Photo of Lisa F. Berkman,  PhD

Lisa F. Berkman, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
Phone: (617) 432-3915
Fax: (617) 432-3123

Lisa F. Berkman, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health


  • Thomas D. Cabot Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
  • Department Chair, Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
  • Director, Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health


Research Abstract

Dr. Berkman is a social epidemiologist whose work focuses extensively on psychosocial influences on health outcomes. Her research has been oriented towards understanding social inequalities in health related to socioeconomic status, different racial and ethnic groups, and social networks, support and social isolation. The majority of her work is devoted to identifying the role of social networks and support in predicting declines in physical and cognitive functioning, onset of disease and mortality, especially related to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease and cancer.

Primary studies in which Dr. Berkman is involved are several large prospective cohort studies: The Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly Studies (EPESE) and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Aging longitudinal studies in communities. The second set of studies are clinical trials to test the effects of psychosocial interventions in improving prognosis in people with chronic illness.


Powered by Harvard Catalyst
  • Berkman LF, Buxton O, Ertel K, Okechukwu C. Managers' practices related to work-family balance predict employee cardiovascular risk and sleep duration in extended care settings. J Occup Health Psychol 2010; 15:316-29. PubMed
  • Berkman LF. Social Epidemiology: Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Are We Losing Ground? Annu Rev Public Health 2009. PubMed
  • Berkman LF,Sivaramakrishnan K. WHO Commission on the social determinants of health: a bold new venture. Eur J Public Health 2008; 18:547. PubMed
  • Rehkopf DH,Berkman LF,Coull B,Krieger N. The non-linear risk of mortality by income level in a healthy population: US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey mortality follow-up cohort, 1988-2001. BMC Public Health 2008; 8:383. PubMed
  • Loucks EB, Magnusson KT, Cook S, Rehkopf DH, Ford ES, Berkman LF. Socioeconomic position and the metabolic syndrome in early, middle, and late life: evidence from NHANES 1999-2002. Ann Epidemiol 2007; 17:782-90. PubMed
  • Sorensen G, Stoddard AM, Dubowitz T, Barbeau EM, Bigby J, Emmons KM, Berkman LF, Peterson KE. The Influence of Social Context on Changes in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Results of the Healthy Directions Studies. Am J Public Health 2007; 97:1216-27. PubMed
  • Melchior M, Berkman LF, Kawachi I, Krieger N, Zins M, Bonenfant S, Goldberg M. Lifelong socioeconomic trajectory and premature mortality (35-65 years) in France: findings from the GAZEL Cohort Study. J Epidemiol Community Health 2006; 60:937-44. PubMed
  • Melchior M, Goldberg M, Krieger N, Kawachi I, Menvielle G, Zins M, Berkman LF. Occupational class, occupational mobility and cancer incidence among middle-aged men and women: a prospective study of the French GAZEL cohort*. Cancer Causes Control 2005; 16:515-24. PubMed
  • Cannuscio CC, Colditz GA, Rimm EB, Berkman LF, Jones CP, Kawachi I. Employment status, social ties, and caregivers' mental health. Soc Sci Med 2004; 58:1247-56. PubMed
  • Sorensen G, Emmons K, Hunt MK, Barbeau E, Goldman R, Peterson K, Kuntz K, Stoddard A, Berkman L. Model for incorporating social context in health behavior interventions: applications for cancer prevention for working-class, multiethnic populations. Prev Med 2003; 37:188-97. PubMed
  • Lee S, Kawachi I, Berkman LF, Grodstein F. Education, other socioeconomic indicators, and cognitive function. Am J Epidemiol 2003; 157:712-20. PubMed
