Century Initiative (2CI) Professor of Sociology and Public Health and Chair of the Sociology Department at Georgia State University.

He holds a B.A. in sociology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University Bloomington. As a medical sociologist, his research interests center on social and public policy responses to mental health and illness, substance use and addictions, sexual health, and HIV/STI prevention.

In addition, Dr. Wright is actively involved in conducting research to understand and ameliorate health problems and disparities in minority and other vulnerable communities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ). He has extensive experience in working with community organizations as well as local and state government to better understand community health needs and improve the effectiveness of health- and healthcare- related programs and policies.

He is or has been the Principal or Co-Principal Investigator of numerous externally federally and state-funded research and evaluation projects and has published many policy briefs, technical reports, and peer-reviewed scientific papers which have appeared in medical sociology as well as interdisciplinary health, psychiatric, and health policy journals. Professor Wright also is an award winning teacher and deeply committed to involving students in research and service learning projects to make learning more relevant and to build stronger bridges between the academy and the community.

Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State University, Dr. Wright was a Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Center for Health Policy in the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).


Selected recent publications

Eric R. Wright, Harold E. Kooreman, Marion S. Greene, R. Andrew Chambers, Aniruddha Banerjee, And Jeffrey Wilson. 2014. “The Iatrogenic Epidemic Of Prescription Drug Abuse: County-Level Determinants Of Opioid Availability And Abuse.”  Drug And Alcohol Dependence 138:209-215.

Kelsey A. Bonfils, Ruth L. Firmin, Michelle P. Salyers and Eric R. Wright.  2015.  “Sexuality and Intimacy Among People Living with Serious Mental Illnesses: Factors Contributing to Sexual Activity.”  Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal 38(3):249-255.

Ben Lennox Kail, Katie L. Acosta, and Eric R. Wright.  2015.  “State-Level Marriage Equality and the Health of Same-Sex Couples.”  American Journal of Public Health 105(6):1101-1105.   doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302589 (Epub:  April 16, 2015).

Eric R. Wright, Nia Reed, Neal Carnes, and Harold E. Kooreman. 2016.  “Concern about the Expanding Prescription Drug Epidemic: A Survey of Licensed Prescribers and Dispensers.”  Pain Physician 19(1):E197-E208.

Susan Synder, Robin Saunders, Timothy Brezina, Elizabeth Beck, Eric Wright, Nicholas Forge, and Brian Bride.  Forthcoming.  “Homeless Youth, Strain, and Criminal Justice System Involvement: An Application of General Strain Theory.”  Children Youth Services Review.

Griff Tester and Eric R. Wright.  In Press.  “Older Gay Men and Their Quality Support Convoys” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. (Epub:  May 19, 2016).  doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw052.