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Sociology and Criminology & Law

Barbara Zsembik

Associate Professor of Sociology
Department Chair
Office: Turlington 3219
Hours: By appointment


Barbara Zsembik received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of Texas in Austin, 1988. She teaches and writes on health disparities in the United States, Latino issues and experiences, migration and health, and domestic violence in the Caribbean.

Dr. Zsembik has received recognition as Provost Administrative Fellow (2000), T. Lynn Smith Term Professor (1999-2000), University Teacher of the Year (1995), and twice received the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from McKnight Doctoral Fellows, State of Florida (2008 and 2014).


Undergraduate Courses

  • Principles of Sociology (SYG 2000)
  • Social Problems (SYG 2010)
  • Methods of Social Research (SYA 4300)
  • Gender and Health (SYD 3805)
  • Social Inequality (SYO 4530)

Graduate Courses

  • Health Disparities (SYD 6000)
  • Research Design and Practice (SYA 7933)
  • Survey Data Analysis (SYA 7933)
  • Professional Development Seminar (SYA 7933) Seminar in Crime, Law, and Justice (CCJ 6936)


Areas of Specialization

  • Migration and health
  • Health disparities
  • Latino sociology and demography
  • Social epidemiology
  • Family and household social demography

Barbara Zsembik’s research focuses on unequal opportunities for health and risks of illness and disability. She strives to bring the Latino experience into the mainstream of social science and epidemiological studies of health disparities.  Dr. Zsembik’s research applies a life course framework to the study of health and migration in Latin America and the US, with particular attention to childhood immunization, chronic disease epidemiology, and domestic violence.

Current Projects

Dr. Zsembik is currently finishing a manuscript on violence against women in the Dominican Republic. She is also presently involved in a project on health selectivity and Columbian migration, and another on Tuberculosis and gender.


