Madonna Harrington Meyer Reappointed University Professor

In recognition of exceptional scholarship and innovative academic and professional activities, Madonna Harrington Meyer and J. Michael Haynie have been reappointed to four-year terms as University Professors, one of the highest honors the University bestows on faculty members. In making the announcement, Gretchen Ritter, vice chancellor, provost and chief academic officer, says the reappointments are a testament to the fact that both Harrington Meyer and Haynie continue to make unique, valuable and profound contributions to the intellectual life of the University through interdisciplinary endeavors and research in critical areas of societal concern. Read more here.

ASI Faculty and Students will Present their Work at the 2022 Gerontological Society of America Conference

ASI Faculty and Students presented their work at the 2022 Gerontological Society of America Conference, November 2 – 6.

GSA sessions involving Syracuse University faculty and students:

Wednesday November 2, 2022

2:30 – 4:00 PM ET
Location: 232 (CC)
Session Title: Diverse Contexts, Unique Experiences: Impact of Social Isolation on Psychosocial Factors and Cognition
Navigating Life Uncoupled: Changes in Singlehood Satisfaction in Response to Major Life Events
Authors: Jeewon Oh, Syracuse University and William Chopik, Michigan State University

4:30 – 6:00 PM ET
Location: 239 (CC)
Session Title: Giving and Getting Across the Generations: New Insights into Intergenerational Ties
Tracing the Religious Life Course: Inter-and Intragenerational Sources of Later-Life Religiosity in Baby Boomers
Authors: Merril Silverstein, Syracuse University, Joonsik Yoon, Syracuse University, RianSimone Harris, Syracuse University, and Woosang Hwang, Texas Tech University

4:30 – 6:00 PM ET
Location: 239 (CC)
Session Title: Giving and Getting Across the Generations: New Insights into Intergenerational Ties
Financial and Time Help from Adult Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Emily E. Wiemers, Syracuse University, I-Fen Lin, Bowling Green State University, Janecca Chin, Bowling Green State University, and Anna Strauss, Syracuse University

4:30 – 6:00 PM ET
Location: 201 (CC)
Session Title: Leveraging Community-Based Knowledge to Address the Needs of Older Adults from Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations
Chair: Catherine Garcia, Syracuse University

6:00 – 7:00 PM ET
Location: Exhibit Hall DE (CC)
Session Title: Social Determinants of Health
Poster: The Neighborhood Context and All-Cause Mortality Among Older Adults in Puerto Rico
Authors: Catherine Garcia, Syracuse University

Thursday, November 3, 2022

8:00 – 9:30 AM ET
Location: 244 (CC)
Session Title: Engaging Method and Analysis to Discover and Reimagine Possibilities for Individuals Aging with and into Disability
Education and Perceived Future Need for ADL Help
Authors: Julia Finan, Syracuse University

12:00 1:30 PM ET
Location: 243 (CC)
Session Title: Dyadic and Longitudinal Studies of Close Relationships: New Insights into Health and Well-Being Across Adulthood
A Multipronged Approach to Modeling Dyadic Similarity Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults
Authors: Mariah Purol, Michigan State University, Rebekka Weidmann, Michigan State University, Louis Hickman, University of Pennsylvania, Jeewon Oh, Syracuse University, and William Chopik, Michigan State University

2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Location: Exhibit Hall DE (CC)
Session Title: Cognitive Impairment: Social Determinants with Age Groups and Cultural Contexts
Poster: Psychiatric History and Later-Life Cognitive Change: Effect Modification by Sex, Race and Ethnicity
Authors: Maria Brown, Syracuse University and Miriam Mutambudzi, Syracuse University

4:30 – 6:00 PM ET
Location: 125 (CC)
Session Title: Physical and Mental Health Outcomes Among Older Military Veterans
Mortality Risk Among Older Veterans and Nonveterans: The Importance of Combat Status
Chairs: Scott Landes, Syracuse University and Janet Wilmoth, Syracuse University
Authors: Scott Landes, Syracuse University and Jennifer Piazza, California State University

4:30 – 6:00 PM ET
Location: 202 (CC)
Session Title: ADRD Risk
Dementia Trajectories, Medicaid Coverage, and Healthcare Services Use
Authors: Wassim Tarraf, Wayne State University and Marc A. Garcia, Syracuse University

