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Madonna Harrington Meyer headshot

Madonna Harrington Meyer

Contact Information:


426 Eggers Hall

Office Hours:

Tuesday 12:00-1:00, Zoom/Phone
Thursday 11:30-12:30

Staff Support:

Alyssa Kirk


Madonna Harrington Meyer

University Professor, Sociology Department

Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence

Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research

Senior Research Associate, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

Faculty Affiliate, Aging Studies Institute

Research Affiliate, Center for Aging and Policy Studies


Fall 2023

SOC 364.001 Aging and Society, Tuesday & Thursday 9:30-10:50, Maxwell Hall 108

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Florida State University, 1991


Madonna Harrington Meyer is a University Professor at Syracuse University. She is a professor of sociology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence. She is a senior research associate at the Center for Policy Research, faculty affiliate at the Aging Studies Institute and faculty research affiliate at the Lerner Center. 

She is co-author, with Ynesse Abdul-Malak, of "Grandparenting Children with Disabilities" (2020). She is co-editor, with Ynesse Abdul-Malak of "Grandparenting in the United States" (2016).  She is co-editor with Elizabeth Daniele of "Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions" (2016). 

She is author of "Grandmothers at Work: Juggling Families and Jobs" (2014), winner of the Gerontological Society of America’s Kalish Book Award. She is co-author with Pamela Herd of "Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age" (2007), which also won the Gerontological Society of America’s Kalish Book Award.  She is editor of "Care Work: Gender, Labor, and the Welfare State" (2000). 

Her work appears in leading journals including American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Gender & Society, and Social Problems. Her research has been reported in the media including New York Times, NPR, U.S. News and World Report, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor and LA Times.

In 2016 she was named winner of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Aging and the Life Course (SALC) Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award. 

Areas of Expertise

Social policy, aging and the life course, family policies

Research Interests

Areas of Specialization

U.S. old age policies, grandparenting, care work, food insecurity

Current Research

Food Insecurity among Older Adults in the U.S.

Research Grant Awards and Projects

Principle Investigator. "Hunger SNAPS: Food Insecurity Among Older Adults." Funded by Russell Sage Foundation. 2020-2023.


Selected Papers

2022 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna, "Nine Ways Grandparenting is Changing with the COVID-19 Pandemic." Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Center for Aging and Policy Studies, Population Health Research Brief Series.

2021 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna, Sarah Reilly, and Julia M. Finan. “The U.S. Should Expand Access to Dental Care for Older Adults,” Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion: Population Health Research Brief Series. 161.  Syracuse University. Https://

2021– Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Amra Kandic. “How Social Policies affect Grandparent Care Work” in Life Course Implications of US Public Policies, Janet Wilmoth and Andrew London, editors, Routlege.

2020 – Abdul-Malak, Ynesse and Madonna Harrington Meyer. Physical Health Impacts of Grandparenting Children with Disabilities. Issue Brief #34 October 14. Lerner Center and Center for Aging and Policy Studies. Syracuse University.

2020 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna and J. Dalton Stevens. “Changes in Medicaid for People with Disabilities,” Pp. 261-300 in Medicaid: Enrollment, Eligibility, and Key Issues, edited by Daniel Lanford. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 

2020 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Ynesse Abdul-Malak. “Policy Challenges for Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren with Disabilities.” Journal of Elder Policy, 1(1):97-120.

2020 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna. Grandmothers at Work during Coronavirus. Issue Brief #22. May 1. Lerner Center. Syracuse University.


2020 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Ynesse Abdul-Malak, Grandparenting Children with Disabilities, Springer Publications.

2016 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Elizabeth A. Daniele, editors, Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishing.

2016 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Ynesse Abdul-Malak, editors. Grandparenting in the United States. Amityville, NY: Baywood Press.

2014 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna. Grandmothers at Work: Juggling Families and Jobs, New York, NY: NYU Press.

*Winner, GSA Kalish Book Award, 2014

2007 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna and Pamela Herd. Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

*Winner, GSA Kalish Book Award, 2008

2006 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna, and Janet Wilmoth, editors, Special Issue of Research on Aging.

2000 – Harrington Meyer, Madonna, editor. Care Work: Gender, Labor, and the Welfare State. New York, NY: Routledge Press.