Judith Barker, PhD

Phone: 415-476-7241
Fax: 415-476-6715

Associate Director, Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health (CANDO)


Chronic illness
Oral health
Health disparities
Vulnerable or marginal populations
Social gerontology
Qualitative and Mixed Methods

Barker is an experienced researcher with over 25 years of teaching and mentoring of both clinical and academic scholars developing research skills in inter-professional settings. Her research has encompassed a variety of qualitative approaches as well as mixed methods studies examining gender, age and ethnic differences in understanding and management of a variety of illnesses.  A socio-cultural anthropologist by training, Barker’s prevention–oriented community-based research has examined the beliefs, perceptions and experiences of health/illness and health care to lay people, their use of informal support services and resources, and their interface with the formal health care system.  Focusing on the patient’s understanding of their illness and their day-to-day management strategies, she has focused on health disparities in vulnerable populations, examining structural, familial and individual contexts that give rise to health disparities.  Her work has both public health utility and social science relevance. She has investigated groups marginalized by homelessness, substance use, and HIV/AIDS, as well as the social, familial and individual impact of a variety of chronic illnesses, including dementia, depression, urinary incontinence and other disorders common at older ages. Her most recent work has dealt with oral health disparities, particularly early childhood caries, in low-income Latino migrant families in both rural and urban locations.

Contact Information
UCSF – Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine
3333 California Street, Suite 485
San Francisco, CA 94143-0850
(415) 476-7241

Last modified: April 14, 2014