Tirth Bhatta’s primary area of research interest is situated at the intersection of medical sociology and life course. Dr. Bhatta’s research contribute specifically to the sociology of disability and mental health, focusing particularly on the social stratification of later-life health and functioning. A key motivator that has driven his research endeavors is a quest to understand the contributing role of structural forces in producing heterogeneity or disparities in later life health outcomes. Dr. Bhatta’s research investigates how cumulative life course socioeconomic status (e.g., intergenerational social mobility) intersects with other forms of stratification (especially race and gender) to shape later-life health disparities in the U.S. and internationally.
Dr. Bhatta’s second area of research interest considers structural influences on the development of psychological or nonmaterial resources such as altruism and spirituality and the role of such resources in ameliorating the adverse influence of structural disadvantages on psychological well-being in later life.
Dr. Bhatta draws on advanced statistical methods including emerging methodologies of causal inference to address important questions relating to education-based inequalities in health and to further explore historical and cross-national dynamics. His ongoing research projects explore historical variation (as represented by birth cohorts) in the influence of education on functional limitations trajectories over the life course. Dr. Bhatta’s current research projects also examine the role of historical changes in race relations in affecting racial dynamics in education and functional limitations. Furthermore, he is exploring institutional or structural mechanisms (e.g., wealth) that relate to racial and gender dynamics associated with education-based inequalities in health.
Dr. Bhatta’s work has appeared in various journals including Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences and Journal of Aging and Health.