Health and Aging
The program in Health and Aging allows students to concentrate in one of two related areas or to design a study plan that draws significantly from both. The preliminary exam is a joint exam that includes questions from both areas of concentration.
The Sociology of Physical Health, Mental Health, and Substance Use Problems considers the social distributions of psychological distress and disorder, substance abuse, and deviant behavior. It focuses on potentially modifiable social factors relevant to these outcomes. Courses and research mentoring include consideration of stage of life variations in the role and significance of social statuses, social processes and both adverse and confirming life experiences. Much of this training falls within the domain of social epidemiology.
The Sociology of Aging Societal aging is one of the most important social trends of this century. It affects the major political, social and economic institutions and the nature of interpersonal and familial relationships. Social gerontologists emphasize that old age is just one life stage and that the quality of later life is determined by events, opportunities and decisions made earlier in life. Thus, many studies in this field adopt a framework that emphasizes the life course as a way to make sense of long trend trends and to explain differences between groups on the basis of race, gender, class and ethnic origin.
(For current listings, contact the Area Committee Chair)
SYA 6933 Neighborhoods, Stress, and Health
SYD 5215 Health and Survival
SYO 5416 Stress and Mental Health
SYO 5426 Gender and Mental Health
SYP 5735 Sociology of Aging
SYP 5737 Dynamics of Aging and Social Change
SYP 5733 Social Psychology of Aging
SYO 6407 Race, Ethnicity, and Health
SYO 5405 Health Institutions and Social Policy
SYA6933: Social Epidemiology
SYA6933: Medical Sociology
Health & Aging Faculty
Anne E. Barrett (Duke University 1999) is an associate of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. She works in the areas of medical sociology, marriage and families, gender, and aging and the life course. Her current projects include a quantitative study of the mental health effects of romantic relationships and a qualitative study examining women's experiences with aging.
Amy Burdette (University of Texas at Austin 2007) was a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research investigates connections between religious involvement, neighborhood context, family, and health across the life course. Current projects include the relationships between religion and marital relationships among African Americans, the association between housing and mental health among low-income urban women, and the relationship between religious involvement and career paths among young adults.
Terrence Hill (University of Texas at Austin 2006) is interested in Medical Sociology, Social Epidemiology, Social Psychology and Research Methods. He studies the social distribution of health and health-relevant behaviors. His work draws from sociology, psychology, and biology to frame health and longevity as expressions of religious involvement, social relationships, neighborhood conditions, and socioeconomic status.
Jill Quadagno (University of Kansas 1976) is Mildred and Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar in Social Gerontology, Professor of Sociology, and past president of the ASA. Her most recent book is One Nation, Uninsured: Why the US Has No National Health Insurance. Current research projects concern international trends in pension benefits, changes in retirement patterns and interest group influence on the American welfare state.
John Reynolds (Ph.D. Ohio State 1997) is director of the Claude Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. Reynolds’ current research examines various educational trends--including women’s recent gains in higher education relative to men and the dramatic rise in teenagers’ plans to get a four-year or graduate degree--and their implications for educational inequality. He also is studying school reform in Florida.
John Taylor (Miami University 2000) studies social stress, ethnicity and health, and social psychological factors in health and well-being. His recent work has examined the role of early adolescent self-derogation in problem behaviors in young adulthood. His current projects include a paper that evaluates age contingent effects as an underlying factor in the explanation of the “Cost of Caring” hypothesis, and a study on the significance of physical limitations in the fear of being victim of crime.
Miles Taylor (Duke University 2005) studies physical and mental health across the life course and health disparities, particularly in later life. Additional interests include quantitative and demographic methods, and marriage, family, and childbearing. Her current research includes an NIH-funded project to reexamine the disparity in functioning, health, and mortality between black and white individuals in later life, the causal processes that lead to differentials, and how disparities change over time across individuals and cohorts.
Koji Ueno (Vanderbilt University 2004). His research areas include sexuality, status attainment, mental health, friendships, and life course. His recent research has focused on the dynamic aspects of sexual orientation—development and fluidity—and examined how they are associated with status attainment outcomes, friendship patterns, and mental health in adolescence and young adulthood.