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Oklahoma State University

Karina Shreffler



1115 Main Hall
Tulsa, OK 74106
Phone: 918-594-8389
Fax: 918-594-8558


Degree Institution Area of Study
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University Sociology and Demography
M.A. Pennsylvania State University Sociology
B.S. Oklahoma State University Sociology


My research interests include childbearing intentions, behaviors, and consequences of various reproductive experiences for individuals and couples. I am interested in reproductive experiences and barriers such as infertility and pregnancy loss; attitudes about parenthood and pregnancy plans; and mental health and relationship consequences. For example, I have examined how the experience of stillbirth impacts women’s mental health and divorce risk. I am also interested in work and family issues, including how parents navigate work and family demands. Though much of my work to date has focused on adults, I am currently studying reproductive and contraceptive attitudes and behaviors among teens as well. I am currently PI on several studies. These include an NIH-funded ($1.9M) study to examine prenatal exposures, birth outcomes, and rapid repeat pregnancy (The HATCH Project: Holistic Assessment of Tulsa Children’s Health); a study of neurotoxins and risky behaviors in adolescents; and a youth entrepreneurship development project. For more information about this study and my other research projects, please see my recruitment newsletter.


45. Shreffler, K.M., *Giano, Z., Tiemeyer, S., Gallus, K., Cox, R.B., & Merten, M. (Forthcoming). Trauma and early adolescent perceptions about sex and parenthood: The mediating role of anger regulation. Youth and Society

44. *Wyatt, T., Shreffler, K.M., & Ciciolla, L. (Forthcoming). Neonatal Intensive Care Unit admittance and maternal postpartum depression. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

43. Greil, A.L., Leyser-Whalen, O., McQuillan, J., Shreffler, K.M., Lowry, M., & Johnson, K.M. (Conditional acceptance). Does self-identifying as having a health problem precede medical contact? The case of fertility. Sociological Focus

42. Shreffler, K.M., Tiemeyer, S., McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., & *Spierling, T. (2018). Couple congruence on fertility intentions and values and implications for fertility behavior. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407518787232

41. Johnson, K.M., Greil, A.L., Shreffler, K.M., & McQuillan, J. (2018). Fertility and infertility: Toward an integrative research agenda. Population Research and Policy Review.

40. *Spierling, T., & Shreffler, K.M. (2018). Tough decisions: Exploring women’s decisions following unintended pregnancy. Frontiers in Sociology, 3, 11. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2018.00011

39. *Giano, Z., *Tuttle, B., Merten, M.J., Gallus, K.L., Cox, R.B., & Shreffler, K.M. (2018). Parental documentation status and educational aspirations among Latino adolescents: Mediating effects of school connectedness and parental attitudes towards education. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 40(3), 279-293.doi: 0739986318770377.

38. Shreffler, K.M., *Giano, Z., Merten, M.M., Cox, R.B., & Gallus, K.L. (2018). Parent documentation status and academic attitudes and expectations among early adolescent Latinos. Journal of Adolescence, 64, 48-51. 

37.Greil, A.L., Slauson-Blevins, K.S., McQuillan, J., Lowry, M.H., *Burch, A.R., & Shreffler, K.M. (2018). Relationship satisfaction among infertile couples: Implications of gender and self-identification. Journal of Family Issues, 39(5), 1304-1325. doi:10.1177/0192513X17699027

36. Leyser-Whalen, O., Greil, A.L., McQuillan, J., Shreffler, K.M., & Johnson, K.M. (2017). ‘Just because a doctor says something, doesn’t mean that [it] will happen’: Self-perception as having a fertility problem among infertility patients. Sociology of Health and Illness doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12657

35. Shreffler, K.M., Greil, A.L., & McQuillan, J. (2017). Responding to infertility: Lessons from a growing body of research and suggested guidelines for practice. Invited paper for Special Issue on Translational Family Science: Family Relations, 66(4), 644-658. doi:10.1111/fare.12281

