Patricia Rieker

Patricia Rieker

Patricia Rieker

Visiting Professor
PhD, Pittsburgh

Sociology 271 | 617.358.0640 |

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Patricia Rieker, a medical sociologist, is an adjunct Professor of Sociology, specializing in the effects of gender and other social determinants of population health. Prior to coming to Boston University, Dr. Rieker was a Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Society and Health Program at Simmons College, and before that the Director of Psychosocial Research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She also has a position of an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, where she still teaches on occasion. She recently published a book (with Chloe E. Bird) “Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies” that synthesizes social and biological explanations of gender differences in health both in the United States and cross-nationally.  In addition, she writes and teaches about evaluation of public health interventions and consults with the Centers for Disease Control.


Valerie Leiter and Patricia P. Rieker “Mind the gap: gender differences in child special health care needs” Journal of Maternal and Child Health.  2012 Jul;16(5):1072-80. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0834-5.

Lavinghouze, S.R., Snyder, K., Rieker, PP., Ottoson, J. “Consideration of an applied model of public health program infrastructure”. Journal of Public Health Management & Practice. 2013;19(6):E28–37.

 Lavinghouze, S.R., Snyder, K., Rieker, PP., “The Component Model of Infrastructure:  A practical approach to understanding public health infrastructure” (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 12,2014: e1–e11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302033)

CE Bird and PP Rieker. 2008. Gender and Health: The Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies. Cambridge University Press: London and New York

PP Rieker and CE Bird   “Rethinking gender differences in health:  Why we need to
integrate social and biological  perspectives.”  Journals of Gerontology:  Social Science- Vol. 60B, Special Issue 11, Health Inequalities Across the Life Course. 2005:40-47.

PP Rieker and Paul Mattessich. 2008. Introduction to Process Evaluation in Tobacco Use, Prevention and  Control:  A Technical Assistance Manual. Centers for Disease Control, Office of Smoking and Health. February.

CE Bird and PP Rieker. 2002 “Integrating Social and Biological Research to Improve Men’s and Women’s Health.” Editorial, Women’s Health Issues. 12:3 pp 113-115. May/June.

PP Rieker and CE Bird. 2000. “Sociological Explanations of Gender Differences in Mental and Physical Health.” Pp. 98-113 in The Handbook of Medical Sociology, eds CE Bird, P Conrad, and AM Fremont. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

Prior Edited Books

CV Willie, PP Rieker, B Kramer and B Brown, eds. 1995 Mental Health: Racism and Sexism. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press and London, England: Taylor and Francis.

EJ Clark, JM Fritz, and PP Rieker, eds. 1990. Sociological Perspectives on Illness and Loss: The linkage of theory and practice. Philadelphia: The Charles Press.

PP Rieker and E Carmen, eds. 1984. The Gender Gap in Psychotherapy: Social Realities and Psychological Processes. New York: Plenum Press.


PP Rieker. “Constrained Choice: Gender and Health in the 21st Century.”  Invited lecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, April 1, 2008.

PP Rieker. “Politics, Gender and Health: What Senators Clinton, Obama and McCain Need to Know.” Invited lecture, University of Michigan, Dearborn, March 31, 2008.

PP Rieker. “Gender and Health in the 21st Century.” Scholar in residence, Lancaster University, Lancaster England, April 12-20, 2008.