Denise Zabkiewicz

  • Associate Professor

Tel: 778-782-8646


Dr. Denise Zabkiewicz is a social epidemiologist trained at the University of California at Berkeley.  Having been mentored by leaders in psychiatric and social epidemiology, medical sociology, social welfare, and health economics, she has acquired a strong orientation and appreciation towards the broader context in which health problems are embedded.  Her interests focus more generally on how social, economic, and policy related factors are intertwined within the broad structural environment and how they interact to influence individual health and the factors that contribute to the onset or continuity of poor health.   More specifically, her research has examined issues of employment and mental health within the context of US welfare reform policy and a rapidly changing labor market.  This research was motivated by her long time collaboration on the Welfare Client Longitudinal Study where she developed a passionate interest in reducing socio-economic inequalities and the mental health problems that are often over-represented among disadvantaged populations.  More recently, her research has focused on the challenges facing homeless mothers as they seek to maintain their housing and family stability. 

Dr. Zabkiewicz’s teaching interests include epidemiologic methods, quantitative analyses, epidemiology from a historical perspective and measurement issues surrounding psychiatric and alcohol problems.   She is fully versed in longitudinal survey fieldwork, sampling, questionnaire development, interviewing and tracking.  She is also knowledgeable in the areas of event history analyses and methods utilizing repeated measures.  


See PubMed

Featured Publications

Zabkiewicz, D., Patterson, M., Wright, A. “A Cross-Sectional Examination of the Mental Health of Homeless Mothers:  Does the relationship between mothering and mental health vary by duration of homelessness?” BMJ Open, November, 2014.

Piat, M., Polvere, L., Kirst, M., Voronka, J., Zabkiewicz, D., Plante, M.C., Isaak, C., Nolin, D., Nelson, G., Goering, P. “Pathways into Homelessness:  Understanding How Both Individual and Structural Factors Contribute To and Sustain Homelessness,” Urban Stud, September, 2014.  DOI: 10.1177/0042098014548138.

Patterson, M., Moniruzzaman, A., Palepu, A., Zabkiewicz, D., Frankish, C.J., Krausz, M., Somers, J.M., “Housing First improves subjective quality of life among homeless adults with mental illness:  12 month findings from a randomized controlled trial in Vancouver, British Columbia,” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2013, 48:1245–1259.

Kidd, S., Virdee, G., Krupa, T., Burnham, T., Hemingway, D., Margolin, I., Patterson, M., Zabkiewicz, D, “The Role of Gender in Housing for Individuals with Severe Mental Illness: A Qualitative Study of the Canadian Service Context,” BMJ Open, 2013;3:e002914. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002914.

Bassil, K, Zabkiewicz, D., Health Research Methods: A Canadian Perspective.  Oxford University Press, February 2014. 

Zabkiewicz, D., Breadner, MC. (2015).  Teaching and Learning Development.  Understanding Mentorship in the Faculty of Heath Sciences: An in-depth look at the mentorship experience of Mentors and Mentees.

Frankish, J., (NPI), O'Shannacery, K. (PKU), Baker, S. (KU), Bryan, S., Gaetz, S., Krausz, R., Norman, T., Patterson, M., Pauly, B., Strehlau, V., Tsemberis, S., Zabkiewicz, D. (co-I’s). A Scoping Review on the Measurement of Community Integration of Homeless Persons. Role: Co-Investigator. Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)Research 

Research Activities

  • Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies (ICURS), SFU School of Criminology
  • Perinatal Services BC, Research Review Committee