Eliva Atieno Ambugo

Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Department of Health, Social and Welfare Studies
Campus Vestfold (C2-66)
Eliva Atieno Ambugo is an associate professor in health promotion. With a background in public health and sociology, she has an interest in understanding person-level and contextual determinants of health and well-being. She has applied qualitative methods to study the organization and delivery of care for community-dwelling older adults. Her quantitative research includes the analysis of registrar and population survey data to examine physical and mental health outcomes.


Courses: Salutogenesis and health-promoting processes (MSH-VAS4320), Project description and research methods (MSH-PFM4300) 

Supervision at the masters and doctoral level


  • The salutogenic model of health
  • Public health     
  • Quantitative data analysis, qualitative (thematic) analysis

Teaching and research interests, experience: Social and contextual determinants of health, gender and mental health/well-being, home-based healthcare services, salutogenesis. Population subgroups: Immigrants, youth and older people, family caregivers.

Research methods, experience: Data management and analysis in Stata, multilevel regression analysis, registrar and population survey data, qualitative data management in NVivo, scoping reviews.




  • 2012: PhD, Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2008: MA., Public Health, California State University, Long Beach, USA
  • 2003: BA., Sociology and Anthropology, Principia College, Illinois, USA


  • 2020-present: Associate professor in health promotion, Dept. of Health, Social and Welfare Studies, University of South-Eastern Norway (Vestfold)   
  • 2014-2020: Researcher/postdoc, Dept. of Health Management and Health Economics, University of Oslo
  • 2018-2020: Researcher, Center for Care Research (east), NTNU Gjøvik, Norway
  • 2012-2014: Postdoc, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA

Research groups and projects

  • Forskningsgruppe for helsefremmende arbeid i nærmiljø / Research group for health promotion in the local community (HENÆR
  • The Cancer and Work Study (CANWORK)
  • Public health survey 2021 - Vestfold and Telemark county
  • Ungdata (youth survey) and the salutogenic model of health
  • Social Work in a Global World: Opportunities for Innovation (SoWGloW)
  • Nordic Health Promotion Research Network (NHPRN)

Dissertation monograph

Ambugo C, E. (2012). “Neighborhood conditions and gender differences in depressive symptoms”. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Dissertation Publishing. 

  • A multilevel analysis of nationally representative data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), examining: (1) Gender differences in the association between neighborhood conditions and depressive symptoms (cross-level effect modification), (2) The extent to which relationships among components of the neighborhood stress process model differ by gender (cross-level effect modification), and (3) The extent to which the neighborhood stress process model explains variation in depressive symptoms among women (cross-level effect modification and mediation).

Publications in Cristin