Ph.D., Oklahoma State University 1980
Office: Brewster A-403
Areas of Interest: Aging, Health, Quantitative Methods
A Pre-doctoral Fellow with the Midwest Council for Social Research on Aging, Jim Mitchell joined the faculty of East Carolina University in 1980. A Professor of Sociology, he was Director of the Center on Aging of the Brody School of Medicine of East Carolina University for 25 years and Associate Director of the University of North Carolina system Institute on Aging for 12 years. His research and writing in applied gerontology focuses upon preventive health behavior among community-dwelling older adults. Jim is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, Founding Fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Founding Fellow of the University of North Carolina system Institute on Aging, former Editor of the Journal of Applied Gerontology, and he served as President of the Southern Gerontological Society. His recent publications include, The Aging Farm Population and Rural Aging Research in the Journal of Agromedicine (2009), Topography, Culture Areas, and Integration of Retired Migrants in a Coastal North Carolina County in the Journal of Applied Gerontology (2010), and Continuing Education Modules and the Scholarship of Engagement in Gerontology and Geriatrics Education (2010). He anticipates a funding decision on his proposal Racial Disparity in Later-Life Health: A Mixed-Methods Life Course Approach submitted to the National Institute on Aging in October.
Selected Refereed Publications
Jim Mitchell, Don Bradley, Jim Wilson, and R. Turner Goins (Under Review) What is rural in research on aging? Definition, measurement, application and variability. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
Rural transformation and quality of life among older adults. Proposal for 2-year project submitted to NIA June 1, 2006, including investigators from East Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and West Virginia University. (Grant Proposal)
Jim Mitchell, Mary Altpeter & Joan Pennell (2005) Advancing social work responsiveness to health disparities: The case of breast cancer screening. Health and Social Work 30:177-272.
Jim Mitchell, Holly Mathews & Linda Mayne (2005) Differences in breast self examination techniques between Caucasian and African-American elderly women. J. of Women's Health 14:476-484..
Jim Mitchell, Linda Pololi, Kay Dennis & Gloria Winn (2003) A needs assessment of medical school faculty: Caring for the caretakers, Education in the Health Professions 23:21-29.
"Rural Aging" in Ekerdt (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Aging. Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. (Book Chapter)
Jim Mitchell, Christopher Mansfield & Dana E. King (2002) The doctor as God’s mechanic? Beliefs in the Southern United States. Social Science and Medicine 54(3):399-409.
Jim Mitchell, Donald Lannin, Holly Mathews & Melvin Swanson (2002) Religious beliefs and breast cancer screening, J. of Women’s Health 11:907-915.
Jim Mitchell, Donald Lannin, Holly Mathews & Melvin Swanson (2002) Impacting Cultural attitudes in African-American women to decrease breast cancer mortality, The Journal of Surgery 184:418-423.
“Demographics ,” pp.9-14 in Ham, R.J., Sloane, P.D., & Warshaw, G.A., (Eds.) Primary Care Geriatrics: A Case-Based Approach. Mosby, St. Louis, 2002. (Book Chapter)
My research focus is the measurement and assessment of the role of behavioral factors that affect the use of health and community-based services among older persons, particularly in rural minority populations. This typically entails multiple-year large scale survey research projects. I have received research support from the American Cancer Society, the Kate B. Reynolds Health Care Trust, and branches of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. I am a Founding Fellow of the UNC Institute on Aging and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and a Fellow of the Behavioral and Social Science Section of the Gerontological Society of America. Since 1989, I have been Director of the Center on Aging, now housed administratively in the School of Medicine. I am currently the editor of the Journal of Applied Gerontology.