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Faculty & Staff Profiles

Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, Professor, Public Health Sciences

Health Science Campus

My career has allowed me to become recognized as a leader in advancing maternal and child and health (MCH) research and practice, including the establishment of a Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science and Practice (MCH COE) at a previous place of employment. I have found great joy in teaching hundreds of undergraduate and graduate medical and public health students, conducting research that has included over three million dollars in funding, and serving the MCH community locally, nationally, and internationally. I have a doctorate in child psychology, an MBA in health services management and an MA in adult education, as well as practice-based experience as the inaugural MCH Epidemiologist for the state of Missouri.

  • PhD in Developmental Psychology, University of Kansas
  • MEd in Adult Education, Park University
  • CPH



  • 2024   Tabet M., Kirby R., & Xaverius P.  Missed pediatric preventive care due to the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of family-centered Care.  Academic Pediatrics (In Press).
  • 2024 Sun J., Zhang Y., Qian Z., Yang R., Xaverius P., Xian H., & Labaige M. The Association between Maternal Multivitamin Intake and Premature Birth.  Birth: Issues in Prenatal Care, (under review).
  • 2023 Tabet M., Kirby R., & Xaverius P. Racial and ethnic differences in factors associated with delayed or missed pediatric preventive care in the US due to COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Network Open, 3, e2322588.
  • 2023 Tabet M., Kirby R., & Xaverius P. Factors associated with unmet pediatric health care needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 73, e204-e212.
  • 2023 Christopher K., Madden C., Ferber M., Cantwell S., & Xaverius P.  Maternal malnutrition during pregnancy among women with metabolic or bariatric surgery.  Obesity Surgery, (In Press).
  • 2023 Christopher K., Gao X., Abdelsalam A., Miremadi B., Scott J., Ilorah C., Xaverius P., & Linares G.  Stroke-related risk factors during pregnancy in women who had metabolic and bariatric surgery compared to women without metabolic and bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, (In Press). Retrieved on 3/31/2023 a https://www.soard.org/article/S1550-7289(23)00137-5/fulltext
  • 2022 Gilbert C., Xaverius P., Tibbits M., & Sappenfield W.  Refreshing the Perinatal Periods of Risk: A new reference group and nationwide large county-level analyses. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 26, 2396-2406.
  • 2022 Tabet M., & Xaverius P.  Parental emotional support trajectories and the risk of overweight or obesity in adolescence. Infant and Child Development, 31(6), e2358.
  • 2022 Xaverius, P., Carter, C., Fang, C., Carriere, R., & Howard, S.  Effects of different types of diabetes and insulin dependency on birth outcomes. World Journal of Clinical Cases, 10(7), 2147-2158.
  • 2022 Christopher K. , Abdelsalam A., Xaverius P., Elliott M., & Flick L. Pregnancy Complications in women with weight loss surgery compared to a non-surgical population of women with obesity. Obesity Surgery, 32:991-997.
  • 2022 Anakwe A., Xian H., BeLue R., & Xaverius P. Men’s preconception health and the social determinants of health: What are we missing? Frontiers in Reproductive Health, section Andrology, 13(4):955018.
  • 2022 Zhang M., Yang B., Sun Y., Qian Z., Xaverius P., Aaron H., Liu R., Zhao X., Zhang Z., Dong G., Yin C., & Yue W. Non-linear relationship of maternal age with risk of spontaneous abortion: a case control study in the China Birth Cohort. Frontiers in Public Health, Jul 14;10:933654.
  • 2022 Sun J. , Yang R., Xian H., Zhang B., Lin H., Xaverius P., Yang S., Dong G., Howard S., LeBaige M., Peng A., Liu E., Zheng T., Zhou A., & Qian Z. Association between maternal family history of hypertension and preterm birth: Modification by noise exposure and multivitamin intake. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 35(26): 10458-10465.
  • 2021 Sun J., Yang R. Xian H., Zhang B., Guang-Hui D., Xaverius P., Lin H., LeBaige M., Zheng T, Qian Z. & Zhou A. Maternal exposure to emission of using new furniture during pregnancy and preterm birth. Journal of Reproductive Medicine Gynecological Obstetrics, 6, doi: 10.24966/RMGO-2574/100075
