Denise Saint Arnault

Professional Title

Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing


School of Nursing
Health Behavior and Biological Sciences


Dr. Saint Arnault’s research centers on gender, cultural and social influences on mental health, trauma recovery, and help seeking. She develops and tests her Cultural Determinants of Help Seeking theory in research with women in the U.S., Ireland, Japan, Brazil, Italy and Portugal. In this research, she uses mixed methods to discover how distress experiences, culturally based meanings (such as stigma and sense of coherence), social support, and social negativity impact the help seeking journey. Her Clinical Ethnographic Narrative Interview (CENI) provides a transcultural method that allows people to explore the cultural and social influences in their search for health, and also promotes self-awareness and active engagement in the  help-seeking process. She also examines cultural factors that influence meaning, expectation, and expression of depression. She examines the importance of physical as well as emotional symptom experience for people from a variety of cultures. In addition, Dr. Saint Arnault focuses on the impact of gender-based trauma on mental health, functioning and quality of life. She is currently researching mind-body and culturally tailored interventions to promote mental and physical health for women from a variety of cultures.

Research Interests

mental health
gender-based violence