Dr. Watkins studies the influence of gender role socialization on health status over the adult life course for underserved groups using mixed methods. To date, her research has focused on understanding the social determinants of health that explain within group differences among black men; developing evidence-based strategies to improve the physical and mental health of black men; and increasing knowledge about the intersection of age, culture, and gender.

Dr. Watkins holds faculty appointments at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research.

Dr. Watkins is also the Immediate Past President of the American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA). AMSA’s mission is to advance the critical study of men and masculinities by encouraging the development of teaching, research, and clinical practice in the field of men’s studies. Dr. Watkins is the first women and person of color to ever be elected to serve in this capacity in the organization’s 25+ year history.