  • 2021 Cai M., Zhang B., Yang R., Zheng T., Dong G., Lin H., Rigdon S., Xian H., Hinyard L., Xaverius P., Liu E., Burroughs T., Jansson D., LeBaige M., Yang S. Association between maternal outdoor physical exercise and the risk of preterm birth: a case-control study in Wuhan, China. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 21, 206.
  • 2020 Espiritu J., Ahmed A., Mohammed H., Elliot M., & Xaverius P. Factors associated with an emergency department or urgent care visit for Asthma, United States 2010. Journal of Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine, 10: 1-6.
  • 2020 Gebauer S., Schootman M., Xian H., & Xaverius P. Neighborhood built and social environment and meeting physical activity recommendations among mid to older adults with joint pain. Preventive Medicine Reports, 18: 1-7.
  • 2019 Xaverius, P., O’Reilly, Z., Li, A., Flick , L., & Arnold, L. Smoking cessation in pregnant mothers: Does timing of cessation reduce smoking’s effects on birth outcomes? Journal of Maternal and Child Health. Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-019-02751-2
  • 2019 Ward, P., Anderson, J., Gordon, R., Salas, J., & Xaverius P. Racial disparities and the effect of sexually transmitted infections on adverse birth outcomes. Women’s Health Sciences Journal, 3:1, 000124. DOI: 10.23880/whsj-16000124
  • 2018 Xaverius, P., Wombaugh, L., Ward, C., Salas, J., Baney, E., Young, J., Berkemeier, J., & Prinzing, L. Are Statutory Requirements Followed in the Certification of Traumatic, Unexpected and Unattended Deaths in Missouri? Journal of Forensic Sciences, 63, 6, 1756-1760.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13785
  • 2017 Hu, L., Yang, M., Chen, S., Shah, K., Hailegiorgis, Y., Burgens, R., Vaughn, M., Huang, J., Xaverius, P., Paul, G., Morawska, L., Lu, T., Lin, S., Zhong, S., Kong, M., Xie, Y., Hao, Y., Zeng, X., Qian, Z., & Dong G. Effects of in utero and postnatal exposure to secondhand smoke on lung function by gender and asthma status: The seven northeastern cities (SNEC) study. Respiration, 93, 3, 189+197. http://,doi.org/ 10.1159/000455140.
  • 2016 Elliott, M., Litteken, C., Wang, X., Wirth, L., & Xaverius, P. The role of breastfeeding in moderating the association between gestational diabetes mellitus and later diabetes mellitus: A national cross-sectional study. Journal of Diabetes Medication and Care, 1, 1-5. Retrieved online at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297698606_ The_Role_of_Breastfeeding_in_Moderating_the_Association_between_Gestational_Diabetes_Mellitus_and_Later_Diabetes_Mellitus
  • 2016 Xaverius, P., Alman, C., Holtz, L., & Yarber, L. Risk Factors Associated with Prenatal Care and Very Low Birth Weight in a Large Urban Area, Stratified by Adequacy of Prenatal Care. Maternal Child Health Journal, 20, 623-629. http://doi.org/ 10.1007/s10995-015-1861-4.
  • 2016 Tenkku Lepper, L., Lluka, A., Mayer, A., Patel, N., Salas, J., P., & Kramer, B. Socioeconomic status, alcohol use, and pregnancy intention in a national sample of women. Prevention Science, 17, 24-31. http://doi.org/ 10.1007/s11121-015-0578-3.
  • 2014 Xaverius, P., Salas, J., Leung, F., Woolfolk, C., Wu, J., & Chang, JJ. Predictors of Size for Gestational Age in St. Louis City and County. BioMed Research International: Obstetrics and Gynecology Subject Area, Article ID 51587, 8 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.115/2014/515827.
  • 2014 Xaverius, P., Salas, J., Kiel, D., & Woolfolk, D. Very Low Birth Weight and Perinatal Periods of Risk: Disparities in St. Louis. BioMed Research International: Obstetrics and Gynecology Subject Area, Article ID 547234, 7 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/547234.
  • 2014 Xaverius, P., & Grady, M. CenteringPregnancy in Greater St. Louis: A systems level analysis. The Scientific World Journal, Article ID 285386, 10 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/285386.
  • 2013 Dong, G., Qian, Z., DeClue, R., Wang, J., Chen, W., Ma, W., Trevathan, E., Xaverius, P., DeClue, R., Wiese, A., Langston, M., Liu, M., Wang, D, & Ren, W. Association between ambient air pollution and prevalence of stroke and cardiovascular diseases in 33 Chinese communities. Atmospheric Environment, 77, 968-973. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.06.034.
  • 2013 Dong, G., Qian, Z., Wang, J., Trevathan, E., Mae, W., When, W., Xaverius, P., Buckner-Petty, S., Ray, A., Liua, M., Wang, D., Reng, W., & Chang, JJ. Residential Characteristics and Household Risk Factors and Respiratory Diseases in Chinese Women: the Seven Northeast Cities (SNEC) Study. Science of the Total Environment, 463-464, 389-394. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.063
