R Rooks
Associate Professor
Health and Behavioral Sciences

Office Location:
North Classroom 3023C

office hours by appointment via Zoom

Ronica N. Rooks is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Director of Online Education at the University of Colorado Denver. She completed her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and postdocs in Geriatric Epidemiology in the Intramural Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry at the National Institute on Aging and Health Disparities in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on social-ecological explanations for racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions. Her Fulbright Canada fellowship developed interdisciplinary networks in the social and health sciences to examine relationships between gentrification, social disadvantage (e.g., lower SES and racial/ethnic minority status), and prevalent CC and management among older adults in Hamilton, Ontario. She plans to similarly examine these relationships among older adults in Denver, Colorado. Her other research focuses on facilitating aging in community through “time-banking,” to build social capital and promote health across varied socioeconomic status communities. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and serves as chair for the Minority Issues in Gerontology Advisory Panel and on the Diversity and Justice working group.

Ph.D., Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, 1999
M.A., Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, 1995
B.A., Sociology/Anthropology and Economics, St. Mary’s College, MD, 1992

A. Publications (*underlined co-authors denote current or former undergraduate and graduate students)

Journal Articles

Mathis, Arlesia, Ronica N. Rooks, and Jacqueline Wiltshire. 2021. “Use of Health Information Varies by Region Among Older Adults in the U.S.Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, 7, 1-9. DOI: 10.1177/2333721421997192

Hall, Tristen, Ronica Rooks, and Carol Kaufman. 2020. “Intersections of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Race and Ethnicity and Asthma Outcomes: Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.” International Journal for Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 8236. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218236

Rooks, Ronica N., Craig G. Kapral, and Arlesia L. Mathis. 2019. “Chronic Conditions May Be More Important than Race/Ethnicity in Relation to Health Information Seeking and Use.” Journal of Aging and Health, 31, 4, 611-630. doi: 10.1177/0898264317744643 (Epublished online in Dec. 2017)

Rooks, Ronica N. and Brooke Dorsey Holliman. 2018. “Facilitating Undergraduate Learning through Community-Engaged Problem-Based Learning.” The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12:2. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2018.120209

Rooks, Ronica N., Eleanor M. Simonsick, Richard Schulz, Susan Rubin, and Tamara Harris. 2017. “Who Works Among Older Black and White, Well-Functioning Adults: Findings from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study?” Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, 3, 1-12, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721417727098

Mathis, Arlesia L., Ronica N. Rooks, Rima Tawk, and Daniel J. Kruger. 2017. “Neighborhood Influences and BMI in Urban Older Adults.” Journal of Applied Gerontology: The Official Journal of the Southern Gerontological Society, 36, 6, 692-708, doi: 10.1177/0733464815584670 (Epublished online in May 2015)

Ford, Cassandra D., Ronica N. Rooks, and Michelle Montgomery. 2016. “Family Health History and Future Nursing Practice: Implications for Undergraduate Nursing Students.” Nurse Education in Practice, 21, 100-103, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2016.10.004.

Thorpe, Jr., Roland J., Ruth G. Fesahazion, Lauren J. Parker, Tanganiyka Wilder, Ronica N. Rooks, Janice V. Bowie, Caryn N. Bell, Sarah L. Szanton, and Thomas A. LaVeist. 2016. “Accelerated Health Declines among African Americans in the USA.” Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 93, 5, 808-819, DOI 10.1007/s11524-016-0075-4.

Rooks, Ronica N. and Cassandra Ford. 2016. “Family Health History and Behavioral Change among Undergraduate Students.” Health, 8, 4, 325-335. DOI: 10.4236/health.2016.84034.

Mathis, Arlesia, Ronica Rooks, and Daniel Kruger. 2016. “Improving the Neighborhood Environment for Urban Older Adults: Social Context and Self-Rated Health.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, 1, 1-13, doi:10.3390/ijerph13010003.

Mathis, Arlesia, Ronica Rooks, and Daniel Kruger. 2015. “Neighborhood Environment and Self-Rated Health Among Urban Older Adults.” Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, January-December, 1-11, doi: 10.1177/2333721415607314.

