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Faculty & Staff

Emily Greenfield

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Greenfield's research interests include aging, life course human development, social relationships and health, and supportive services for older adults and family caregivers.


Emily Greenfield is an Associate Professor (PhD, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007). Her research aims to support efforts to improve social environments for diverse populations of older adults and families. Her areas of scholarly expertise include age-friendly community initiatives, aging-in-place supportive service programs, civic engagement in later life, and the lifelong effects of family violence in childhood. She uses a range of methodologies in her work, including secondary analysis of quantitative data, in-depth qualitative interviewing, and collecting new survey data. Her research with service providers, older individuals, and family caregivers has received funding from several private foundations, including the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, the Silberman Fund for Social Work Faculty Research, and the Grotta Fund for Senior Care. For more information, see

Courses Taught: 

•    Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE)
•    Aging Services: A Critical Perspective
•    Methods of Social Work Research I

Selected Recent Publications: 

Greenfield, E. A. (2015). Healthy aging and age-friendly community initiatives. Public Policy and Aging Report, 25(2).doi: 10.1093/ppar/prov002

Greenfield, E. A,. Oberlink, M., Scharlach, A. E., Neal, M. B., & Stafford, P. B. (2015). Age-friendly community initiatives: Conceptual issues and key questions. The Gerontologist, 55(2), 191-198. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnv005 (Also featured by the Oxford University Press at

Greenfield, E. A., & Fedor, J. P. (2015). Characterizing older adults’ involvement in Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Supportive Service Programs. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 58(5), 449-468. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2015.1008168

Greenfield, E. A. (2015). Support from neighbors and aging in place: Can NORC programs make a difference? The Gerontologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu162

Greenfield, E. A., & Reyes, L. (2014). Continuity and change in relationships with neighbors: Implications for well-being in middle and later life. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences, 70(4), 607-618. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu084

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