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Pamela Teaster

Pamela Teaster, Professor

Pamela Teaster, Professor
Pamela Teaster, Professor

Department of Human Development and Family Science
203 Grove Lane
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8958 |

Pamela Teaster is a professor of human development and family science at Virginia Tech and director of the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology.

Teaster has a long history of serving the public interest in ensuring that older Americans receive protection from exploitation and abuse by those in positions of power or trust. Her ongoing research focuses on the mistreatment of elders and vulnerable adults, public and private guardianship, end-of-life issues and decision-making, ethical treatment and human rights issues of vulnerable adults, and public affairs and policy. She is the coauthor or coeditor of four books and more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles, reports, and book chapters.

In addition to her scholarship, Teaster is on the editorial board of the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect. She is a fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. She is an active board member and former president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She also serves as secretary on the Board of Trustees for the Center for Guardianship Certification and secretary general of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Before joining the Virginia Tech faculty, Teaster served as director of the Center for Gerontology and chair of the Department of Gerontology at the University of Kentucky, where she also served as director of the Ohio Valley Appalachia Regional Geriatric Education Center, director of doctoral studies, and associate dean for research at the College of Public Health. She founded the Kentucky Guardianship Association and was its first president. She also founded the Kentucky Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults.

Accepting new graduate students: Yes
In need of students for research teams: Yes

  • Elder and Vulnerable Adult Mistreatment
  • Public and Private Guardianship
  • Financial Exploitation of Older Adults
  • End-of-Life Issues and Decision-Making
  • Ethical Treatment of Human Rights Issues
  • Ph.D., Public Administration and Public Affairs, Virginia Tech, 1997
  • Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Virginia Tech, 1997
  • M.A., Speech and Theatre, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1982
  • B.S., English Education (major), Speech and Theatre (minor), The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1980
  • Secretary, International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
  • Board of Trustees, Center for Guardianship Certification
  • Judge Isabella Horton Grant Guardianship Award, National College of Probate Judges (2018)
  • Pioneer Award for Public Guardianship, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (2014)
  • Fellow, Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America

Journal Articles

Teaster, P. B., Ramsey-Klawsnik, H., Abner, E. L., & Kim, S. (2015). The sexual victimization of older women living in nursing homes. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/08946566.2015.1082453.

Davis, T., Teaster, P. B., Thornton, A., Watkins, J. F., Alexander, L., & Zanjani, F. (2015). Primary Care Providers’ HIV Prevention Practices Among Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, DOI: 0733464815574093.

Roberto, K.A., Teaster, P.B., Mancini, J., Salva, T. (2015). A community capacity framework for enhancing criminal justice response to elder abuse. Journal of Crime and Justice. 38(1) 9-26.

Teaster, P.B., & O’Brien, J. G. (2014). The Elder Mistreatment of Overtreatment at End of Life. Public Policy & Aging Report, 24(3), 92-96. doi: 10.1093/ppar/pru025.

Edited Books

Rowles, G.D., & Teaster, P.B. (Eds.). (2016). Long-Term Care in an Aging Society: Theory and Practice. Springer Publishing Company.

  • The Importance of The Values History for Public Guardianship. (P. Teaster, PI). The Borchard Center Foundation on Law and Aging. (2015-2016).
  • Research and Recommendations on Restoration of Rights in Adult Guardianship. (E. Wood, PI, P.B. Teaster, Co-PI). Greenwall Foundation. (2015-2017).
  • Assessing the Impact of Involuntary Relocation on Nursing Facility Residents. (Karen A. Roberto, PI; P. Teaster, Co-PI). Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2014-2015).