Pamela Salsberry, PhD, RN, FAAN

Pamela Salsberry, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
Health Behavior and Health Promotion
Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Evaluation Studies
354 Cunz Hall
1841 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-292-0894
View CV

Professional Overview

My long-standing program of research is in the area of health disparities and health equity. Most of this work has been concentrated in the area of maternal-child health. The overarching question that is threaded throughout this body of work concerns the pathways and mechanisms that link social and economic disadvantage to poorer maternal and child outcomes. This work has included diverse projects, including health policy work within the Ohio Medicaid agency and the development of health screening clinics for the underserved. In this work I use a life course model to explore the intergenerational transmission of health capital (mainly between mother-daughter dyads). I have completed projects using various methods, including survey research and numerous secondary data bases (including NHANES, NHIS, Medicaid and Medicare claims data, birth certificates and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY)) to examine the social determinants that are related to health behaviors and disease development. I am particularly interested in examining the relationship between economic status, health behaviors and health outcomes (birth outcomes, and adult and childhood obesity) across racial and socio-economic groups. The economic measures include neighborhood and state-level factors, as well as individual income and relative deprivation, cumulated over the life course of the individual. Much of this work focuses specifically on how early life disadvantage, particularly social and economic disadvantage, influences differential health development in African-American and white females, concentrating on markers of adolescent health (obesity, menarche timing, general health status) that are linked to later life chronic disease. This work aligns with interest in health equity and social determinants as it in within these earliest periods that the greatest potential for life course impact occurs.  I currently am extending this work by considering how health behaviors are transmitted across generations and determining their effects on infant/child outcomes. An example of this is a pilot grant we received to investigate ways to translate the current science of health promotion, diabetes prevention and community engagement to reduce the risk for future gestational diabetes complicated pregnancies and type 2 diabetes in economically distressed women.  Additionally I am working with a group at the OSU Crane Center to investigate how family resource use during the first 5 years of life impact social, behavioral, cognitive, and health outcomes using a birth cohort study in Franklin County.  


2014-2019 Associate Director, Institute for Population Research. NIH, NICHD P2CHD058484 $2,876,507 (PI: Dr. John Casterline)
2014-2019 Co-investigator. KICS: Kids in Columbus Study. Crane Center for Early Childhood Research & Policy. 
2015-2016 Principal Investigator. A community approach to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes in high risk women with a history of gestational diabetes. $11,300. CTSA, Pilot and Collaborative Studies Program.
2015-2016 Principal Investigator, Early life contexts, stress, and developmental gains over the school year. Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy.
2013-2015 Co-Investigator (mentor). Pathways to shortened gestation among Black women. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, F31 Award. July1, 2013 (Student: Shannon Gillespie)
2010-2014 Principal Investigator. Pathways to overweight and pubertal timing in African-American and White girls. National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Nursing Research, RO1 NR009384, $1,203,364.
2011-2013 Co- investigator (mentor). Early life nutritional environments and cognitive ability in children. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Nursing Research. F31, NR012878 $70,278. (Student: Rika Tanda)


PhD, The Ohio State University
MA, The Ohio State University
MS, The Ohio State University
BSN, Case Western Reserve University

Selected Publications

Salsberry, P, Tanda, R, Anderson, SE, Komboh, MK (in press). Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes: Prevention and Treatment through a Life Course Health Development Framework in Handbook of Life Course Health Development Science, edited by Halfon, N, Forrest, C, Lerner, R, Faustman, EM. Springer.

Reagan, PB, Salsberry, PJ (2014). Cross race comparisons between SES health gradients among African-American and white women at mid-life. Social Science & Medicine, 108, 81-88.

Tanda, R & Salsberry, PJ (2014). Racial Differences in the Association between Maternal Prepregnancy Obesity and Children's Behavior Problems. The Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 35(2), 118-127.

Tanda, R. & Salsberry, P. (2013). The Impact of the 2007 Expert Committee Recommendations on Childhood Obesity Preventive Care in Primary Care Setting in the United States. Journal of Pediatric Health Care.

Salsberry, PJ, Reagan, PD, Fang, MZ. (2013) Disparities in Women's Health across a Generation: A Mother-Daughter Comparison. Journal of Women’s Health, 22(7), 617-624.

Reagan, PB, Salsberry, PJ (2013). The Effects of State-Level Scope-of-Practice Regulations on the Number and Growth of Nurse Practitioners. Nursing Outlook, 61(6), 392-399.

Reagan, PB, Salsberry, PJ, Fang, MZ, Gardner, WP, Pajer, K. (2012). African-American/white differences in the age of menarche: Accounting for the difference. Social Science and Medicine, 75(7),1263-1270.

Wewers, ME, Salsberry, PJ, Ahijevych, K, Ferketich, AK, Hood, N, Paskett, E. (2012). Disparity in smoking prevalence: An analysis of risk factors in a vulnerable population of women. Journal of Women’s Health, 21(5), 548-556.

Tanda, R, Salsberry, PJ, Reagan, PB, Fang, MZ. (2012).The impact of prepregnancy obesity on children’s cognitive test scores. Maternal Child Health Journal.

Arbour, M., Corwin, E., Salsberry, P.J. (2012). Racial differences in the health of childbearing-aged women. MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 37(4).

Kovar, C., Salsberry, P. (2012). Perceptions of the Mother-Daughter Relationship and sexual initiation, MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 37(2), 3-10.

Tanda, R., Salsberry, P.J. (2012). Integrating risks for type 2 diabetes across childhood: A life course perspective. Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

Kaylor, M.B., Polivka, B., Chaudry, R., Salsberry, P.J. (2011). Dental Services Utilization by Women of Childbearing Age by Socioeconomic. Journal of Community Health, 2010, 35 (2):190-197.

Salsberry, PJ, Reagan, PB. (2010). Effects of heritability, shared environment, and nonshared intrauterine conditions on child and adolescent BMI, Obesity, 2010; 18(9): 1775-1780.

Reagan PB, Salsberry PJ. (2010) Pathways to adolescent overweight: BMI and height percentile change in children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 5: 80-87.

Salsberry PJ, Reagan PB., Pajer K. (2009). Growth differences by age of menarche in African-American and White Girls. Nursing Research, 58(5):303-377.

Arbour M, Corwin E, Salsberry PJ. (2009) Douching Patterns in Women Related to Socioeconomic and Racial/Ethnic Characteristics. JOGNN, 38 (5): 577-582.

Salsberry, PJ, Reagan, PB (2009). Comparing the influence of childhood and adult economic status on midlife obesity in Mexican-American, white, and African-American Women. Public Health Nursing, 26(1) 14-22. Populations: A community survey. Public Health Nursing, 11(1), 17-23.