Kerstin Gerst Emerson

Health Policy & Management, Institute of Gerontology
Clinical Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Health Policy & Management, Institute of Gerontology

Dr. Emerson has two main research areas, both centering on older adults and using large secondary datasets. She focuses on Hispanic aging, specifically the influence of individual and neighborhood characteristics on physical and mental health outcomes among older Mexican Americans. More recently, Dr. Emerson’s research investigates the impact of loneliness among older adults, including healthcare utilization.

  • Education

    PhD, Gerontology, University of Massachusetts, 2008

    MS, Gerontology, University of Massachusetts, 2006

    MGS, Gerontology, Miami University, 2002

    BA, Economics and Psychology, University of Michigan

  • Areas of Expertise

    Research: hispanic health and aging, health disparities among older adults, cross-national comparisons. quantitative methods

    Teaching: Aspects of Aging (undergraduate), Mental Health and Aging (graduate), Public Health and Aging (graduate), Aging and Society (graduate)

  • Honors, Awards, and Achievements

    Center for Teaching and Learning Online Learning Fellow, University of Georgia, 2016, 2017

    Lilly Teaching Fellow, University of Georgia, 2012-2014

    Funded Participant, National Institute on Aging Summer Institute on Aging Research, 2009

    Funded Participant, University of Michigan National Poverty Center Workshop, 2009

    Gerontology Service Award, University of Massachusetts Boston, 2008

    Poster Award, Population Association of America, 2008

  • Affiliations

    Gerontological Society of America

    Sigma Phi Omega (International Honor Society in Gerontology)

  • Course Instruction

    GRNT 3000/3000E  Aspects of Aging

    GRNT 6750E Mental Health and Aging

    GRNT 6650/6650E Aging in Society

    Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO)

    Dr. Emerson teaches an overview course in aging issues at the undergraduate level, and graduate seminars in more specific topics, including mental health and aging and society. She teaches both in-person and online courses and really enjoys mentoring students in a wide range of disciplines that are interested in gerontology.

  • Research Interests

    As a gerontologist interested in minority aging and health, Dr. Emerson’s research uses large secondary data analyses to explore aging issues in the United States. Her research interests includes Hispanic aging, loneliness among older adults, exploring the impact of immigration on mental health, as well as the influence of neighborhood characteristics on physical and mental health outcomes.

  • Selected Publications

    Emerson, K.G., Boggero, I., Ostir, G. & Jayawardana, J. (2017). Loneliness among Older Adults: The Impact of Pain. Journal of Aging and Health, Published online first, doi: 10.1177/0898264317721348

    Gerst-Emerson, K. & Jayawardhana, J. (2016). Risk factors for loneliness among elders. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 64(4), 886-887.

    Gerst-Emerson, K. & Jayawardhana, J. (2015). Loneliness as a public health issue: The impact of loneliness on healthcare utilization among older adults. American Journal of Public Health, 1013-1019.

    Gerst-Emerson, K., Wong, R., Michaels-Obregon, A. & Palloni, A. (2015). Cross-National Differences in Disability Among Elders: Transitions in Disability in Mexico and the United States. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences,70(5), 759-768.

    Gerst, K. & Burr, J. A. (2012). Welfare Program Participation Among Older Immigrants. Public Policy & Aging Report, 22 (2), 12-16.

    Burr, J.A., Mutchler, J.E. & Gerst, K. (2012). Hispanic Residential Segregation and Immigrant Living Arrangements in Later Life. Population Research and Policy Review, 32(1), 25-45.

    Burr, J. A., Mutchler, J.E. & Gerst, K. (2011). Homeownership among Mexican Americans in later life. Research on Aging, 33(4), 379-402.

    Gerst, K., Michaels-Obregon, A. & Wong, R. (2011). The Impact of Physical Activity on Disability Incidence among Older Adults in Mexico and the United States. Journal of Aging Research, 2011, 1-10.

    Gerst, K., Miranda, P., Eschbach, K., Sheffield, K., Peek, M.K. & Markides, K.S. (2011). Protective neighborhoods: The impact of neighborhood percent Mexican American on depressive symptoms. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(2), 353-358.

    Gerst, K. & Burr, J.A. (2010). Welfare use among older Hispanic immigrants: The effect of state and federal policy. Population Research and Policy Review, 30(1), 129-150.

    Gerst, K., Al-Ghatrif, M., Beard, H.A., Samper-Ternent, R. & Markides, K.S. (2010). High depressive symptomatology among older community-dwelling Mexican Americans: The impact of immigration. Aging and Mental Health, 14(3), 347-354.