34. Wonch Hill, T., Cacciatore, J., Shreffler, K.M., & *Pritchard, K.M.  (2017). The loss of self: The effect of miscarriage, stillbirth, and child loss on maternal self-esteem. Death Studies, 41(4), 226-235doi: 10.1080/07481187.2016.1261204

33. Shreffler, K.M. (2017). Contextual understanding of lower fertility among U.S. women in the paid labor force. Journal of Family Issues, 38(2), 204-224.doi:10.1177/0192513X16634765  

32. Greil, A., Slauson-Blevins, K.S., Shreffler, K.M., Johnson, K.M., *Lowry, M.H., Burch, A.R., & McQuillan, J. (2017). Decline in ethical concerns about reproductive technologies among a representative sample of U.S. women. Public Understanding of Science, 26(7), 789-805. doi: 10.11777/0963662515625402.

31.Tichenor, V., McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., *Bedrous, A.V., *Clark, A., & Shreffler, K.M.  (2017). Variation in attitudes toward being a mother by race/ethnicity and education among women in the United States. Sociological Perspectives, 60(3), 600-619. doi:10.1177/0731121416662452 

30. Shreffler, K.M., McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., & Gallus, K.L. (2016). Reasons for tubal sterilization, regret, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 34(3),304-313. doi: 10/1080/02646838.2016.1169397

29. Shreffler, K.M., *Tiemeyer, S., Dorius, C., Greil, A.L., McQuillan, J., & *Spierling, T. (2016). Infertility and fertility intentions, desires, and outcomes among U.S. women. Demographic Research, 35(39), 1149-1168. doi: 10.4054/DemRes.2016.35.39

28. Greil, A.L., McQuillan, J., Slauson-Blevins, K.S., Tiemeyer, S., & Shreffler, K.M.  (2016). A new way to estimate the potential unmet need for infertility services among women in the US. Journal of Women’s Health, 25, 133-1388. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5390

27. Shreffler, K.M., McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., & Johnson, D.R. (2015). Surgical sterilization, regret, and  race: Contemporary patterns. Social Science Research, 50, 31-45. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.10.010

26. Shreffler, K.M., Greil, A.L., Mitchell, K.S., & McQuillan, J. (2015). Variation in pregnancy intendedness across U.S. women’s pregnancies. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 19(5), 932-938. doi: 10.1007/s10995-014-1615-8

25. McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L. Shreffler, K.M., & *Bedrous, A.V. (2015). The importance of motherhood and fertility intentions among women in the United States. Sociological Perspectives, 58(1), 20- 35. doi: 10.1177/0731121414534393

24. Cox, R. B., Shreffler, K. M., Merten, M. J., Schwerdtfeger, K. L., & *Dowdy, J. (2015). Parenting, peers, and perceived norms: What predicts attitudes toward sex among early adolescents?  Journal of Early Adolescence, 35(1), 30-53. doi: 10.1177/0272431614523131

23. Criss, M. M., *Lee, T. K., Morris, A. S., Cui, L., *Bosler, C. D., Shreffler, K. M., & Silk, J. S. (2015). Link between monitoring behavior and adolescent adjustment: An analysis of direct and indirect effects. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(3), 668-678doi: 10.1007/s10826-013-9887-0

22. Gallus, K.L., Shreffler, K.M., Merten, M., & Cox, R. (2014). Interpersonal trauma and depressive symptoms in early adolescents: Exploring the moderating roles of parent and school connectedness. Journal of Early Adolescence, 35(7), 990-1013. doi: 10.1177/0272431614548067

21. Cox, R.B., Jr., *Zapata, M., Merten, M.J., Shreffler, K.M., & Schwerdtfeger, K.L. (2013). Do parent-child acculturation gaps affect early adolescent Latino alcohol use? A study of the probability and extent of use. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 8(4). doi: 10.1186/1747-597X-8-4.

