Karen Bullock, PhD, LCSW

Professor, North Carolina State University (Affiliate)

Department Head, School of Social Work

Research Overview

Dr. Bullock is clinically trained in mental health and aging. Her research interests include health care disparities among vulnerable populations and en-of-life care issues. Dr. Bullock received funding from the Project on Death in America (Soros Foundation) to develop end-of-life care resources for the dying and bereaved. Subsequently, she received a John A. Hartford Faculty Scholar award to explore racial differences in the use of palliative care between black and white hospitalized older adult patients. Currently, Dr. Bullock’s research is focused on comparing racial differences in end-of-life care for diverse patient populations.


Ph.D., Boston University, 2000 (sociology and social work)
M.S., Columbia University, 1992 (social work)
B.S.W., North Carolina State University, 1990 (social work)

Recent Publications


Featured Publications

Sellars, D.E., Crawford, S.L., Bullock, K., & McKinlay, J.B. (1997). Understanding the Variability in the Effectiveness of Community Heart Health Programs: A Meta-Analysis. Social Science and Medicine, 44 (9), 1325-1339.

Bullock, K. (2001). Healthy Family Systems: The changing role of grandparents in rural America. Education & Ageing, 16 (2), 163-178.

Bullock, K., Crawford, S.L., & Tennstedt, S. L., (2003). Employment and Caregiving: An Exploration of African American Caregivers. Social Work, 48 (2), 150-162.

Bullock, K. (2004). The changing role of grandparents in rural families: The results of an exploratory study in Southeastern North Carolina. Families in Society, 85 (1), 45-54.

Bullock, K. (2005). Grandfathers and the impact of raising grandchildren. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 32 (1), 43-59.

Bullock, K., McGraw, S.A., Blank, K., & Bradley, E.H. (2005). What matters to older African Americans facing end-of-life decisions? A focus group study. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, 1 (3), 3-19.

Bullock, K. (2005). Ahora le voy a cuidar mis nietos: Rural Latino grandparents raising grandchildren of substance abusing parents. Alcoholism Quarterly, 23 (2/3), 107-130.

Bullock, K. (2006). Promoting advance directive among African Americans: A faith-based model. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 9 (1), 183-195.

Bullock, K., & McGraw, S.A. (2006). A community capacity- enhancement approach to breast and cancer screening among older women of color. Health & Social Work, 31 (1), 16-25.

Davidson, K., & Bullock, K. (2007). Zelda Foster and her contributions to end-of-life care in social work. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life Care, 3 (1), 69-82.

Bullock, K. (2007). Grandfathers Raising Grandchildren: An Exploration of African American Kinship Networks. Journal of Health and Social Policy, 22 (3/4), 181-197.

Bullock, K., & Thomas, R.L. (2007). The Vulnerability for Elder Abuse Among a Sample of Custodial Grandfathers: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 19 (3/4), 133-150.

Fried TR, Bullock K, Iannone L, O’Leary JR. (2009).Understanding advance care planning as a process of health behavior change. J Am Ger Society, 57 (9), 1547-1555.

Stein GL, Sherman PA, Bullock K. (2009). Educating Gerontologists for cultural proficiency in end-of-life care practice. J Edu Gerontology, 35 (11), 1008-1025.

Bullock, K. (2009). Expanding the intergenerational relationship: Grandfathers raising grandchildren. International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development Bulletin, 2 (56), 9-12.


Contact Information
Mailing AddressNorth Carolina State University
School of Social Work
1911 Building, Room 217 - CB 7639
Raleigh, NC 27695