Professor and Chair, Sociology Department
Professor, Human Development and Family Science, Falk College
Marjorie Cantor Endowed Professor in Aging
Faculty Associate, Aging Studies Institute
Research Affiliate, Center for Policy Research
Research Affiliate, Center for Aging and Policy Studies
SOC 800: Sociology of the Family
SOC 664: Aging & Society
Highest degree earned
Merril Silverstein, Ph.D., is inaugural holder of the Marjorie Cantor Chair in Aging Studies at Syracuse University in the Maxwell School's Department of Sociology and in Falk College's Department of Human Development and Family Science.
He received a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University. Published in over 150 research publications, he has focused on aging in the context of family life, with an emphasis on life course and international perspectives. He serves as principal investigator of the Longitudinal Study of Generations and has had projects in China, Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel.
He is a Brookdale Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar and between 2010-2014 served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
Areas of Expertise
Research Grant Awards and Projects
Longitudinal Study of Generations:
The 2016 web-survey of the Longitudinal Study of Generations is now live! Many thanks to those who are participating in this landmark study.
Over the years this project has produced many publications, a selection of which I list below from the last 10 years. Unfortunately, I am not able to share the manuscripts due to copy-right protections exerted by the journals (though many may be available in various data bases),
Please be reminded of the fact that the time and effort devoted by study participants like you have made these publications possible.
Merril Silverstein, Ph.D.
London, A., & Wilmoth, J. (2017). Values of nationalism-patriotism in World
War II veterans and their Baby-boom children.
In Spiro, A. III, Settersten, R. A., Jr., & Aldwin, C. M. (Eds.). Long-term
outcomes of military service: Perspectives on health and wellbeing. Washington,
DC: American Psychological Association Press.
role attitudes in social context: Historical change, generational differences,
and family similarity. In S. Walper,
V. Wendt, & F. Schmahl (Eds.) Partnership Relations in Context. New York: Springer.
Bengtson, V., Silverstein, M., Putney, N, &
Harris, S. (2015). Does religiousness increase with age? Age changes and generational differences over
35 years. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 54, 363-379.
Hogerbrugge, M.J.A. & Silverstein, M. (2015).
Transitions in relationships with older parents: from middle to later
of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 70, 481-495.
Lendon, J., Silverstein, M. & Giarrusso, R.
(2014). Ambivalence in older parent-adult child relationships: Mixed feelings,
mixed measures. Journal of Marriage
and Family. 76, 272–284.
Lendon, J. & Silverstein, M. (2012). Gender ideology and life course transitions
of Baby Boom women. Advances in Life Course Research, 17, 191–198.
Min, J., Silverstein, M., & Gruenwald, J. (2012). Intergenerational
transmission of values over the family life course. Advances in
Life Course Research, 17, 112–120.
Silverstein, M, Conroy, S. & Gans, D. (2012). Beyond
solidarity, reciprocity, and altruism: Moral capital as a unifying concept in
intergenerational support for elderly people.
Ageing and Society, 32, 1246-1262.
Fingerman, K., Pillemer, K., Silverstein, M.,
& Suitor, J. J. (2012). The Baby Boomers' intergenerational relationships. The
Gerontologist, 52, 199-209.
Silverstein, M., & Giarrusso, R. (2011). Aging individuals, families, and societies:
Micro–meso–macro linkages in the life course. Handbook
of the Sociology of Aging.
New York: Springer.
Silverstein, M., Gans, D., Lowenstein, A.,
Giarrusso R., & Bengtson, V. L. (2010). Older parent-child relationships in
six nations: The intersection of affection and conflict. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72: 1006–1021.
Silverstein, M. & Giarrusso, G. (2010).
Aging and family life (Decade Review). Journal of Marriage and Family 72, 1039–1058.
Silverstein M. & Conroy S. (2009).
Intergenerational transmission of moral capital across the family life course.
In U. Schoenpflug (Ed.) Cultural Transmission, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bengtson, V., Copen, C., Putney, N.,
& Silverstein, M. (2009). A longitudinal study of the intergenerational
transmission of religion. International
Sociology, 24, 325.
Bengtson, V. L., Copen, C. E., Putney, N. M.
& Silverstein, M. (2008). Religion
and intergenerational transmission over time. Pp. 305-333 in K. W. Schaie and R. P. Abeles (Eds.). Social Structures and Aging Individuals: Continuing Challenges. New York: Springer.
Silverstein, M., Conroy, S. & Gans, D.
(2007). Commitment to caring: Filial
responsibility and the allocation of support by adult children to older
In M. Szinovacz & A. Davey (Eds.) Caregiving:
Cultural, Familial, and Societal Contexts. New York, Springer.
Copen, C. and Silverstein, M. (2007). The
transmission of religious beliefs across generations: Do grandparents matter? Journal
of Comparative Family Studies, 38: 497-510.
Drew, L. and Silverstein, M. (2007) Grandparents’ psychological well-being after
loss of contact with their grandchildren. Journal of Family Psychology, 21: 372-379.
Feng, D., Silverstein, M., Giarrusso, R.,
McArdle, J. J., & Bengtson, V. L. (2006). Attrition of older adults in
longitudinal surveys: detection and correction of sample selection bias using
multigenerational data. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. 61B:
Gans, D. & Silverstein, M.
of filial responsibility for aging parents across time and generations. Journal
of Marriage and the Family, 68, 961-976.
Silverstein, M., Gans, D. & Yang, F. M. (2006). Filial support to aging parents: The role of norms and needs. Journal of Family Issues , 27, 1068-1084.
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Jul 5, 2023