MPC Primary Research Areas
My research takes a life-course, contextual approach to the social determinants of work, health, and well-being across historical time and place. I have a strong interest in the dynamics of individuals’ and couples’ conjoint later life-course paths reproducing inequalities as well as in gendered paid work, volunteer, and caregiving paths, particularly for people at older ages. I have expertise as a sociologist, demographer, and life-course scholar. I have a strong interest in the timing, duration and sequencing of capacities, roles, and relationships as they shape distinctly gendered and unequal life courses. I seek to locate such life-course dynamics in particular organizational and public policy contexts that can be modified to promote health and life quality. For example, I serve on NIA’s Working Group planning a workshop on the topic of work, the workplace and health, examining how job conditions can advance working longer and the health of older workers.
My award-winning book, Encore Adulthood: Boomers on the Edge of Risk, Renewal, and Purpose (2016), addresses the risks, opportunities, and health of men and women Boomers of different educational backgrounds and ages as they move to and through what have been the conventional retirement years during times of major transformations, including an aging population and extended life expectancy. As part of the Work, Family and Health Network, I have had considerable experience with designing, implementing, and assessing both natural experiments and a randomized field trial of organizational interventions designed to reduce stress and promote health and well-being.