  • 2013 Xaverius, P., Salas, J., & Kiel, D. (2013). Differences in pregnancy planning between women aged 18-44, with and without diabetes: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System analysis. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 99, 63-68. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.09.029
  • 2013 Xaverius, P., & Salas, J. (2013). Surveillance of preconception health indicators in behavioral risk factor surveillance system: emerging trends in the 21st century. Journal of Women’s Health, 22, 203-209. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2012.3804.
  • 2013 Dong, G., Qian, Z., Xaverius, P., Maalouf, S., Parker, J., Yang, L., Liu, M., Wang, D., Ren, W., Smickes, M., Fu, Q., Wang, J., Zelicof, A., & Trevathan, E. Association between Long Term Air Pollution and Increased Blood Pressure and Hypertension in China. Hypertension, 61, 578-584. https://doi.org/ 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00003.
  • 2012 Salas, J., Xaverius, P., & Chang, JJ. Does a medical home influence the effect of low birthweight on health outcomes? Maternal and Child Health Journal, 16 Suppl 1: S143-S150. https://doi.org/ 10.1007/s10995-012-1003-1.
  • 2010 Xaverius, P., Salas, J., & Tenkku, L. Preconception wellness: Differences in health by immigrant status. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14, 216-222. https://doi.org/ 10.1007/s10903-010-9424-7.
  • 2009 Xaverius, P., Tenkku, L., Salas, J., & Morris, D. Exploring health by reproductive Status: An epidemiological analysis of preconception health. Journal of Women’s Health, 18, 49-56. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2007.0629.
  • 2009 Xaverius, P., Tenkku, L., & Salas, J. Differences between women at higher or lower risk for an unintended pregnancy. Women’s Health Issues, 19, 306-312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2009.06.002.
  • 2008 Tenkku, L., Morris, D., Salas, J., & Xaverius P. Racial disparities in pregnancy-related drinking reduction. Maternal Child Health Journal, 13, 604. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-008-0409-2.
  • 2008 Morris, D., Tenkku, L., Salas, J., Xaverius, P., & Mengel, M. Exploring racial disparities in drinking reduction and cessation by pregnant women. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 32, 505-512. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2007.00594.x.
  • 2007 Xaverius, P., Homan, S., Nickelson, P., & Tenkku, L. Disparities rank high in prioritized research, systems and service delivery needs in Missouri. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 11, 5, 511-516. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-007-0187-2.
  • 2003 Xaverius, P., & Mathews, RM. Evaluating the impact of intergenerational activities on elder’s engagement and expressiveness levels in two settings. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 1, 53-69. https://doi.org/10.1300/J194v01n04_05.
  • 2000 Altus, DE., Mathews, RM., Xaverius, P., Engelman, KK., & Nolan. BAD. Evaluating an electronic monitoring system for people who wander.  American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 15, 121-125. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F153331750001500201.
  • 1999 Altus, D., Xaverius, P., Mathews, RM., & Kosloski, K. Evaluating the impact of elder cottage housing on residents and their hosts.  Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, 8, 117-137. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014672625735
  • 1999 Xaverius, P., & Mathews, RM. Attracting new participants to senior center activities: Publicly posted announcements.  Activities, Adaptation, and Aging, 24, 55-59. https://doi.org/10.1300/J016v24n01_06.
  • 1998 Xaverius, P. Increasing engagement of older adults in social and leisure activities. Activities, Adaptation, and Aging, 22, (4), 9-14. https://doi.org/10.1300/J016v22n04_02
  • 1997 Xaverius P., Altus, D., & Mathews, R.M. Family-based housing for older adults with special needs.  The Community Psychologist, 30, (1), 21-22.
  • 1992 Jason, L., Ji, P., Anes, M., & Xaverius P. Assessing cigarette sales rates to minors. Evaluation and Health Professions, 15, 375-384. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F01632787920150040

