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Elizabeth Baker, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
1619 12th Street South
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 35205
Phone: : (205) 975-5738
Full CV

I entered undergraduate school with a focus on psychology. I was interested in understanding how people worked. Before college, I had never heard of sociology. However, upon taking more and more sociology courses I came to believe that in order to understand how people work you must understand the broad social structures that impact their life and constrain choices and opportunities.

I have three main areas of research interests, which I use to understand disparities in health among various populations. These are gender, immigration, and race/ethnicity, with a focus on Hispanics. I received a dual PhD in demography and sociology; as such my research tends to focus on population level questions and incorporates demographic techniques into understanding health disparities.

I was born in Florida, grew up in Ohio, went to school in Pennsylvania, and moved here from Los Angeles, but I enjoy all of the outdoor beauty that Alabama has to offer. Besides teaching and research, I enjoy baking, NPR, and cats.

Research Interests:

Quantitative Methods, Health Disparities among Children and Adolescents, Immigration and Acculturation, Deviant Behaviors, Marriage and Family


  • AA, Owens State Community College, General Concentration
  • BA, Bowling Green State University, Sociology and Psychology
  • MA, Bowling Green State University, Applied Demography
  • Dual PhD, The Pennsylvania State University, Sociology and Demography

Selected Publication:

  1. Scrivner, Brie, Magdalena Szaflarski, Elizabeth H. Baker, and Jerzy P. Szaflarski (Forthcoming).  Health literacy and quality of life in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior.
  2. Wolfe, J. D., Elizabeth H. Baker, and Isabel C. Scarinci (Forthcoming). Wealth and Obesity Among US Adults Entering Midlife. Obesity.
  3. Campbell, Anthony David, and Elizabeth H. Baker. (In press) Do income inequalities in higher weight status depend on social integration?." Social Science Research.
  4. Uddin, Jalal, Mohammad H. Pulok, Roman Johnson, Juwel Rana, and Elizabeth H. Baker. (In Press). Association between Child Marriage and Institutional Delivery Care Services Use in Bangladesh: Intersections between Education and Place of Residence. Public Health.
  5. Stringer, Kristi, Phillip Marotta, Elizabeth H.  Baker, Bulent Turan, Mijam-Colette Kempf, Patricia Drentea, Irena Stepanikova, and Janet M. Turan. (In Press). Substance Use Stigma and Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence among a Drug Using Population Living with HIV. AIDS Patients and Care.
  6. Stepanikova, Irena, Elizabeth H. Baker, Gabriela Oates, Sanjeev Acharya†, Jalal Uddin†, Vojtech Thon, Jan Svancara, and Lubomir Kukla. 2019. Perinatal Maternal Stress and Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases in Later Childhood: An Early Life Programming Perspective. The Journal of psychology, 153, (1): 67-88.
  7. Stringer, Kristi† and Elizabeth H. Baker. 2018. Stigma as a Barrier to Substance Abuse Treatment among Those with Unmet Need: an Analysis of Parenthood and Marital Status. Journal of Family Issues, 39 (1) 3-27.
  8. Stepanikova, Irena, Elizabeth Baker, Zach Simoni, Aowen Zhu†, Sarah Rutland†, and Larrell Wilkinson.  2017. Investigating the Role of Perceived Discrimination in Obesity among African Americans. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 52 (1) S77-S85. 
  9. Baker, Elizabeth H., Michael Rendall, and Margaret Weden. 2015. Epidemiological Paradox or Immigrant Vulnerability? Obesity among Young Children of Immigrants. Demography, 52 (4), 1295-1320.
  10. Baker, Elizabeth H., Adrienne N. Milner, and Anthony Campbell†.  2015. A Pilot Study to Promote Walking among Obese and Overweight Individuals: Walking Buses for Adults.  Public Health, 129 (6), 822-824.
  11. Baker, Elizabeth H. and Claire E. Altman. 2015. Maternal Ratings of Child Health and Child Obesity, Variations by Mother's Race/Ethnicity and Nativity.  Maternal and Child Health Journal, 19 (5), 1000-1009.
  12. Van Hook, Jennifer, Elizabeth H. Baker, Claire Altman, and Michelle Frisco (2012).  Canaries in a Coalmine: Immigration and Obesity among Mexican Children of Immigrants.  Social Science and Medicine, 74 (2), 125-134.
  13. Van Hook, Jennifer and Elizabeth H. Baker (2010).  Big Boys and Little Girls: Gender, Acculturation, and Weight Among Young Children of Immigrants.  Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51 (2), 200-214..
  14. Baker, Elizabeth H., Kelly Stamper Balistreri, Jennifer Van Hook (2009).  Maternal Employment and Overweight among Hispanic Children of Immigrants and Children of Natives.  The Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 11 (3), 1557-1912.