Zhenmei Zhang


Zhenmei Zhang

  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Email: zhangz12@msu.edu    Phone: 517-355-7545
  • Office: 408B Berkey Hall

Degree: The Pennsylvania State University


Zhenmei Zhang is Associate Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Zhang’s areas of expertise include aging and the life course, family and health, racial/ethnic disparities in health, and elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Specifically, her research has focused on the effects of social relationships (parental and marital history) on both physical and mental health in later life and the role of gender in moderating the impact of social relationships on health. Another line of her research has examined racial/ethnic differentials in a variety of health outcomes, including cognitive impairment, chronic health problems, functioning problems, and active life expectancy. Most recent projects include an examination of early life influences on cognitive impairment and dementia in China and the United States. Dr. Zhang’s research has appeared in Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Aging and Health, Research on Aging, and The Gerontologist etc.

Associated Programs: Asian Studies Center, Center for Gender in Global Context, Center for Advanced Study of International Development
Research Areas: Family; Health & Medicine
Selected Publications:

Zhang, Zhenmei, Jinyu Liu, Lydia Li, and Hongwei Xu. (2017). "The Long Arm of Childhood in China: Early-Life Conditions and Cognitive Function Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults." Journal of Aging and Health. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0898264317715975.

Yu, Yan-Liang and Zhenmei Zhang. (2017)." Interracial Marriage and Self-Reported Health of Whites and Blacks in the United States. Population Research and Policy Review." Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11113-017-9438-0.

Zhang, Zhenmei, Mark D. Hayward, and Yan-Liang Yu. 2016. “ Life Course Pathways to Racial Disparities in Cognitive Impairment among Older Americans.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 57(2): 184-199.

Zhang, Zhenmei, Hui Liu and Yan-Liang Yu. 2016. “Marital Biography and Health in Middle and Late Life.” Pp. 199-218 in Couple Relationships in the Middle and Later Years: Their Nature, Complexity, and Role in Health and Illness, edited by Jamila Bookwala. Washington, DC. American Psychological Association.

Xu, Hongwei, Lydia Li, Zhenmei Zhang, and Jinyu Liu. 2016. “Is Natural Experiment a Cure? Re-examining the Long-Term Health Effects of China’s 1959-1961 Famine.” Social Science and Medicine. 148:110-122.

Luo, Ye, Zhenmei Zhang, and Danan Gu. 2015. “Education and Mortality among Older Adults in China.” Social Science and Medicine. 127:134-42.

Li, Lydia, Jinyu Liu, Zhenmei Zhang, and Hongwei Xu. 2015. “Late-life Depression in Rural China: Do Village Infrastructure and Availability of Community Resources Matter? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 30(7):729-36.

Zhang, Zhenmei, Danan Gu, and Ye Luo. 2014. “Coresidence with Elderly Parents in Contemporary China: Filial Piety, Parental Investment, and Parental Needs.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 29(3): 259-276.

Liu, Hui and Zhenmei Zhang. 2013 . “Disability Trends by Marital Status among Older Americans, 1997-2010: An Examination by Gender and Race.” Population Research and Policy Review 32:103-127.

Zhang, Zhenmei, Mark D. Hayward, and Chuntian Lu. 2012. “Is there a Hispanic Epidemiologic Paradox in Later Life? A Closer Look at Chronic Morbidity.” Research on Aging 34 (5):548-571.

Curriculum Vitae: Download