Taka Yamashita has received his Ph.D. from Miami University of Ohio, M.A. from Ball State University, and a B.A. from Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan. He completed the post-doctoral training at the Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University and joined the UNLV department of sociology in 2012. His research interests are geographic access to health resources, including health care services, healthy food outlets and places for physical activities, health literacy over the life course, fall risk factors and chronic disease self-management behaviors in older populations. He has been involved in other research areas such as measurement for quality of life in Eastern Asian populations, psychometric property of residential care facility residents’ satisfaction, effects of marital quality on health, scientific data visualization, and exploratory spatial analysis of public health policy and gerontology education.
He has used the geographic information systems in his research for quantifying spatial accessibility and visualizing data. His articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Social Science & Medicine, Gerontologist, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Aging and Health, Journal of Happiness Studies, Journal of Applied Gerontology, Journal of Diabetes, and Gerontology and Geriatrics Education.
Recent Courses Taught
- SOC 466 — Sociology of Medicine
Current Research Projects
- The Association between Education, Literacy and Health Outcomes: An Analysis of the International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey
Building upon the well-established relationship between education and health, this project examines the role of health literacy as a mediator across six study locations, including the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, and Bermuda. Weighted logistic regressions and path analytic strategies are employed for analyzing the survey data with complex sampling designs. My co-investigator is Suzanne Kunkel (Miami University).
- Psychometric Property of the Residential Care Satisfaction Survey in the U.S. and Canada
This project examines the psychometric property of the residential care satisfaction assessment tool developed in Ohio (ODA-RSS) and its applicability in British Columbia, Canada. Confirmatory factor analysis and multi-group invariance test approach is taken for analyzing validity and compatibility of the ODA-RSS. My co-investigators are Heather Cooke (University of Victoria), J. Scott Brown (Miami University) and Jane Straker (Miami University).
- Identifying Naturally Occurring Retirement Community using the Geographic Information Systems
Naturally Occurring Retirement Community or NORCs are generally defined as communities with 40 percent or greater proportions of older populations. This project analyzes the 2000 and 2010 U.S. census data at census block-group level to identify locations of NORCs and documents the spatio-temporal patterns of NORCs in Ohio. Geo-visualization techniques and descriptive spatial statistical methods are employed. My co-investigators are Maricruz Rivera-Hernandez and Suzanne Kunkel (Miami University).