For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

Shirley Zimmerman


Professor Emeritus

299h McNeal
1985 Buford Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

Tel: 612-625-5289

Areas of Interest

Family Policy
Family-Government Connection
State Expenditures and Individual Family Well-Being
Families in Political Context


Ph.D., Social Work, University of Minnesota
M.S.W, Social Work, University of Minnesota
B.A., University of Minnesota

Honors & Awards

Helen LaBaron Hilton Endowed Chair in Family Policy, College of Family and Consumer Science, Iowa State University. 1998-99

Post-Doctoral Fellow. NIMH Training Program in Family Impact Analysis. Minnesota Family Study Center, University of Minnesota. 1977-78

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

Listed in:

  • Who's Who of American Women, 1981-1982 edition
    World's Who's Who of Women
    Who's Who of Midwest Women
    Directory of Distinguished Americans, 1st edition
    International Authors & Writers Who's Who, 15th edition
    135 Voices: Celebrating the Legacy of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, 1933-2003

Teaching & Learning

Dr. Zimmerman is retired and no longer teaching classes.

Research & Discovery

Sole author of four books on family policy. All four books were published by Sage Publications.

  • Family Policy: Constructed Solutions to Family Problems, 2001
  • Understanding Family Policy: Theories and Applications, 1995
  • Family Policy and Family Well-Being: the Role of Political Culture 1992
  • Understanding Family Policy: Theoretical Approaches. 1988

Dr. Zimmerman is the author of 40 refereed journal articles on family policy, the latest being Child and Family Well-being in States with Different Political Cultures which was published in Families and Society in 2003. She is also the author of many articles on family policy that have appeared as chapters in anthologies such as Families Across Time: A Life Course Perspective edited by Sharon Price and Pat McKendry, the author of several reports such as The Role of the State in Promoting Individual and Family Well-Being that was part of a social work publication published by Rutgers University, and monographs such as State Councils on Families and/or Children: Form or Substance: A Report of a Survey of the 50 States.

Outreach & Engagement

Since retirement, Dr. Zimmerman has returned to the kinds of activities that propelled her into academia in the first place, namely those of the citizen volunteer, focusing her energies on the community in which she lives.

Currently, she serves on the Family and Children's Services Collaborative advisory committee of St. Louis Park as well as the Community Education Council advisory committee of St. Louis Park. She is co-chair of Bookmark in the Park, a city-school project to promote intergener-ational reading among families in St. Louis Park. For several years, she was a volunteer in the BRAVO music appreciation program for school children in St. Louis Park.

Dr. Zimmerman has served as a member of Community Health Services Advisory Committee of Hennepin County, on panel review committees for the United Way, and on several committees dealing with issues pertaining to long term care, chronic illness, and patient satisfaction in health care under the auspices of the Health Services Research and Policy Department of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. She also was a member of the Family Policy Work Group under the auspices of the Consortium for Children, Youth, and Families at the University.


  1. Zimmerman, S. L. (2001). Family policy: Constructed solutions to family problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  2. Kohler, J., & Zimmerman, S. L. (1999). Policy issues and families over the life course. In S. Price & P. McHendry (Eds.), Families over the life course. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury.

  3. Zimmerman, S.L. (1999). Family policy research: A systems view. Family Science Review, 12 (2), 113-130.

  4. Zimmerman, S. L. (in press, 1998). States' political cultures and their family policies in the 1990s. In J. Mercier & S. Garasky (Eds.), Policy Studies Journal Book Symposium.

  5. Zimmerman, S. L. (1998). Educational policy and the role of advocacy. In M. L. Fuller & G. Olsen (Eds.), Home-school relations (pp. 332-355). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

  6. Zimmerman, S. L. (1997). Congressional votes on key family legislation, 1976, 1985, 1990: Political culture, political party, or gender? In B. Settles & M. Sussman (Eds.), Gender and families: Choices, challenges, and changing policies. New York: Haworth Press.

  7. Zimmerman, S. L. (1997). A potential case of social bankruptcy: States' AFDC payments and their teen birth rates. Policy Studies Journal, 25(1), 109-123.

  8. Zimmerman, S. L. (1996). Review: "Suicide as Psychache: A Clinical Approach to Self-destructive Behavior" by Edwin Shneidman. Contemporary Psychology, 41(6), 542-544.

  9. Borisov, V., Johnson, M., & Zimmerman, S. L. (1995). Child care in the USA and Russia. In A. Antonov, M. J. Matskovsky, J. W. Maddock & M. J. Hogan (Eds.), The family on the threshold of the third millennium. Moscow: Russian Academy of Science, Center for Human Values.

  10. Zimmerman, S. L. (1995). The role of the state in family life: States' AFDC payments and service rates in the United States. Sociological Abstracts: Social Planning & Policy Development.