  • Cannuscio CC, Jones C, Kawachi I, Colditz GA, Berkman L, Rimm E. Reverberations of family illness: a longitudinal assessment of informal caregiving and mental health status in the Nurses' Health Study. Am J Public Health 2002; 92:1305-11. PubMed
  • Michael YL, Berkman LF, Colditz GA, Holmes MD, Kawachi I. Social networks and health-related quality of life in breast cancer survivors: a prospective study. J Psychosom Res 2002; 52:285-93. PubMed
  • Carney RM, Blumenthal JA, Stein PK, Watkins L, Catellier D, Berkman LF, Czajkowski SM, O'Connor C, Stone PH, Freedland KE. Depression, heart rate variability, and acute myocardial infarction. Circulation 2001; 104:2024-8. PubMed
  • Kawachi I, Berkman LF. Social ties and mental health. J Urban Health 2001; 78:458-67. PubMed
  • Michael YL, Berkman LF, Colditz GA, Kawachi I. Living arrangements, social integration, and change in functional health status. Am J Epidemiol 2001; 153:123-31. PubMed
  • Michael YL, Kawachi I, Berkman LF, Holmes MD, Colditz GA. The persistent impact of breast carcinoma on functional health status: prospective evidence from the Nurses' Health Study. Cancer 2001; 89:2176-86. PubMed
  • Mendes de Leon CF, Beckett LA, Fillenbaum GG, Brock DB, Branch LG, Evans DA, Berkman LF. Black-white differences in risk of becoming disabled and recovering from disability in old age: a longitudinal analysis of two EPESE populations. Am J Epidemiol 1997; 145:488-97. PubMed
  • Seeman TE, Berkman LF, Charpentier PA, Blazer DG, Albert MS, Tinetti ME. Behavioral and psychosocial predictors of physical performance: MacArthur studies of successful aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1995; 50:M177-83. PubMed
  • Mendes de Leon CF, Fillenbaum GG, Williams CS, Brock DB, Beckett LA, Berkman LF. Functional disability among elderly blacks and whites in two diverse areas: the New Haven and North Carolina EPESE. Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly. Am J Public Health 1995; 85:994-8. PubMed
  • Berkman LF. The role of social relations in health promotion. Psychosom Med 1995; 57:245-54. PubMed
  • Moritz DJ, Kasl SV, Berkman LF. Cognitive functioning and the incidence of limitations in activities of daily living in an elderly community sample. Am J Epidemiol 1995; 141:41-9. PubMed
  • Seeman TE, Berkman LF, Gulanski BI, Robbins RJ, Greenspan SL, Charpentier PA, Rowe JW. Self-esteem and neuroendocrine response to challenge: MacArthur studies of successful aging. J Psychosom Res 1995; 39:69-84. PubMed
  • Marenberg ME, Risch N, Berkman LF, Floderus B, de Faire U. Genetic susceptibility to death from coronary heart disease in a study of twins. N Engl J Med 1994; 330:1041-6. PubMed
  • Berkman LF, Seeman TE, Albert M, Blazer D, Kahn R, Mohs R, Finch C, Schneider E, Cotman C, McClearn G. High, usual and impaired functioning in community-dwelling older men and women: findings from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Aging. J Clin Epidemiol 1993; 46:1129-40. PubMed
  • Colantonio A, Kasl SV, Ostfeld AM, Berkman LF. Psychosocial predictors of stroke outcomes in an elderly population. J Gerontol 1993; 48:S261-8. PubMed
  • Seeman TE, Berkman LF, Kohout F, Lacroix A, Glynn R, Blazer D. Intercommunity variations in the association between social ties and mortality in the elderly. A comparative analysis of three communities. Ann Epidemiol 1993; 3:325-35. PubMed
  • Berkman LF, Leo-Summers L, Horwitz RI. Emotional support and survival after myocardial infarction. A prospective, population-based study of the elderly. Ann Intern Med 1992; 117:1003-9. PubMed
  • Oxman TE, Berkman LF, Kasl S, Freeman DH, Barrett J. Social support and depressive symptoms in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol 1992; 135:356-68. PubMed
  • Moritz DJ, Kasl SV, Berkman LF. The health impact of living with a cognitively impaired elderly spouse: depressive symptoms and social functioning. J Gerontol 1988; 44:S17-27. PubMed
  • Berkman LF. The changing and heterogeneous nature of aging and longevity: a social and biomedical perspective. Annu Rev Gerontol Geriatr 1987; 8:37-68. PubMed