Patricia Drentea, Ph.D.



The Aging Family

Patricia Drentea discusses the changing face of the modern family. Listen at The Academic Minute.
Patricia Drentea
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies | 205-934-2562 | HHB 460R

Ph.D. Sociology, The Ohio State University, 1999.
M.A. Sociology, The Ohio State University, 1994.
B.A. English, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1989.

Other Positions Held:
Editorial Board, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2010-13.
Advisory Editor, Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society. Gender and Health Section, 2011-13.
Research Associate, Veteran's Affairs of Birmingham, AL  BEACON PROJECT, 2011-12.

Research and Teaching Interests:
aging, inequality and health, gender and health

Undergraduate Courses Taught:
Sociology of Family, Family and Aging, Sociology of Work, Capstone Course-The Research Experience

Graduate Courses Taught:
Social Gerontology, Gender Inequality, Family and Health, Graduate Proseminar


Simoni, Zachary and Patricia Drentea.  “ADHD, Socioeconomic Status, Academic Ethic and Medication Use.”  Forthcoming Sociological Focus.

 Maria Pisu, Kelly Kenzic, Robert Oster, Patricia Drentea, Kimlin Ashing, Mona Fouad, and Michelle Martin.  “Economic Hardship of Minority and Non-minority Cancer Survivors One Year after Diagnosis: Another Long Term Effect of Cancer?” CANCERDOI: 10.1002/cncr.29206  published online 6 Jan 2015

Drentea, Patricia and John R. Reynolds. 2015. “Where Does Debt Fit in the Stress Process Model?”  Society and Mental Health. 51(1):16-32.

Ejem, Deborah, Patricia Drentea and Olivio Clay. 2015. "The Effects of Caregiver Emotional Stress on the Depressive Symptomology of the Care Recipient."  Aging and Mental Health. 19(1):55-62. 

Timothy M. Hale, Melinda Goldner, Mike Stern, Patricia Drentea and Shelia R. Cotten. 2014. "Patterns of Online Health Searching 2002-2010: Implications for Social Capital, Health Disparities and the De-professionalization of Medical Knowledge." Research in the Sociology of Health Care. 32:35-60

Xi, Juan, Sean-Shong Hwang and Patricia Drentea. 2013. "Experiencing a Forced Relocation at Different Life Stages: The Effects of China’s Three-Gorges Project-Induced Relocation on Depression." Society and Mental Health. 3(1):59-76. DOI

Buys, David, Casey Borch, Patricia Drentea, Mark LaGory, Patricia Sawyer, Richard Allman, Richard Kennedy and Julie Locher. 2013. "Physical impairment predicts nursing home admission for older adults in disadvantaged but not other neighborhoods: Results from the UAB Study of Aging." The Gerontologist. 53(4):641-653. DOI 10.1093/geront/gns118

Goldner, Melinda, Timothy M. Hale, Shelia Cotten, Michael Stern and Patricia Drentea. 2013. "The Intersection of Gender and Place in Online Health Activities." Journal of Health Communication. 33(10):1-21. DOI 10.1080/10810730.2013.778364

Drentea, Patricia and John R. Reynolds. 2012. “Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be: The Relative Importance of Debt and SES for Mental Health among Older Adults.” Journal of Aging and Health. 24(4):668-690. DOI 10.1177/0898264311431304

Stern, Michael J., Shelia Cotten and Patricia Drentea. 2012. "The Separate Spheres of Online Health Information Searching: The Influence of Gender and Parenting on Behaviors and Feelings about Searching for Health Information on the Web." Journal of Family Issues. 33(10):1324-1350.

Cotten, Shelia, Melinda Goldner, Timothy M. Hale, and Patricia Drentea. 2011. “The Importance of Type, Amount, and Timing of Internet Use for Understanding Psychological Distress.” Social Science Quarterly. 92(1):119-139.

Williams, Beverly, Lesa Woodby and Patricia Drentea. 2010. “Ethical Capital: What’s a Poor Man Got to Leave?” Sociology of Health and Illness. 32(6):880-897.  
This research was featured in a live interview on the  2 March 2011 BBC radio show called “Thinking Allowed” with Laurie Taylor, and was aired across the world.

Hale, Timothy M., Shelia Cotten, Patricia Drentea and Melinda Goldner. 2010. “Rural-Urban Differences in General and Health-Related Internet Usage.”  American Behavioral Scientist. 53(9):1304-1325.

Recent Grant Activity:

Drentea, Patricia. 2011-12.  Co-Investigator.  "Intervention to Improve Care at Life's End in VA Medical Centers" (BEACON study).  Department of Veterans Affairs.  Health Services Research and Develpment (HSR&D) Grant #IIR 03-126. K. Burgio (PI) Birmingham Veteran's Affairs Medical Center BVAMC. $12,118. Role: analyze data from interviews and code emerging themes. 7/1/2005-9/30/2012.

Drentea, Patricia. 2010-11.  Community Health Scholoars Pilot Grant Program.  Awarded grant to study Debt and Financial Worry in Alahama. $30,000.

Drentea, Patricia. 2008.  UAB ADVANCE Senior Faculty Research Award.  Debt and Debt Anxiety among Couples Living with Disability. $15,249.