Karen Zurlo is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2009; MSW, University of Pennsylvania, 2004; MBA, University of Florida, 1984). She conducts qualitative and quantitative research on older adults and retirement-related topics that include financial well-being, health, life course development, and intergenerational issues. Past projects have focused on two strands of research. One strand includes her dissertation research, which evaluates the mediating effects of control beliefs on the relationship between demographic characteristics of older adults and their financial well-being. The other strand includes international research assessing poverty, globalization, and the welfare state. This second strands incorporates her interests in global aging, poverty and social policy. Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Karen was a recipient of the Hartford Foundation's Pre-Dissertation Award, the Hartford Doctoral Fellows Award and a research grant from the National Institute on Aging.

Courses Taught

  • Social Work Practice II
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services I
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services II: Health and Aging
  • International Social Work
  • Research Methods I

Selected Recent Publications

Zurlo, K. A. (2009). Personal Attributes and the Financial Well-Being of Older Adults: The Effects of Control Beliefs. Working Paper Series 09-03, University of Pennsylvania Population Aging Research Center.

Kim, T. K., Solomon, P., & Zurlo, K. A. (2009). Applying Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to Social Work Administrative Research. Administration in Social Work, 33, 262-277.

Kim, T. K., & Zurlo, K. A. (2009). How does economic globalisation affect the welfare state? Focusing on the mediating effect of welfare regimes. International Journal of Social Welfare, 18, 130-141.

Zurlo, K. A. (2007). Recognizing and Promoting Leadership in Gerontological Social Work Practice. Published in November, Aging Times, a peer-reviewed bimonthly e-newsletter published by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Gero-Ed Center.

Kim, T. K., & Zurlo, K. A. (2007). Factors that influence workfare program participants: Focusing on South Korea's Self-Sufficiency Program. International Social Work, 50, 796-808.

Davitt, J., Zurlo, K., & Klusaritz, H. (2006). Applying Techniques of Policy and Program Analysis in Geriatric Care Management. Journal of Geriatric Care Management, 16, 9-15.