National Mentoring Network (MNET) Mentor Profiles
Tamara A. Baker, PhD
University of Kansas
Research Interests: Social and psychological factors that influence health outcomes Health Disparities, Older male populations, gerontology, African American Health issues
Dr. Baker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Gerontology Program at the University of Kansas. Her research efforts have been successfully funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders. She is Editor of both: Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine and Ethnicity and Health. Dr. Baker’s research agenda focuses the behavioral and psychosocial predictors and outcomes of chronic disease and pain in older adults from diverse race and ethnic populations. She also has a particular interest in examining health disparities, disparities in pain management among older community-dwelling adults, and understanding the role social determinants of health have on the physical and mental health, and social well-being and adjustment of minority men. She was most recently funded to examine indicators in the design and implementation of a disease self-management program among Black males. Her interests include a threefold research agenda: 1) Examine intra race group variability in symptom and chronic disease (pain, cancer, arthritis, etc.) self-management among community and clinic based populations, while identifying psychosocial and physical health indicators influencing the experience and management of these conditions; 2) Assess factors that contribute to health disparities and inequities in the management of disease, and receipt of and access to healthcare resources and services. This involves understanding the influence social determinants have at the patient, provider, and institutional levels; 3) Design and implement intervention programs addressing barriers to optimal symptom management among diverse race and marginalized populations. Dr. Baker has received federal funding to specifically investigate social, psychological, and cultural factors that influence health outcomes, and how these factors influence the design and participation in community-based intervention programs and research.