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Shirley L. Porterfield

Associate Professor of Social Work

202 Bellerive Hall (South Campus)

Office Hours:  By appointment.



Research Interests: 

View Dr. Porterfield's Publications

Biographical Statement

Shirley L. Porterfield joined the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as an associate professor in the Fall of 2003. She is also a research affiliate in Washington University’s Center for Social Development and a member of the board of directors of the Missouri Budget Project (a nonprofit policy research organization). Dr. Porterfield received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics, with an emphasis in Community Economic Development from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1988. She previously held positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, the Rural Policy Research Institute, and Washington University.

Dr. Porterfield's professional interests lie in the areas of social policy, child disability policy, and issues facing low-income families. Her recent papers and presentations examine children with special health care needs, particularly the characteristics, work choices, assets and income of their families, as well as access of these children to health services. Other recent research projects include an analysis of teen time use and a primary data study of matched savings accounts for elementary school children. Her articles on these and other topics can be found in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Children and Youth Services Review, and Monthly Labor Review. She has actively participated as both PI and co-PI on grant research funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Council on Economic Education.

Dr. Porterfield teaches undergraduate Research Methods in addition to graduate-level courses in Program Evaluation and Health Care Policy. In 2001, she received the Excellence in Ph.D. Mentoring Award from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and in 2003, the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Graduate Student Senate, both at Washington University in St. Louis.