Ph.D., Vanderbilt, 1973
Methodology, Statistics, Medical, Deviance
Research and Teaching Interests
During his professional career, Dr. Elifson has been able to contribute to four major areas in the field of sociology. These include religion, deviance, AIDS/HIV and social behavior, and quantitative studies. In his professional development , he has always been intrigued by the constant feedback between theories and empirical findings. While his primary focus was on theoretical contributions, he proceeded to develop his expertise in methodological and statistical issues.
He is currently working on two NIH/NIDA funded projects. One is an HIV study in Atlanta that examines the role of community and the individual in changing risky behavior and another that focuses on drug use and crime. Both projects seek to gain a greater understanding of the physical, structural and social environmental factors that impact health. Intervention and prevention programs will follow the research.
Dr. Elifson recently completed a successful intervention project (with Claire Sterk, Emory University) that targeted African American women who were at risk for HIV through their drug use and sexual activity. His ambitions for the next five y ears include seeking long-term funding to study the phenomenological meaning of smoking, to assist community based organizations to implement HIV/STD interventions for incarcerated men and women, and to gain insight into the health related consequences of substance abuse.
Dr. Elifson’s professional development contributes to his qualities as a teacher of methodology and statistics. He seeks to demonstrate to students the value of integrating several research methodologies.