Krueger, Patrick M., Kate Coleman-Minahan, and Ronica N. Rooks. 2014. “Race/Ethnicity, Nativity, and Trends in Body Mass among U.S. Adults.” Obesity, 22, 7, 1739-1746, doi:10.1002/oby.20744.

Rooks, Ronica N., Yanmei Xu, and David R. Williams. 2014. “Examining Neighborhood Environment and Central Obesity in the YES Health Study.” Journal of Social Issues, 70, 2, 360-381, doi: 10.1111/josi.12064.

Rooks, Ronica N. and Christine Tagliaferri Rael. 2013. “Enhancing Curriculum through Service Learning in the Social Determinants of Health course.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13, 2, 84-100. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/3147.

Rooks, Ronica N. and Cassandra D. Ford. 2013. “Reflections on a Family Health History Assignment for Undergraduate Public Health and Nursing Students.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7, 1, 1-3. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2013.07012.

Rooks, Ronica N., Jacqueline Wiltshire, Keith Elder, Rhonda BeLue, and Lisa C. Gary. 2012. “Health Information Seeking and Use Outside of the Medical Encounter: Is it Associated with Race and Ethnicity?” Social Science & Medicine, 74, 2, 176-184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.09.040. (Epublished online in Nov. 2011)

Rooks, Ronica N., Yanmei Xu, Brooklyn Dorsey Holliman, and David R. Williams. 2011. “A Descriptive Analysis of Discrimination and Mental Health among Black and White Adults in the YES Health Study.” Race and Social Problems, 3, 3, 182-196. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-011-9052-4.

Thorpe, Roland J. Jr., Annemarie Koster, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Anne B. Newman, Tamara Harris, Hilsa Ayonayon, Sara Perry, Ronica N. Rooks, and Eleanor M. Simonsick. 2011. “Race, Socioeconomic Resources and Late Life Mobility and Decline: Findings from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study.” Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 66A, 10, 1114-1123. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glr102

Elder, Keith T., Jacqueline Wiltshire, Ronica N. Rooks, Rhonda BeLue, and Lisa C. Gary. 2010. “Health Information Technology (HIT) and Physician Career Satisfaction.” Perspectives in Health Information Management, 7, 1-18. https://perspectives.ahima.org/health-information-technology-and-physici...

Spencer, S. Melinda, Richard Schulz, Ronica N. Rooks, Steven M. Albert, Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., Gretchen A. Brenes, Tamara B. Harris, Annemarie Koster, Suzanne Satterfield, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, and Anne B. Newman. 2009. “Racial Differences in Self-rated Health and Health Pessimism among Older Adults in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 64, 1, 87-94. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbn007.

Rooks, Ronica N., Eleanor M. Simonsick, Lisa Klesges, Anne B. Newman, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, and Tamara B. Harris. 2008. “Racial Disparities in Health Care Access and Cardiovascular Disease Indicators in Black and White Older Adults in the Health ABC Study.” Journal of Aging and Health, 20, 6, 599-614. doi: 10.1177/0898264308321023.

Sudore, Rebecca, Kristine Yaffe, Suzanne Satterfield, Tamara Harris, Kala Mehta, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Anne Newman, C. Rosano, Ronica Rooks, Susan Rubin, Hilsa Ayonayon, and D. Schillinger. 2006. “Limited Literacy and Mortality in the Elderly: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21, 8, 806-812. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00539.x.

Sudore, Rebecca L., Kala M. Mehta, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Tamara B. Harris, Anne B. Newman, Suzanne Satterfield, C. Rosano, Ronica N. Rooks, Susan M. Rubin, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, and Kristine Yaffe. 2006. “Limited Literacy in Older People and Disparities in Health and Health Care Access.”  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54, 5, 770-776. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00691.x.

