Benjamin A. Shaw, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Health Policy, Management and Behavior

Center for Social and Demographic Analysis, University at Albany

University at Albany, School of Public Health
One University Place, Room 169
Rensselaer, NY       12144-3456
Phone Number:         (518) 402-0290
Fax Number:             (518) 402-0414
Email Address:


B.A. Psychology Colgate University 1993
M.P.H Health Behavior & Health Education University of Michigan, School of Public Health 1998
Ph.D Health Behavior & Health Education University of Michigan, School of Public Health 2002

Personal Statement

Because the aging of our population is a relatively recent phenomenon, our current understanding of how to promote healthy aging is still underdeveloped. I am motivated by the thought that my own research on social determinants of healthy aging will contribute to improving this understanding, and will ultimately lead to improvements in health and well-being for individuals during the latter half of the life course.

Courses Frequently Taught

HPM 520 Fundamental of Research Design

HPM 525 Social & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health

HPM 623 Stress, Social Relationships, and Health

HPM 647 Program Evaluation in Public Health

Research Interests

My research seeks to advance our understanding of the influential social, psychological, and behavioral contexts of health during the aging process.  By working to make both theoretical and methodological contributions to the study of health and aging, my ultimate aim is to improve our understanding of the aging process in order to better inform public health interventions and policies that promote healthy aging.

Selected Publications (since 2010)

Murayama, H., Liang, J., Bennett, J., Shaw, B.A., Botoseneanu, A., Kobayashi, E., Fukaya, T., & Shinkai, S. (2015). Trajectories of body mass index and their associations with mortality among older Japanese: Do they differ from Western populations? American Journal of Epidemiology, 182(7), 597-605.


Shaw, B.A., & Agahi, N. (2014). Smoking and physical inactivity patterns during midlife as predictors of all-cause mortality and disability: A 39-year prospective study.European Journal of Ageing, 11, 195-204. doi: 10.1007/s10433-013-0298-0


Agahi, N., Shaw, B.A., & Fors, S. (2014). Social and economic conditions in childhood and the progression of functional health problems from midlife into old age.Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 68, 734-740.doi:10.1136/jech-2013-203698


Insaf, T., Strogatz, D.S., Yucel, R., Chasan-Taber, L., & Shaw, B.A. (2014). Associations between race, lifecourse socioeconomic position and prevalence of diabetes among US women and men: Results from a population-based panel study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 68, 318-325. doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202585


Shaw, B.A., McGeever, K., Vasquez, E., Agahi, N., & Fors, S. (2014). Socioeconomic inequalities in health after age 50: Are health risk behaviors to blame? Social Science and Medicine, 101, 52-60.


Agahi, N. & Shaw, B.A. (2013). Smoking trajectories from midlife to old age and the development of non-life-threatening health problems: A 34-year prospective study.Preventive Medicine, 57, 107-112. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.04.016. PMCID: PMC3714327.


Shaw, B.A. & Agahi, N. (2012). A prospective cohort study of health behavior profiles after age 50 and mortality risk. BMC Public Health, 12: 803. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-803 [PMID 22989155]


Shaw, B.A. Agahi, N., & Krause, N. (2011). Are changes in financial strain associated with changes in alcohol use and smoking among older adults? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 72, 917-925. [PMID 22051205]


Shaw, B.A., Krause, N., Liang, J., & McGeever, K. (2011). Age differences in long-term patterns of change in alcohol consumption among aging adults. Journal of Aging and Health, 23(2), 207-227. doi:10.1177/0898264310381276 [PMID 20847362]


Krause, N., Shaw, B.A., Liang, J. (2011). Social relationships in religious institutions and healthy lifestyles. Health Education and Behavior, 38, 25-38. [PMID 21169477.001]


Shaw, B.A., Liang, J., Krause, N., Gallant, M., & McGeever, K. (2010). Age differences and social stratification in the long-term trajectories of leisure-time physical activity. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 65B(6), 756-766. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbq073 [PMID 20855534].


Shaw, B.A., Liang, J., & Krause N. (2010). Age and race differences in the trajectories of self-esteem. Psychology and Aging, 25, 84-94. [PMID 20230130]