Judith C. Barker, PhD

Judith C. Barker, PhD

Professor, Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine, UCSF


Phone: (415) 476-7241 (voice)
Box 0850, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0850

UCSF Profiles

Cancer Center Membership

Associate Member » Breast Oncology» Cancer Control

Research Summary

I conduct a variety of studies, primarily qualitative in approach, examining the experience and meaning of health and illness to various communities or patient groups. Understanding how non-health professionals conceptualize, recognize and respond to risks to health or well-being and act (or not act) to prevent or minimize risks has been an interest threaded throughout many of my projects which are focused on understanding health disparities and vulnerable populations. A particular focus has been on chronic illnesses, including those affecting children’s oral health and multiple chronic illnesses that affect older adults. All of my research is community-based and much has been interdisciplinary or translational in intent. I have been involved in team research with wide range of faculty and researchers from all four clinical schools on the UCSF campus, the school of Public Health at UC Berkeley, as well as private research institutes in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, B.Sc., 1972, Chemistry
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, B.A. (Hons) 1st, 1974, Anthropology
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, M.A., 1977, Anthropology
Bedford College, University of London, United Kingdom, M.Sc., 1977, Medical Sociology
University of CA, San Francisco & University of CA, Berkeley, Ph.D., 1985, Medical Anthropology

Professional Experience

  • 1975-1972
    Junior Lecturer [Equivalent to Assistant Professor] in Anthropology, Dept. Anthropology & Maori, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1977-1982 and 1984-1982
    Staff Research Associate, Medical Anthropology Program, University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 1986-1992
    Assistant Research Anthropologist, Medical Anthropology Program, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF
  • 1994-1992
    Associate Adjunct Professor, Medical Anthropology Program, UCSF
  • 1998-2002
    Associate Professor in Residence, Dept Anthropology, History & Social Medicine, UCSF
  • 2002-2
    Professor in Residence, Dept Anthropology, History & Social Medicine, UCSF
  • 2002-2002
    Appointed, Petersen Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Gerontology and Family Studies, Dept. of Human Development & Family Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • 2003-2002
    Appointed, Visiting Professor, Human Sexuality Program, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Selected Publications

  1. Barker JC, Guerra C, Gonzalez-Vargas MJ, Hoeft KS. Acceptability of Salt Fluoridation in a Rural Latino Community in the United States: An Ethnographic Study. PLoS One. 2016; 11(7):e0158540.
    View on PubMed
  2. Pham K, Barker JC, Lazar AA, Walsh M. Oral Health Care of Vietnamese Adolescents: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Practices. J Dent Hyg. 2015 Dec; 89(6):397-404.
    View on PubMed
  3. Hoeft KS, Rios SM, Pantoja Guzman E, Barker JC. Using community participation to assess acceptability of "Contra Caries", a theory-based, promotora-led oral health education program for rural Latino parents: a mixed methods study. BMC Oral Health. 2015; 15:103.
    View on PubMed
  4. Apesoa-Varano EC, Barker JC, Unutzer J, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Johnson MD, Tran C, Guarnaccia P, Hinton L. Idioms of Distress Among Depressed White-Non-Mexican and Mexican-Origin Older Men. J Cross Cult Gerontol. 2015 Sep; 30(3):305-18.
    View on PubMed
  5. Amanzadeh B, Sokal-Gutierrez K, Barker JC. An interpretive study of food, snack and beverage advertisements in rural and urban El Salvador. BMC Public Health. 2015; 15:521.
    View on PubMed
  6. Apesoa-Varano EC, Barker JC, Unutzer J, Hinton L. Depression Attributes Among White Non-Hispanic and Mexican-Origin Older Men. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 Sep; 23(9):960-9.
    View on PubMed
  7. Hoeft KS, Guerra C, Gonzalez-Vargas MJ, Barker JC. Rural Latino caregivers' beliefs and behaviors around their children's salt consumption. Appetite. 2015 Apr; 87:1-9.
    View on PubMed
  8. Apesoa-Varano EC, Barker JC, Hinton L. Shards of sorrow: Older men's accounts of their depression experience. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Jan; 124:1-8.
    View on PubMed
  9. Hinton L, Apesoa-Varano EC, Unützer J, Dwight-Johnson M, Park M, Barker JC. A descriptive qualitative study of the roles of family members in older men's depression treatment from the perspectives of older men and primary care providers. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 May; 30(5):514-22.
    View on PubMed
  10. Beck AL, Takayama JI, Halpern-Felsher B, Badiner N, Barker JC. Understanding how Latino parents choose beverages to serve to infants and toddlers. Matern Child Health J. 2014 Aug; 18(6):1308-15.
    View on PubMed
  11. DeMoss M, Bonney L, Grant J, Klein R, del Rio C, Barker JC. Perspectives of middle-aged African-American women in the Deep South on antiretroviral therapy adherence. AIDS Care. 2014; 26(5):532-7.
    View on PubMed
  12. Salazar G, Barker JC, Heyman MB. Medical students' conceptualizations of quality of life associated with children with IBD. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2013 Oct; 57(4):493-9.
    View on PubMed
  13. Adams SH, Rowe CR, Gansky SA, Cheng NF, Barker JC, Hyde S. Caregiver acceptability and preferences for preventive dental treatments for young African-American children. J Public Health Dent. 2012; 72(3):252-60.
    View on PubMed
  14. Hinton L, Apesoa-Varano EC, González HM, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Dwight-Johnson M, Barker JC, Tran C, Zuniga R, Unützer J. Falling through the cracks: gaps in depression treatment among older Mexican-origin and white men. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Dec; 27(12):1283-90.
    View on PubMed
  15. Yen IH, Shim JK, Martinez AD, Barker JC. Older people and social connectedness: how place and activities keep people engaged. J Aging Res. 2012; 2012:139523.
    View on PubMed
  16. Hoeft KS, Barker JC, Masterson EE. Maternal beliefs and motivations for first dental visit by low-income Mexican American children in California. Pediatr Dent. 2011 Sep-Oct; 33(5):392-8.
    View on PubMed
  17. Apesoa-Varano EC, Barker JC, Hinton L. Curing and caring: the work of primary care physicians with dementia patients. Qual Health Res. 2011 Nov; 21(11):1469-83.
    View on PubMed
  18. Swan MA, Barker JC, Hoeft KS. Rural Latino farmworker fathers' understanding of children's oral health. Pediatr Dent. 2010 Sep-Oct; 32(5):400-6.
    View on PubMed
  19. Franz CE, Barker JC, Kim K, Flores Y, Jenkins C, Kravitz RL, Hinton L. When help becomes a hindrance: mental health referral systems as barriers to care for primary care physicians treating patients with Alzheimer's disease. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Jul; 18(7):576-85.
    View on PubMed
  20. Apesoa-Varano EC, Hinton L, Barker JC, Unützer J. Clinician approaches and strategies for engaging older men in depression care. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Jul; 18(7):586-95.
    View on PubMed

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