Koster, Annemarie, Hans Bosma, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Anne B. Newman, Tamara B. Harris, Jacques Th. M. van Eijk, Gertrudis I.J.M. Kempen, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Karen C. Johnson, Ronica N. Rooks, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Susan M. Rubin, and Stephen B. Kritchevsky.  “Association of Inflammatory Markers with Socioeconomic Status.” 2006. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 61, 3, 284-290. doi: 10.1093/gerona/61.3.284

Koster, Annemarie, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Hans Bosma, Gertrudis I.J.M. Kempen, Anne B. Newman, Suzanne Satterfield, H.H. Atkinson, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, C. Rosano, Kristine Yaffe, Tamara B. Harris, Ronica N. Rooks, Jacques Th.M. van Eijk, and Stephen B. Kritchevsky. 2005. “Socio-economic Differences in Cognitive Decline and the Role of Biomedical Factors.” Annals of Epidemiology, 15, 8, 564-571. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2005.02.008

Koster, Annemarie, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Hans Bosma, Gertrudis I.J.M. Kempen, Tamara B. Harris, Anne B. Newman, Ronica N. Rooks, Susan M. Rubin, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Jacques Th.M. van Eijk, and Stephen B. Kritchevsky. 2005. “Is There a Biomedical Explanation for Socio-economic Differences in Incident Mobility Limitation?” Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 60, 8, 1022-1027. doi: 10.1093/gerona/60.8.1022

Mehta, Kala M., Eleanor M. Simonsick, Ronica Rooks, Anne B. Newman, Sandra K. Pope, Susan M. Rubin, and Kristine Yaffe. 2004. “Black and White Differences in Cognitive Function Test Scores: What Explains the Difference?” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 12, 2120-2127. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52575.x.

Lee, Jung Sun, Robert J. Weyant, Patricia Corby, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Tamara B. Harris, Ronica Rooks, Susan M. Rubin, and Anne B. Newman. 2004. “Reply to JC Desport.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 80, 5, 1453-4. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/80.5.1453.

Lee, Jung Sun, Robert J. Weyant, Patricia Corby, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Tamara B. Harris, Ronica Rooks, Susan M. Rubin, and Anne B. Newman. 2004. “Edentulism and Nutritional Status in a Biracial Sample of Well-functioning, Community-dwelling Elderly: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79, 2, 295-302. DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/79.2.295

de Rekeneire, Nathalie, Ronica N. Rooks, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Ronald I. Shorr, Lewis H. Kuller, Anne V. Schwartz, and Tamara B. Harris. 2003. “Racial Differences in Glycemic Control in a Well-functioning Older Diabetic Population: Findings from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study.” Diabetes Care, 26, 7, 1986-1992. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.26.7.1986

Rooks, Ronica N. and Diane R. Brown. 2002. “Closing the Gap in Breast Cancer Screening Among Older African-American and Caucasian Women.” Phylon: The Clark Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture, 50, 1-2, 127-143 (Special issue on Health Care Disparities). https://doi.org/10.2307/4150005

Rooks, Ronica N., Eleanor M. Simonsick, Toni Miles, Anne Newman, Stephen Kritchevsky, Richard Schulz, and Tamara Harris. 2002. “The Association of Race and Socioeconomic Status with Cardiovascular Disease Indicators in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57B, 4, S247-S256. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/57.4.S247

Rooks, Ronica N. 2001. “Racial Differences in Self-Reported Health among the Elderly: Biological or Social?” African American Research Perspectives, 7, 1, 214-225. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015042804768 and https://prba.isr.umich.edu/publications/african-american-research-perspectives/                      

Freid, Virginia M., Diane M. Makuc, and Ronica N. Rooks. 1998. “Ambulatory Health Care Visits by Children: Principal Diagnosis and Place of Visit.” Vital and Health Statistics, Series 13, No. 137, May.  NCHS, CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_13/sr13_137.pdf

Robinson, John, Bart Landry, and Ronica Rooks. 1998. “Time and the Melting Pot.” American Demographics, 20, 6, 18-23.

Rooks, Ronica. 1993. “Motherhood: Growing More Common Among Never-Married Women.” Population Today, November. Population Reference Bureau.

Book Chapters

Rooks, Ronica N. and Roland Thorpe, Jr. 2014. “Understanding age at onset and self-care management to explain racial and ethnic cardiovascular disease disparities in middle- and older-age adults,” Chapter 29 in Keith E. Whitfield and Tamara A. Baker’s (editors), Handbook on Minority Aging, sponsored by the Task Force on Minority Issues in Gerontology of the GSA. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Rooks, Ronica N. and Keith Whitfield. 2004. “Health Disparities among African Americans: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives,” Chapter 4 in Keith Whitfield’s (editor), Closing the Gap: Improving, the Health of Minority Elders in the New Millennium. Washington, D.C.: The GSA.

