Senior Researcher

Christine Stanik portrait

Christine Stanik is a social psychologist who leads and collaborates on a variety of research endeavors within Altarum Institute. She combines exceptional leadership capabilities with a deep understanding of social science and health research to produce high quality findings on time and within budget. She has a flair for the art of communication and enjoys making complex and nuanced findings accessible to scientific and lay audiences alike. She is adept with both quantitative (survey) and qualitative methods (key-informant interviews and focus groups) and specializes in projects utilizing mixed modes. Her research has focused on the health and well-being of a wide variety of groups including the homeless, Veterans, low-income populations, racial and ethnic minorities, couples, and families.

Dr. Stanik supports a number of projects and clients at Altarum. She is the lead researcher in charge of data gathering for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency-funded Michigan Veterans Community Action Teams project. She has synthesized findings from a combination of data collection methods including surveys, interviews, and focus groups and prepared community assessments detailing the strengths and weaknesses of Veteran service provider collaboration specific to each of the ten prosperity regions within Michigan. Her recent efforts have also been focused on two Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded projects. In collaboration with Altarum’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending she has reviewed the literature on the utility of early childhood interventions for changing the life-course trajectory of at-risk youth. This culminated in a presentation and paper detailing recommendations for the direction of research in the field going forward. In collaboration with Altarum’s Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care she has moderated focus groups and conducted interviews to understand how vulnerable people interact with the health care system and the obstacles they face in getting reliable high-quality medical services. In addition to this project work, Dr. Stanik also oversees Research Analytics in-house survey operations group, which conducts all aspects of small to mid-size mail and Web data collection efforts.

Prior to joining Altarum, Dr. Stanik led a longitudinal research project at Penn State University that extended a seminal project on families started two decades ago. The project focused on how family dynamics including marital interactions, sibling dynamics, and gender roles within the home contributed to outcomes of parents and children across a variety of health and wellness factors. Prior to this position, she conducted research and taught en route to obtaining her Masters and Doctoral degrees in social psychology from the University of Michigan. Her research focused on various aspects of dating and marriage, including variations in long-term partners preferences among women, how people evaluate potential romantic partners, and an economic understanding of how trade-offs are made between partners in committed relationships.