20. Shreffler, K.M. & Johnson, D.R. (2013). Fertility intentions, career considerations and subsequent births:  The moderating effects of women’s work hours. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 34(3), 285-295. doi: 10.1007/s10834-012-9331-2 

19. Greil, A.L., Shreffler, K.M., Johnson, K., McQuillan, J., & Slauson-Blevins, K. (2013). The importance of social cues for discretionary health services utilization: The case of infertility. Sociological Inquiry, 83(2), 209-237. doi: 10.1111/soin.1200

18. McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., Shreffler, K.M., Hill, P.W., *Gentzler, K.C., & *Hathcoat, J.D. (2012). Does the reason matter? Variations in childlessness concerns among U.S. women. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(5), 1166-1181. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.0105.x

17. Shreffler, K.M., *Wilson, G., Stamps Mitchell, K., & Schwerdtfeger, K.L. (2012). Considering planning salience in women’s pregnancy intentions. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 38(3), 204.

16. Shreffler, K.M., *Hill, P.W., & Cacciatore, J. (2012). Explaining increased odds of divorce following miscarriage or stillbirth. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 53, 91-107. doi: 10.1080/10502556.2012.651963

15. Greil, A.L., McQuillan, J., Shreffler, K.M., *Johnson, K., & *Slauson, K. (2011). Race-ethnicity and medical services for infertility: Stratified reproduction in a population-based sample of U.S. women. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52(4), 493-509. doi: 10.1177/0022146511418236

14. Greil, A.L., Shreffler, K.M., Schmidt, L., & McQuillan, J. (2011). Variation in distress among women with infertility: Evidence from a population-based sample. Human Reproduction, 26(8), 2101-2112. doi: 10/1093/humrep/der148

13. Tichenor, V., McQuillan, J. Greil, A.L., & Shreffler, K.M. (2011). The importance of fatherhood to U.S. married and cohabiting men. Fathering, 9(3), 232-251. doi: 10.3149/fth.0903.232

12. Shreffler, K.M., *Meadows, M.P, & Davis, K.D. (2011). Firefighting and fathering: Work-family conflict, parenting stress, and parenting satisfaction. Fathering, 9(2), 169-188.

11. Shreffler, K.M., Greil, A.L., & McQuillan, J., (2011). Pregnancy loss and distress among U.S. women. Family Relations, 60(3), 342-355.

10. Greil, A.L., McQuillan, J., *Lowry, M. & Shreffler, K.M. (2011). Infertility treatment and fertility-specific distress: A longitudinal analysis of a population-based sample of U.S. women. Social Science and Medicine, 73(1), 87-94.

9. Drago, R., *Sawyer, K., Shreffler, K.M., Wooden, M., & Warren, D. (2011). Did Australia’s baby bonus increase fertility intentions and births? Population Research and Policy Review, 30, 381-397.

8. Shreffler, K.M, Johnson, D.R., & Scheuble, L.K. (2010). Ethical problems with infertility treatments: Attitudes and explanations. The Social Science Journal, 47, 731-746. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2010.07.012

7. Shreffler, K.M., Pirretti, A.E., & Drago, R. (2010). Work-family conflict and fertility intentions:Does gender matter?” Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 31, 228-240.

6. McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., & Shreffler, K.M. (2010). Pregnancy intentions for women who do not try: Recognizing women who are okay either way. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15, 178-187. 

5. Greil, A.L., McQuillan, J., *Johnson, K., *Blevins-Slauson, K., & Shreffler, K.M. (2009).  The hidden infertile: Infertile women without pregnancy intent in the United States. Fertility and Sterility, 93, 2080-2083.

4. Shreffler, K.M., McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., Lacy, N., & *Ngaruiya, C.  (2009). Odds of having a regular  physician and perceptions of caring: Ethnic patterns among women aged 25 to 45. Family Medicine, 41(4), 248-253.