  • Tianhan Gui* and Barbara Zsembik. (2014). Delayed Childbearing in The Encyclopedia of Family Studies, SAGE: Thousand Oaks CA.
  • Melanie Sberna Hinojosa*, Barbara A. Zsembik, and Maude Rittman. 2009. Patterns of Informal Care among Puerto Rican, African American, and White Stroke Survivors. Ethnicity & Health 14 (6): 591-606.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 2009. Migration and Health in the U.S.-Latin Caribbean Transnational Communities. In J.Y. Reede & G. Barclay’s (Eds.), Global Transdisciplinary Research Collaboration on the Health of the Caribbean Diaspora Final Report : Harvard Medical School, National Cancer Institute and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).William L. Jeffries IV*,
  • Barbara A. Zsembik, Chuck W. Peek & Constance R. Uphold. 2009. A Longitudinal Analysis of Sociodemographic and Health Correlates of Sexual Health Among HIV-Infected Men in the USA. Sexual Health 6: 285-292.
  • Dana Fennell*, Ana S. Liberato* and Barbara A. Zsembik. 2008. Definitions and Patterns of CAM Use Among the Lay Public. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 17 (2): 71-77.
  • Joseph L. Riley, Erica Gibson, Barbara A. Zsembik, R. Paul Duncan, Gregg H. Gilbert, and Marc W. Heft. 2008. Acculturation and Orofacial Pain Among Hispanic Adults. The Journal of Pain 9 (8): 750-758.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and Dana Fennell*. 2005. Ethnic Variation in Health and the Determinants of Health among Latinos. Social Science & Medicine 61 (1): 53-63.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik 2005. Latinos, Families and Health. Pp. 40-61 in Handbook of Families and Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives by D.R. Crane and E.S. Marshall (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Peek, Chuck W., Tanya Koropeckyj-Cox, Barbara A. Zsembik, and Raymond T. Coward. 2004. Race Comparisons of the Household Dynamics of Older Adults. Research on Aging 26: 179-201.
  • Chuck W. Peek and Barbara A. Zsembik. 2004. Health Disparities Among Rural African Americans. Pp. in N. Glasgow, L. Morton, and N. Johnson (Eds.) Critical Issues in Rural Health. Ames, IA: Iowa State Press.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and M. Kristen Peek. 2001. Race Differences in Cognitive Functioning Among Older Adults. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 56B: s266-274.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik, M. Kristen Peek, and Chuck W. Peek. 2000. Race and Ethnic Variation in the Disablement Process. Journal of Aging and Health 12:229-249.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and Zobeida Bonilla*. 2000. Eldercare and the Changing Family in Puerto Rico. Journal of Family Issues, 21:652-674.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 2000. The Cuban Ethnic Economy and Labor Market Outcomes of Latinos in Metropolitan Florida. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 22:223- 236.
  • Chuck W. Peek, Barbara A. Zsembik, and Raymond T. Coward. 1997. The Changing Caregiving Networks of Older Adults. Research on Aging 19:333-361.
  • Chuck W. Peek, Raymond T. Coward, Gary R. Lee, and Barbara A. Zsembik. 1997. The Influence of Community Context on the Preferences of Older Adults for Entering a Nursing Home. The Gerontologist 17: 533-542.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik, Greg Drevenstedt**, and C. Preston McLane**. 1997. Economic Well-being among Older Latinos. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 17:34-56.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 1997. Gendered Spaces in Ethnopolitical Life among Chicanos. In C.R.Ronai, B.A.Zsembik, and J.R. Feagin, (eds.), Everyday Sexism in the Third Millennium. Routledge.
  • Carol Rambo Ronai, Joe R. Feagin, and Barbara A. Zsembik. 1997. Living with Everyday Sexism in the Third Millennium. In C.R.Ronai, B.A.Zsembik, and J.R. Feagin, (eds.), Everyday Sexism in the Third Millennium. Routledge.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and Daniel Llanes**. 1996. Generational Differences in Educational Achievement among Mexican Americans. Social Science Quarterly 77:363-75.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and Leonard Beeghley. 1996. Determinants of Ethnic Group Solidarity among Mexican Americans: A Research Note. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 18:51-62.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 1996. The Preference for Coresidence among Older Latinos. Journal of Aging Studies 10:69-81.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 1995. Racial and Ethnic Conflict: Perspectives from Women. In J.B. Gittler (ed.) Annual Review of Conflict Knowledge and Conflict Resolution Vol. 4. New York: JAI: 259-273.
  • Joe Feagin, Hernan Vera and Barbara A. Zsembik. 1995. Multiculturalism: The Democratic Basis of American Society. Primis New York: McGraw-Hill.
    •  Reprinted in Perspectives on Sociology. 1995. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and Chuck W. Peek. 1994. The Effect of Economic Restructuring on Puerto Rican Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Formal Sector. Gender & Society 8:525-540.
    • Reprinted in M. Baca Zinn, E. N. Chow, and D. Wilkinson (eds.), Common Bonds, Different Voices: Race, Class, and Gender. 1996. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 1994. Ethnic and Sociodemographic Correlates of the Use of Proxy Respondents: The National Survey of Hispanic Elderly People, 1988. Research on Aging 19:401-14.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 1993. Determinants of Living Alone Among Older Hispanics. Research on Aging 15:449-464.
  • Michael L. Radelet and Barbara A. Zsembik. 1993. Executive Clemency in Post-Furman Capital Cases. University of Richmond Law Review 27:289-314.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik and Audrey Singer. 1990. The Problem of Defining Retirement among Minority Populations: The Mexican Americans. The Gerontologist 30:749-757.
    • Reprinted in Worlds of Differences: Inequality and the Aging Experience (Second Edition), edited by Eleanor Palo Stoller and Rose Campbell Gibson, 1997, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
  • Barbara A. Zsembik. 1990. Labor Market Structure and Fertility Differences Among Puerto Rican Women: The Effects of Economic and Social Policies on Opportunity Costs. Population Research and Policy Review 9:133-149.

* denotes graduate student