School of Social Work Faculty Research in Aging
Below is a list of several faculty members at the School of Social Work who have active research agendas in aging.
Ayse Akincigil (PhD, Rutgers University) is interested in studying the medical care and services provided to older adults and those with chronic conditions such as HIV or depression. Recently, she has been focusing on quality of mental health care and treatment adherence.
DuWayne Battle (PhD, Rutgers University) conducts research on the importance of religion and spirituality in helping older adults cope with depression related to serious illness and bereavement. He is particularly interested in personal and public aspects of religion and spirituality, such as, congregational activities that are helpful to individuals, families, and communities.
Patricia Findley (DrPH, University of Illinois, Chicago) conducts research in the area of chronic illnesses and disabilities with a focus on community-based living. Her current projects include diabetes and stroke in older veterans and the implications of psychosocial interventions on the prevention of secondary complications.
Emily A. Greenfield (PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison) conducts research on how aspects of social relationships influence mental and physical health in middle and later life. She is particularly interested in how adults' civic engagement activities-such as volunteering or spending time with grandchildren-can promote optimal individual, family, and societal well-being. She also conducts research on community practice initiatives in aging.
Lia Nower (PhD, Washington University; JD, St. Louis University Law School) is researching older adult casino gamblers, specifically, reasons for self-excluding from venues, risk and protective factors, suicidality, and the legal impact of gambling expenditures on Medicaid eligibility. She is also developing an intervention for use in senior centers and residential facilities to dispel faulty gambling-related cognitions and promote responsible gambling behavior.
Kristen Scherrer (PhD, University of Michigan) conducts research on how later life family relationships are shaped by crisis moments (e.g., learning that a family member is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer [GLBQ] or coping with Alzheimer's Disease). Her current research focuses specifically on grandparent-grandchild relationships.
Karen Zurlo (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) conducts quantitative and qualitative research on older adults and retirement-related topics that include economic security, mental health and depression, and socio-demographic factors affecting access to health care. Currently, she is researching the influence of chronic stressors and coping resources on mental health and well-being in late life.