Non data-based, Articles in refereed journals (italics indicate student)

  • 1999 Xaverius, P., Altus, D., & Mathews, RM.   Malnutrition of elders: A review of the literature and suggestions for a comprehensive treatment program.  Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly, 19, 41-48. https://doi.org/10.1300/J052v19n01_03.
  • 1996 Xaverius, P., Billows, B., Jason, L., & King, C.   Research on the sale of smokeless tobacco to minors. [Letter to the editor.] Tobacco Control, 5, 69b-70.

Book / Chapter

  • 2019 Kakarla, V., Niyigena, A., Xaverius, P., Kiel, D., & Barnard, E. Chapter 6: Reality unraveled through camera lenses: environment as a key issue surrounding infant mortality in Saint Louis City. In M. Jones, L. Rice, & F. Meraz ( Eds.), Designing for Health & Wellbeing: Home, City, Society. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press (978-1-62273-512-9).
  • 2018 Xaverius, P., Kiel, D., Salus, J., & Cooper, B. Racial Inequity in Infant Mortality. A funded project for the Missouri Foundation for Health. Accessed online on 4/3/18 at http://www.flourishstlouis.org/missouri-foundation-for-health-studies-racial-inequity-in-infant-mortality/
  • 2011 Xaverius, P., Kiel, D., Tenkku, L., & Triana-Tremain, B. Final report: Advancing women and infants health. A funded project for the Missouri Foundation for Health. Accessed online on October 19, 2011 at http://www.mffh.org/mm/files/advancingwomenshealth.pdf
  • 2005 Xaverius, P., Zhu, B., Homan, S., & Lin, M. An Epidemiologic Analysis of the Perceived Excess in Infant and Fetal Deaths for St. Charles County, Missouri in 2003:  Data from the Linked Birth/Death Data Set. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services report, Jefferson City, Missouri.
  • 2003 Pagoada, J., Xaverius, P., Phillips, P., & Zhu, B. An epidemiologic analysis of the perceived excess in infant and fetal deaths in O'Fallon, Missouri: 2003 update. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services report, Jefferson City, Missouri.
  • 2002 Lovegreen, S., Simoes, E., Hutcheson, K., & Xaverius, P. Older Women in Missouri: A Health Status Report. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Office on Women’s Health and Office of Epidemiology, Jefferson City, Missouri.

Technical Reports