Photo of Dr. Berna Torr

Contact Information
Voice: 657-278-3188
Dept: 657-278-3531

Berna M. Torr, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology, Department Chair

Department Chair Office Hours:
Begining August 24th, her appointments are available in-person, via ZOOM or phone on Wednesdays 11:30am -12:30pm and Thursday's 9:30am-11:30am.
Please make an appointment through Dr. Torr's appointment link. Opens in new window
If you would like to email her, please be sure to include your name, CWID and the reason you would like to speak with her.


As a social demographer, my research explores how changing demographic context shapes family life, health, and well-being. I examine how changes in demographic context—attributable to both historical trends and individual events, such as the experience of migration and being an ethnic minority—influence family formation, health, and well-being. I also continue to be active in applied research and demography. I love research and working with data. I try to share this enthusiasm by regularly teaching undergraduate and graduate classes on statistics and research methods. In addition, I teach substantive classes on the family and am currently developing a class on migration. My approach to teaching stresses the value of hands-on learning and application of the research methods of sociology through individual and group research projects. In all classes, I assign a hands-on project that (1) helps students understand how sociological research works in practice, (2) develops practical research skills, and (3) provides a venue for critical thinking and interpretation.


2005, Ph.D, Sociology, Brown University

2002, M.A., Sociology, Brown University

1996, B.S., Rural Sociology, Cornell Univesity

Research Areas




Applied Research



Courses Regularly Taught

Statistics (graduate and undergraduate)                              

Sociology of Family                                                       

Research Methods (graduate and undergraduate)

Supervision Courses: Independent Study, MA Thesis, MA Project, Comprehensive Exams, Teaching Symposium



Torr, Berna M. 2011. “The Changing Relationship Between Education and Marriage in the United States, 1940–2000.” Journal of Family History. 36(4):483–503.

Walsh, Eileen T., Berna M. Torr, and Bonnie Ha Bui. 2010. “Inequalities in Self-Rated Health: Untangling Ethnicity, Social Class, and Lifestyle Effects on Vietnamese, Other Asians, Hispanics, and Whites.” International Review of Modern Sociology.36(2):195–220.

Rendall, Michael S., and Berna M. Torr. 2008. “Emigration and Schooling Among Second-Generation Mexican-American Children.” International Migration Review.42(3):729–738.

Short, Susan E., Frances K. Goldscheider, and Berna M. Torr. 2006. “Less Help for Mother: The Decline in Adult Support for Mothers of Small Children, 1880–2000.”Demography. 43(4): 617–629.

Torr, Berna Miller, and Susan E. Short. 2004. “Second Births and the Second Shift: A Research Note on Gender Equity and Fertility.” Population and Development Review.30(1):109–130.


Goldscheider, Frances K., and Berna Torr. 2006. “Leaving Home in the Transition to Adulthood.” In Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by G. Ritzer. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 2570–2575.

Miller, Berna, and James D. Torr, eds. 2003. Developing Nations: Current Controversies. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.


Torr, Berna M.,and Eileen T. Walsh.Does the Refugee Experience Overshadow SES? An Examination of Heath in the Largest Vietnamese American Enclave.”

Torr, Berna M.,and Eileen T. Walsh.“Inequality or the Immigrant Experience? An Examination of Health Across Three Cohorts in the Largest Vietnamese American Enclave.”

Walsh, Eileen T., Berna M. Torr,and Orvic Pada.An Examination of Ethnic Density Effect on Health Disparities in Mexican and Vietnamese Communities in Orange County.”

Abdel Haq, Mohammad, and Berna M. Torr. “The Collective Consciousness of Atheism.” Paper in progress, planning to submit abstract for PSA in October.

Otanez, Staci, and Berna M. Torr. “Ethnic and Racial Disparities in HPV Vaccination Attitudes.”

Scholarly Work


Miller, Ron, and Berna M. Torr. 2011. Estimates and Projections of Evacuees Living in Russia and Ukraine/Moldova 2011—2040. Report prepared for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Cohen, Steve M., Ron Miller, Ira M. Sheskin, and Berna Torr. 2010. The Long-Term Impact of Jewish Camp Upon Adult Jewish Engagement: Evidence From Twenty-Six Population Studies in the United States. Report Prepared for the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

Miller, Ron, Pearl Beck, and Berna Torr. 2009. Nazi Victims of the Holocaust Currently Residing in Canada, the United States, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe, Estimates and Projections: 2010–2030. Reported Prepared for the Claims Conference.