Social networks

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Social networks are fundamental building blocks of society. These interconnected webs of social relationships have tremendous impact on nearly every conceivable aspect of our lives. Yet people establish, maintain, and depart from social networks in varying fashion. In this realm of my research, I study how individuals engage in different types of networks depending on their sociodemographic characteristics, life course factors, and place of residence. 

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"Social networks and health in later life"

Sociology of Health & Illness

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"Network recall among older adults with cognitive impairment"

Social Networks

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"Social autonomy among married men and women"

Socius

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"Personal network bridging potential across geographic contexts"

Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences

Life Course and Aging

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Society as a whole is growing older. In the United States and abroad, an increasing proportion of the population is entering the later stages of life. One of the hallmarks of older adulthood is the transition out of long-held social roles (e.g., employee) and into new roles (e.g., informal caregiver). In this realm of my research, I study the social dynamics of later life.

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"Informal caregiving and social capital"

Research on Aging

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"Joint social contact and network overlap of spouses facing later adulthood household transitions in Switzerland"

Advances in Life Course Research

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"Informal caregiving and network turnover among older adults"

Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences

Cognitive health

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By a recent estimate, nearly 2 in 3 Americans will experience some degree of cognitive impairment by age 70. Although there are many biological mechanisms leading to cognitive impairment, there is also a considerable social component. In this interdisciplinary realm of my research, I work with neuroscientists, social psychologists, and sociologists to study how social connectedness influences cognitive function in later life. 

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"Cognitively stimulating environments and cognitive reserve"

Neurobiology of Aging

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"Social networks and cognitive reserve"

Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences

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"Do subjective or objective cognitive measures better predict social network type among older adults?"

Biodemongraphy and Social Biology

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"Social networks and cognitive function"

The Gerontologist

Mortality

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Death is as much as social process as it is a physiological process. The social forces that shape our lives—including our place of residence and our social relationships—often have clear linkages to how we die. In this realm of my research, I study the social side of death.

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"Non-spousal support, marital status, and mortality risk"

Journal of Aging and Health

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"Personal networks and mortality in later life: Racial/ethnic differences"

Journal of Public Health

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"Characteristics of place and the rural disadvantage in deaths from highly preventable causes"

Social Sciences & Medicine

Coauthor network

This is a social network graph linking my coauthors with our collaborative publications. The red circles represent my coauthors and the green squares represent our published papers. I created this network using igraph package in R. 

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