Ph.D. Sociology and Demography, Princeton University
M.A. Sociology, Princeton University
B.A. Psychology, Hunter College, City University of New York
Special Appointments and Honours (recent)
2016-18 Deputy Editor, Sociological Perspectives
2016 elected Fellow, The Gereontological Association of America
2016 Extraordinary Merit in Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming
2016 Own It! Award (Awarded to women who made contributions to STEM research, leadership, and mentoring) University of Wyoming
2015 NLSY97 Postsecondary Research Network Award
Dr. Zajacova earned a Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from Princeton University in 2006. Prior to her position as Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wyoming, she was a National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Fellow at the Population Studies Center and the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health at the University of Michigan from 2007-2009. She was also an affiliate at the Population Research Center and a lecturer in the Mathematics Department at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006-2007.
Population Association of America
American Sociological Association
Gerontological Society of America
European Association for Population Studies
2016 Extraordinary Merit in Teaching Award
- social epidemiology
- medical sociology
- population health
- research methods
Supervisory Status: MA
Recent Publications (Past 5 Years)
for more see Full CV
2017 "Disability Rises Gradually for a Cohort of Older Americans" (Lois M. Verbrugge and Dustin C. Brown) Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 72(1):151-161.
2016 "Explaining inequalities in women's mortality between U.S. States" (with Jennifer Karas Montez and Mark D. Hayward) Social Science and Medicine - Population Health 2(2016):561-571.
2016 "Anomaly in the education-health gradient: Biomarker profiles among adults with subbaccalaureate attainment levels" (with Vicki Johnson-Lawrence) Social Science and Medicine - Population Health 2(2016):360-364.
2016 "Educational Attainment and Mortality in the United States: Effects of Degrees, Years of Schooling, and Certification" (with Elizabeth M. Lawrence and Richard G. Rogers) Population Research and Policy Review 35(4):501–525.
2016 "The Health Penalty of the GED: Testing the Role of Noncognitive Skills, Health Behaviors, and Economic Factors" (with Jennifer Karas Montez) Social Science Quarterly online 1 Mar 2016.
2016 "Predictive Strength of Self-Rated Health for Mortality Risk Among Older Adults in the United States: Does It Differ by Race and Ethnicity?" (with Hyeyoung Woo) Research on Aging published online Mar. 18, 2016
2016 "Examination of Age Variations in the Predictive Validity of Self-Rated Health" (with Hyeyoung Woo) Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 71(3):551-557
2015 "Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality Among Older Americans" in Madonna Harrington Meyer and Elizabeth Daniele (eds) Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions Praeger.
2015 "Employment and income losses among cancer survivors: Estimates from a national longitudinal survey of American families" (with Jennifer B. Dowd, Robert F. Schoeni and Robert B. Wallace) Cancer 121(24): 4425–4432.
2015 "Long-Term BMI Trajectories and Health in Older Adults: Hierarchical Clustering of Functional Curves" (with Snehalata Huzurbazar, Mark Greenwoodand Huong Nguyen) Journal of Aging and Health 27(8):1-19.
2015 "The Long Arm of Adolescent Health Among Men and Women: Does Attained Status Explain Its Association with Mid-Adulthood Health?" (with Katrina M. Walsemann, and Jennifer Beam Dowd) Population Research and Policy Review 34(1):19-48.
2015 "Long-term obesity and physical functioning in older Americans" (with Jennifer B. Dowd) International Journal of Obesity 39(3):502-507.
2015 "Accuracy of Telehealth-Administered Measures to Screen Language in Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers" (with Mark Guiberson and Barbara L. Rodríguez) Telemedicine and e-Health 21(9):714-720.
2015 "Unpacking the ‘black box’ of total pathogen burden: is number or type of pathogens most predictive of all-cause mortality in the United States?" (with A. M. Simanek, J. B. Dowd and A. E. Aiello) Epidemiology & Infection 143(12):2624-2634.
2015 Gender Differences in Hypertension and Hypertension Awareness Among Young Adults (with Bethany Everett) Biodemography and Social Biology 61(1):1-17.
2014 "Happiness and health among U.S. working adults: is the association explained by socio-economic status?" (with J.B. Dowd) Public Health 128(9):849-851.
2014 "Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Among Older Adults and the Implications for the Retirement Age Debate: A Brief Report" (with Jennifer Karas Montez and Pamela Herd) Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 69(6):973-978.
2014 "Why Is Life Expectancy Declining Among Low-Educated Women in the United States?" (with Jennifer Karas Montez) American Journal of Public Health 104(10):e5-e7.
