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Stephanie Robert

Stephanie A. Robert

Ph.D., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Professor, School of Social Work

Social and economic factors that affect health over the life course; Neighborhood context and health

Much of my research examines how social and economic factors affect health over the life course. The goal of this research is to examine how people's social and economic characteristics affect their health, and how social and economic policies might promote and preserve health as people age. I am particularly interested in how characteristics of people's neighborhoods affect their health. Some of my research has found that the neighborhood context of older adults contributes to their health and well-being. Living in poorer neighborhoods is related to poor health, and this is particularly true among older adults. If we can better understand how neighborhood context contributes to health, we may have clues about what types of interventions or policies might best reduce inequalities in health and maintain and improve people's health and well being as they age.

Some of my research examines racial/ethnic differences in health among older adults. For example, my colleagues and I examine how neighborhood racial segregation affects health and well being over the life course. I examine the extent to which living in racially segregated neighborhoods, low income neighborhoods, or neighborhoods with a high degree of income inequality is associated with poor health and well being, and how this is distributed by race.

I have become increasingly interested in looking at how people spend their time - how do people allocate their 24 hours per day across sleep, leisure, caring activities, exercise, work, etc., and how is this time allocation affected by people's income, education, health, etc.? One of my projects looks at how older adults allocate their time between caregiving and volunteer activities versus other activities, and how that time allocation differs by gender, race, and education.

Representative Publications
Herd, P., Robert, S.A., & House, J.S. (2011). Health Disparities among Older Adults: Life Course Influences and Policy Solutions. In R.H. Binstock & L.K. George (Eds.), Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences (pp. 121-134). Florence, Kentucky: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

Yao, L. & Robert, S.A. (2011). Examining the Racial Crossover in Mortality between African American and White Older Adults: A Multilevel Survival Analysis of Race, Individual Socioeconomic Status, and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Context. Journal of Aging Research, Volume 2011, Article ID 132073, 8 pages.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.4061/2011/132073

Robert, S.A., Cagney, K.A., & Weden, M.M. (2010). A Life Course Approach to the Study of Neighborhoods and Health. In C.E. Bird, P. Conrad, A.M. Fremont & S. Timmermans (Eds.), Handbook of Medical Sociology, Sixth Edition (pp 124-143). Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press.

Robert, S.A., Cherepanov, D., Palta, M., Dunham, N. C., Feeny, D., & Fryback, D.G. (2009). Socioeconomic status and age variations in health-related quality of life: Results from the National Health Measurement Study. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 64B(3), 378-389.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbp012

Ruel, E., & Robert, S.A. (2009). A model of racial residential history and its association with self-rated health and mortality among black and white adults it the U.S. Sociological Spectrum, 29, 443-466.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1080/02732170902904616

Yao, L., & Robert, S.A. (2008). The contributions of race, individual socioeconomic status, and neighborhood socioeconomic context in the self-rated health trajectories and mortality of older adults. Research on Aging, 30, 251-273.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1177/0164027507311155

Weden, M., Carpiano, R., & Robert, S.A. (2008). Subjective and objective neighborhood characteristics and adult health. Social Science and Medicine, 66(6), 1256-1270.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.041

Chou, R., & Robert, S.A. (2008). Workplace support, role overload, and job satisfaction of direct care workers in assisted living. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 49, 208-222.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1177/002214650804900207

Robert, S.A., & Ruel, E. (2006). Racial segregation and health disparities between black and white older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 61B(4), S203-211.

Robert, S.A., & Carpiano, R. (2005). Our four cents: Future priority directions of research on neighborhoods, social capital, health, and aging. Commissioned by the NIA to prepare for their new initiative in this area.

Robert, S.A., & Reither, E.N. (2004). A multilevel analysis of race, community disadvantage, and BMI. Social Science & Medicine, 59(12), 2421-2434.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.03.034

Robert, S.A. (2003). Home and community-based long-term care policies and programs: The crucial role for social work practitioners and researchers in evaluation. In B. Berkman & L. Harootyan (Eds.), Social work and health care in an aging world: informing education, policy, practice, and research. New York: Springer Publications.

Robert, S. A. (2002). Community context and aging: Future research issues. Research on Aging, 24(6), 579-599.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1177/016402702237183

Robert, S.A., & Li, L. (2001). Age variation in the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic context and adult health. Research on Aging, 23(2), 234-258.

Robert, S.A., & House, J.S. (2000). Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Integrating individual-, community-, and societal-level theory and research. In G.L. Albrecht, R. Fitzpatrick, & S.C. Scrimshaw (Eds.), Handbook of social studies in health and medicine. London: Sage Publications.

Robert, S.A. (1999). Socioeconomic position and health: The independent contribution of community context. Annual Review of Sociology, 25, 489-516.

Robert, S.A. (1998). Community-level socioeconomic status effects on adult health. J. of Health and Social Behavior, 39, 18-37.

Robert, S.A., & Norgard, T. (1996). Long-term care policy based on ADL eligibility criteria: Impact on community dwelling elders not meeting the criteria. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 25(3/4), 71-91.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1300/J083V25N03_06

Robert, S.A., & House, J.S. (1996). SES differentials in health by age and alternative indicators of SES. Journal of Aging and Health, 8(3), 359-388.
View publication via DOI: DOI:10.1177/089826439600800304

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