Karen Roberto

Karen Roberto

Karen Roberto

University Distinguished Professor


230 Grove Ln.
Blacksburg, VA 24061





  • Health and Social Support of Older Women
  • Chronic Illness in Late Life (osteoporosis, pain, cancer)
  • Caring for Older Persons with Memory Problems
  • Program Evaluation
  • Elder Abuse/Late Life IPV

Professional Activities

  • Director, Center for Gerontology, Virginia Tech
  • Founding Director, Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment, Virginia Tech
  • Past Chair, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America
  • Editorial Board, The Gerontologist
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Women and Aging


  • Ph.D. Texas Tech University
  • M.S. Texas Tech University
  • B.A. Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    2012 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section, Gerontological Society of America

    2007 Fellow - World Demographic Association

    2006 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research, Virginia Tech

    Selected Publications


    Wacker, R. R., & Roberto, K.A. (2011). Aging social policies: An international perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

    Resnick, B., Gwyther, L. & Roberto, K.A. (Eds.) (2011). Resilience in aging: Concepts, research, and outcomes. New York: Springer Publishing.

    Edited Books

    Roberto, K.A. (Ed.). (1996). Relationships between women in later life. Haworth Press. [Selected for inclusion on the Women’s Studies Core Lists, 2001]


    Roberto, K.A., Brossoie, N., McPherson, M., Pulsifer, M.B., & Brown, P. (in press). Violence against rural older women: Promoting community awareness and action. Australasian Journal on Ageing. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2012.00649.x 2.

    Brossoie, N., Roberto, K.A., & Barrow, K. M. (in press). Making sense of intimate partner violence in late life: Comments from online news readers. The Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gns046. 3.

    Roberto, K.A., McPherson, M., & Brossoie, N. (in press). Intimate partner violence in late life: A review of the empirical literature. Violence Against Women. 4.

    Roberto, K.A., McCann, B.R., & Brossoie, N. (in press). Intimate partner violence in late life: An analysis of national news reports. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect.

    Sponsored Research

    2012-16 Cancer Survivorship among Older Adults in Rural Appalachia. Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Department of Agriculture, under Project No. VA-139732 of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, $25,000.

    2011-15 Non-Intrusive Multi-Patient Fall-Risk Monitoring in Health Care Facilities. National Science Foundation, $1,200,000. Thurmon Lockhart, PI; Dong S. Ha, Karen A. Roberto, Mark Lach, Co-PIs.

    2010-15 Appalachian Community Cancer Network II. National Institutes of Health /National Cancer Institute, (1U54CA153604-01), $6,503,314 ($579,994/Virginia Tech; PI for Virginia; CoDirector, Training Core).