Five Maxwell scholars contribute to aging studies handbook
Four professors and a doctoral student from the Maxwell School’s Department of Sociology and Department of Public Administration
and International Affairs have contributed to the completely revised ninth
edition of the “Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences” (Elsevier
Academic Press). In three chapters, Maxwell scholars explore a range of issues
related to aging and the life course, including: the link between education and
adult health, the life-course consequences of women’s direct and indirect ties
to the military, and how intergenerational family ties shape well-being over
the life course.
In Chapter 6, “Educational
Attainment and Adult Health,” Jennifer Karas Montez, professor of sociology,
and Ph.D. candidate Jennifer Brooks examine the dynamic link between
education—which the authors refer to as a “unique type of socioeconomic
resource”—and health and well-being across age, place and time. Using American
Community Survey (ACS) data, they document that the education-health
association is dynamic across time and molded by social, economic, policy and
epidemiological contexts, and that the reasons for the poor health of less-educated
adults are not simply the opposite reasons for good health of more-educated adults.
Montez is a Gerald B. Cramer Faculty Scholar in Aging Studies, director of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS), co-director of the Policy, Place and
Population Health (P3H) Lab, and a faculty associate in Syracuse
University’s Aging Studies Institute (ASI). From 2018 to 2020, Montez was awarded the
prestigious Carnegie Fellowship to support her research into the influence of U.S.
state policies on health disparities. Brooks is a doctoral student and STEM
Graduate Fellow in the sociology department at Syracuse University. She
received a Certificate of Advanced Studies (C.A.S.) in Disability Studies in
2019, and a master’s in sociology in 2017.
In Chapter 12, “The Role
of the Military in Women’s Lives,” Andrew S. London and Janet M. Wilmoth, both
professors of sociology, examine how women from different birth cohorts have been
influenced by the military directly and indirectly as private citizens, family
members and military personnel. They explore how access to Department of
Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits influences
later-life outcomes and use data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
to examine the characteristics of women with and without connections to the
military. London is associate dean for administration and research in the
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and an ASI faculty associate.
He also has affiliations with the CAPS, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) and the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion. Wilmoth, who served as
an associate editor for the Handbook, is chair of Maxwell’s Department of Sociology,
director of ASI, and has affiliations with CAPS and CPR.
In Chapter 13, “Intergenerational
Transfers of Time and Money over the Life Course,” Emily E. Wiemers, associate
professor of public administration and international affairs, and her co-author
Sung S. Park (Harvard University) examine how intergenerational exchange
happens, and why individuals support their aging family members. They document
that intergenerational support is common, substantial and takes place across
the life course but that patterns of intergenerational exchange vary substantially
by race-ethnicity, gender and family structure. Using data from the Panel Study
of Income Dynamics (PSID) they describe intergenerational kin ties and
transfers in contemporary American families including financial support
received from parents for college and purchasing a home. Wiemers is an ASI faculty associate and CAPS
affiliate. She has received a variety of grants from the Russell Sage
Foundation, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alfred P. Sloan
ASI a is a collaborative
initiative of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the
David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Its mission is to coordinate
and promote aging-related research, training and outreach at Syracuse
University. With over 65 faculty affiliates from more than 17 departments, ASI
provides multi-disciplinary research and education that is relevant to almost
every academic discipline on campus.
ASI is the headquarters of the
NIA-funded Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS), a consortium of three
universities that promotes, supports and disseminates interdisciplinary and
policy-relevant research centered in the demography and economics of aging.
Maxwell’s Department of Sociology is
a leader in aging studies scholarship, and several professors hold key elected positions
within prominent professional associations. Montez is chair of the American Sociological Association (ASA)’s Section
on Aging and the Life Course,
London is chair of the ASA’s Section on Medical Sociology, and Wilmoth is treasurer
and member of the board of directors of the Gerontological
Society of America (GSA).