Kramarow, Ellen, Harold Lentzner, Ronica Rooks, Julie Weeks, and Sharon Saydah. 1999. Health and Aging Chartbook, Health, United States, 1999. NCHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus99.pdf

Rooks, Ronica N. and John P. Robinson. 1997. “Status and Racial Differences in Time Use,” Ch. 15 in John P. Robinson and Geoffrey Godbey’s, Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Articles/Book Chapters/Reports in Preparation

Rooks, Ronica N., Jean Scandlyn, Krysta Pelowich, and Sabrina Lor. “Co-Teaching: Walking Our Talk in Higher Education.” (Revising and resubmitting to: Pedagogy in Health Promotion)

Rooks, Ronica N., Cassandra D. Ford, Jenna Bennett, and Tyrone Braxton. “Creating a Family Health History Interview Protocol for Use with Undergraduate Health Professional Students: A Scoping Review.” (Revising and resubmitting to: Pedagogy in Health Promotion)

Rooks, Ronica N., Sarah McCarthy, Britanie Graybeal, and Stephen Griffin. “Lessons Learned from our Aging in Community and Time-banking and Health Pilot Research with Older Adults”

Rooks, Ronica N., Cassandra Ford, Mario Sims, Alethea Hill, Cheryl R. Clark, Jennifer Robinson, Ervin Fox, and Edward Havranek. “The Relationship between Neighborhood Environment, Age, and Left Atrial Size and Volume in the Jackson Heart Study.” To be submitted to: The International Journal for Environmental Research and Public Health.

Rooks, Ronica N., Chase Hills, and Aysha Akhtar. “Gentrification, Older Adults, and Health: A Scoping Review.” To be submitted to: The Gerontologist.

Rooks, Ronica N., Carla Villegas, and Chelsea Situmeang. Developing Pedagogies to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion for Graduate Students and Postdocs.” To be submitted to: Teaching and Teacher Education.

Breaux, Becky and Ronica N. Rooks. “The Relationship between Disability and Race/Ethnicity with Flu Vaccinations.”

Brydges, Madison, James Dunn, and Ronica Rooks. “Resident Experiences and Perceptions of the Vanier Towers Hub Services” Report, based on qualitative interviews with Vanier Towers' (i.e., a social housing residential building for low-income adults) adult to older adult residents on their use and satisfaction with the health and social services offered. It will be submitted to the Vanier Towers Hub Services Working Group, City Housing Hamilton in Ontario, Canada.

Rooks, Ronica N., Allison Leanage, Roland Thorpe, Jr., and Tamara Harris. “Health and Working Beyond Retirement Age: Exploring Racial and Gender Intersectionality among Well-Functioning Older Adults.”

McNeal, Demetria M., Ed Havranek, Amy Huebschman, Ronica Rooks, Kamal Henderson, Channing Tate, William Hiatt, Pamela Peterson, Stacie Daugherty, and Judy Regensteiner. “Peripheral Artery Disease in African Americans: A Systematic Review of Race, Gender and Disease.”

Rooks, Ronica N., Cassandra D. Ford, Kate Coleman-Minahan, and Patrick M. Krueger. “Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease Risk”

Rooks, Ronica N., Nancy A. West, Steven Kritchevsky, Toni Miles, Susan Rubin, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Kristine Yaffe, and Tamara Harris. “Who's Getting Sicker Faster among Well-Functioning Older Adults?  Racial Differences in Chronic Disease in the Health ABC Study”

Rooks, Ronica N. and Arlesia Mathis. “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care Utilization: The Consequences of Age and Chronic Conditions.” 

ETST/HBSC 3002: Ethnicity, Health, and Social Justice/Health Disparities 
HBSC 3041: Health Culture and Society
HBSC/SOCY/PUBL 4040: Social Determinants of Health
HBSC 7071: Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (aka Social Epidemiology)
HBSC 7400 001: Health Disparities
HBSC 7400 002: Advanced Statistics in Health