Meet Professor Shirley L. Porterfield

Shirley L. Porterfield is a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She previously held positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, the Rural Policy Research Institute, and Washington University in St. Louis.  She is a research affiliate in Washington University’s Center for Social Development and a member of the program committee for the Signature Health Foundation.  Dr. Porterfield teaches graduate-level courses in Program Evaluation and Health Care Policy. 

Dr. Porterfield, who received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focuses her research on health policy, and work, family, and retirement issues associated with disability in children and working-age adults, with particular emphasis on issues facing lower-income families. Her articles on these and other topics can be found in journals such as Pediatrics, the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Children and Youth Services Review, and Health Affairs.  Dr. Porterfield has received research funding from several sources, most recently the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 


Phone: 314-516-4617
Office: 490 SSB
Office Hours: Mondays 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
or by appointment. 

Research Methods
Program Evaluation
Health Policy


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1988
MS, University of Arizona, 1984
BS, Oregon State University, 1982


DeRigne, L. and S.L. Porterfield. 2015. Employment change among married parents of
     children with special health care needs. Journal of Family Issues (accepted 7/2014), online
     first, doi:10.1177/0192513X15572368.

Porterfield, S.L., Levin, S.G., and S.K. Feigenbaum. 2014. Influencing choice of branded or
     generic statins by older adults in the USA. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services
     Research 5(3): 165-173.

Huang, J., S.L. Porterfield, M. Jonson-Reid, and B. Drake. 2012. Effects of child’s educational
     disability on exits from and re-entries to cash assistance. Children & Youth Services Review
     34(9): 1756-1761.

Porterfield, S.L. and L. DeRigne. 2011. Medical home and out-of-pocket medical costs for
     children with special health care needs. Pediatrics 128(5): 892-900.

Sanders, C. and S.L. Porterfield. 2010. The ‘Ownership Society’ and Women: Exploring the
     Ability of Women with Children to Accumulate Assets in America. Journal of Family and
     Economic Issues 31(1): 90-106.

See Dr. Porterfield's CV for a complete list of publications.

Children with Special Health Care Needs
Health Policy
Work-Family Issues