Aging and Health
The proportion of older people is sharply increasing. It is important to understand the role of social and behavioral factors in determining aging health because they can be consequential and are often modifiable. The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences includes faculty who engage in an interdisciplinary and multilevel approach to aging research. This wide-ranging research comprises: the influence of social psychological factors, including age stereotypes, on older persons’ cognitive and physical health together with interventions to improve these outcomes (Levy); improving emotional health among older adults and reducing caregiver stress (Monin); identifying how living and financial environments affect the health of older adults (Keene); improving older persons’ access to health care (Mullen); improving our understanding of the social and family environment on cognitive and aging outcomes in low-income settings (Hagaman); integrating technology to improve measurements of isolation and social engagement (Hagaman); and minimizing physical disability among older persons (Gill). We draw from a diverse set of methods including randomized controlled trials, field studies, experiments, qualitative analysis, and longitudinal community studies. Multiple resources are available to support research, including the Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. The ultimate goal of our research is to enhance the quality of life of older adults.