Dr. Zimmerman's research focuses on adolescent health and resiliency, and empowerment theory. His work on adolescent health examines how positive factors in adolescent's lives help them overcome risks they face. His research includes analysis of adolescent resiliency for risks associated with alcohol and drug use, violent behavior, precocious sexual behavior, and school failure. He is also studying developmental transitions and longitudinal models of change. Dr. Zimmerman's work on empowerment theory includes measurement and analysis of psychological and community empowerment. The research includes both longitudinal interview studies and community intervention research.
Dr. Zimmerman is the Director of the Prevention Research Center of Michigan and the CDC-funded Youth Violence Prevention Center. He is the Editor of Youth and Society, a member of the editorial board for Health Education Research, and Editor Emeritus of Health Education and Behavior.