2014 Predictors for dioxin accumulation in residents living in Da Nang and Bien Hoa, Vietnam, many years after Agent Orange use (with Diem T. Pham, Hang M. Nguyen, Thomas G. Boivin, Snehalata V. Huzurbazar and Harold L. Bergman) Chemosphere 118:277-283.
2014 "Long-Term Obesity and Cardiovascular, Inflammatory, and Metabolic Risk in U.S. Adults" (with Jennifer B. Dowd) American Journal of Preventive Medicine 46(6):578-584.
2014 "Re: “Body Mass and Weight Change in Adults in Relation to Mortality Risk”" (with Jennifer Beam Dowd) American Journal of Epidemiology 179(11):1402.
2014 "Education as “the Great Equalizer”: Health Benefits for Black and White Adults" (with Christopher J. Holmes) Social Science Quarterly 95(4):1064-1085.
2014 "Body Mass Trajectories and Mortality Among Older Adults: A Joint Growth Mixture–Discrete-Time Survival Analysis" (with Jennifer Ailshire) The Gerontologist 54(2):221-231.
2014 "The Nonequivalent Health of High School Equivalents" (with Bethany G. Everett) Social Science Quarterly 95(1):221-238.
2014 "Healthier, Wealthier, and Wiser: A Demonstration of Compositional Changes in Aging Cohorts Due to Selective Mortality" (with Sarah A. Burgard) Population Research and Policy Review 32(3):311-324.
2013 "Long-Term Obesity and Cardiovascular, Inflammatory, and Metabolic Risk in U.S. Adults" (with Jennifer B. Dowd) American Journal of Preventive Medicine 46(6):578-584.
2013 "Explaining the Widening Education Gap in Mortality among U.S. White Women" (with Jennifer Karas Montez) Journal of Health and Social Behavior 54(2):166-182.
2013 "Trends in Mortality Risk by Education Level and Cause of Death Among US White Women From 1986 to 2006" (with Jennifer Karas Montez) American Journal of Public Health 103(3):473-479.
Dr. Zajacova’s research examines issues in population health, health inequalities, and social determinants of health over the adult life course. In particular, she aims to understand how educational experiences and attainment influence later-life health and longevity among adults and elderly. Some open central questions include: How do college experiences matter for health? Why is the high-school equivalency diploma (GED) associated with worse health than a standard high school graduation? Do adults who attended college but did not earn a credential benefit in terms of their health?
Additional topics Zajacova studies include
- Measurement properties of self-rated health: how do people assess their health?
- Excess body weight and its consequences over the lifecourse: under what circumstances is it detrimental?
- Health trends among US adults in 21st century: why are Americans becoming more sick?
Current Research Projects
Anomaly in the gradient: Health of U.S. adults with subbaccalaureate education
Clinical and Translational Research Infrastruc-ture Network CTR-IN IDeA CTR
Wage gains, but few health returns to some college: A role for employment histories?
Completed Research Projects
for more see Full CV
2015 "Trends in US Womens Health 1997-2014 by Education Level," Principal Investigator. $11,500 grant funded by Network on Life Course Health Dynamics and Disparities in 21st Century America.
2012-14 "Variability in long-term body weight trajectories among older adults, health, and mortality: implications for public health recommendations," Principal Investigator. $86,000 grant funded by Wyoming INBRE Pilot Project Grant.
2014 "College of Health Sciences Faculty Development in Aging Mini-Grant, Principal Investigator. $2,015 grant funded by Wyoming Geriatric Education Center.
2010-13 "Effect of Cancer on the Survivors' and their Families' Economic Well-Being," Principal Investigator. $99,300 grant funded by National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
2012-13 "Establishing the feasibility of functional data analysis for determining the health consequences of body weight changes among older adults, Principal Investigator. $6,800 grant funded by Institute of Translational Health Sciences, University of Washington.
2013 "College of Health Sciences Faculty Development in Aging Mini-Grant, Principal Investigator. $1,895 grant funded by Wyoming Geriatric Education Center.
2011 "The Relationship between BMI and Health Outcomes Among Older Adults," Principal Investigator. $10,000 grant funded by Northern Rockies IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Program Research Support.
2010-11 "Shape of the Association between BMI and Biological Risk Indicators, Principal Investigator. $5,000 grant funded by University of Wyoming, Faculty Grant-in-Aid Program.
2008-11 "Understanding the role of stress and immune function in health disparities," Consultant, with Jennifer Beam Dowd.