3. Schwerdtfeger, K.L. & Shreffler, K.M. (2009). Trauma of pregnancy loss and infertility for mothers and involuntarily childless women in the contemporary United States.  Journal of Loss and Trauma, 14(3), 211-227.

2.  Shreffler, K.M. & Dodoo, F.N.A. (2009). The role of intergenerational transfers, land, and education in fertility transition in rural Kenya: The case of Nyeri District.  Population and Environment, 30(3): 75-92.

1.McQuillan, J., Greil, A.L., Shreffler, K.M., & Tichenor, V.  (2008). The importance of motherhood among women in the contemporary United States. Gender & Society, 22(4), 477-496.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Research Methods HDFS  3513
Adulthood and Aging HDFS  4413
Critical Issues in Human Development and Family Science HDFS  4533
Families and Work HDFS  4713
Family Resource Management HDFS  4713
The Family: A World Perspective HDFS  4793
Policy in Human Development and Family Science HDFS  5313
Issues in Family Science HDFS  5513
Individual and Family Resource Management HDFS  5713

Awards & Recognition

  • President’s Outstanding Teaching Award, Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, 2012

  • President’s Fellows Faculty Research Award, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 2017

  • President’s Outstanding Research Award, Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, 2017

  • Big 12 Faculty Fellowship to visit the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ($2,500), 2010
  • Center for Work and Family Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University, 2006-2007
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Developing Country Travel Grant ($2,650), 2004
  • African Population and Health Research Center Internship, Nairobi, Kenya, 2004


Principal Investigator, 50% FTE. 7/1/2016-6/30/2022. HATCH: Holistic Assessment of Tulsa Children's
              Health. National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) R01 as part of
              1 P20 GM 109097. Total award for R01: $1.91 million; total award for P20: $11.3M.

Principal Investigator, 10% FTE. 01/01/17 - 6/30/17. Environmental Exposures and Adolescent Risky
              Behaviors. Department of Human Development and Family Science Endowed Chair and
              Professorship Funds: $29,536.92

Principal Investigator, 5% FTE. 8/1/2016 - 6/30/2017. Strengthening Oklahoma Families and
              Communities via Youth Entrepreneurship. College of Human Sciences Seed Funding for
              Interdisciplinary Initiatives to Raise Oklahoma to the Top: $10,000

Principal Investigator, 24% FTE. 8/1/2014 - 6/30/2016. Adverse Maternal/Child Health in Rural
              Oklahoma. Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station (OAES): $92,284.91.

Consultant. 7/1/12 - 6/30/15. Understanding Resilience in Adolescent Girls: Parent, Peer, and Emotion
              Dynamics. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD; Amanda
              Morris, PI): $492,937.

Co-Principal Investigator, 5% FTE. 7/1/11 - 6/30/13. Promoting Mental Health in High Risk Adolescent
              Girls. Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST, Amanda
              Morris, PI and Michael Criss, co-PI): $135,000.

Co-Principal Investigator, 5% FTE. 7/1/10 - 6/30/11. Tulsa Teen Pregnancy Baseline Study. George
              Kaiser Family Foundation (with Ron Cox, Michael Merten, and Kami Schwerdtfeger as Co-PIs).

Co-Principal Investigator, 5% FTE. 7/1/10 - 6/30/11. Consumer Debt among Older Adults in
              Rural Oklahoma.  Donna Cadwalader Research and Development Grant (with Eileen St. Pierre as
              PI): $3,000.

Principal Investigator. 2/1/10 - 6/30/10.  National Survey of Fertility Barriers Continuation
              Grant Writing Meeting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Big 12 Faculty Fellowship,
              Oklahoma State University: $2,500.

Principal Investigator. 11/1/09 - 6/01/10. National Survey of Fertility Barriers User Workshop.
              Population Association of America: $10,000.

Professional Memberships

  • National Council on Family Relations: Chair of the Family and Health Section
  • Population Association of America (PAA)
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • Council on Contemporary Families