Friday, November 4, 2022

8:00 – 9:30 AM ET
Location: 239 (CC)
Session Title: Assessment and Measurement
Consumers and Providers on the Needs of Long-Term Survivors and People Aging with HIV in New York State
Authors: Maria Brown, Syracuse University, Eugenia Siegler, Weill Cornell Medical College, Marz Albarran,, John Wikier, NY Statewide Peer Network, Angie Partap, Stony Brook Medicine, Courtney Ahmed, NYSDOH AIDS Institute, and Thomas Heslop, Weill Cornell Medical College

12:00 – 1:30 PM ET
Location: 241 (CC)
Session Title: Caregiving and Family Issues
Typologies of Parent-Child Relationships and Associated Health Outcomes: A Cross Cultural Comparison
Authors: Dexia Kong, The Chines University of Hong Kong, Peiyi Lu, Columbia University, and Merril Silverstein, Syracuse University

2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Location: Exhibit Hall DE (CC)
Session Title: Families and Intergenerational Relations
Poster: Intergenerational Digital Solidarity in Aging Families and Its Associations with Relational Outcomes
Authors: Xiaoyu Fu, Syracuse University, Woosang Hwang, Texas Tech, and Merril Silverstein, Syracuse University

2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Location: Exhibit Hall DE (CC)
Session Title: Families and Intergenerational Relations
Poster: Passing on the Silver Spoon: The Role of Early Life Circumstances on Downward Intergenerational Financial Transfers
Authors: Kent Jason Cheng, Syracuse University

Saturday, November 5, 2022

8:00 – 9:30 AM ET
Location: 120-121 (CC)
Session Title: BSS Flash Poster Session 1: Social Determinants of Late Life Health: A Life Course Perspective
The Neighborhood Context and All-Cause Mortality Among Older Adults in Puerto Rico
Authors: Catherine Garcia, Syracuse University, Mary McEniry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michael Crowe, University of Alabama-Birmingham

12:00 – 1:30 PM ET
Location: 204 (CC)
Session Title: US Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Dementia Life Expectancy, Risk/Protective Factors, and Caregiving Stressors
Dementia Life Expectancies: New Knowledge and Considerations from the Health and Retirement Study
Authors: Marc A. Garcia, Syracuse University, Wassim Tarraf, Wayne State University, Chi-Tsun Chiu, Institute of European and American Studies, Joseph Saenz, University of Southern California, and Adriana Reyes, Cornell University

2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Location: Exhibit Hall DE (CC)
Session Title: Social Isolation and Loneliness (BSS)
Loneliness and Depression: Examining the Moderating Effects of Resilience Resources
Authors: Xiaoyan Zhang, Syracuse University and Merril Silverstein, Syracuse University

5:30 – 7:00 PM ET
Location: 125 (CC)
Session Title: Health and Social Services: From Community and Post-Acute Care Interventions to Trauma-Informed Care Survey Research
Home-Delivered Meal Deliveries and Feelings of Safety for Older Americans Act Participants
Authors: Claire Pendergrast, Syracuse University and Heather Menne, RTI International

ASI Faculty and Students Presented their Work at the 2021 Gerontological Society of America Conference

ASI Faculty and Students presented their work at the 2021 Gerontological Society of America Conference virtually, November 10 – 13.

GSA sessions involving Syracuse University faculty and students:

Thursday, November 11

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
Session Title: Discrimination, Stress, and Health Across the Life Course
Stress is a Latent Construct: Exploring the Differential Experiences of Stress Among Black Older Adults
Authors: Lauren Brown, San Diego State University School of Public Health, Catherine Garcia, Syracuse University, Alexis Reeves, University of Michigan, John Pamplin, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, and Uchechi A. Mitchell, University of Illinois Chicago, School of Public Health

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
Session Title: Health Disparities in COVID-19: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice
The Devastating Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Older Black and Latinx Adults: Implications for Health and Well-Being
Author: Marc A. Garcia, Syracuse University and Amy D. Thierry, Xavier University of Louisiana

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST
Session Title: ESPO and Butler-Williams Scientific Symposium: Disrupting Health Disparities and Transforming Care of Older Adults
The Intersection of Race and Ethnicity, Nativity, and Sex on Cognitive Trajectories of Older Adults in the United States
Author: Marc A. Garcia, Syracuse University and Wassim Tarraf, Institute of Gerontology & Department of Healthcare Sciences, Wayne State University

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST
Session Title: Gender, Family Histories, and Late-Life Economic Well-Being
How Marital Status Shapes Grandparenting Children With Disabilities
Author: Madonna Harrington Meyer, Syracuse University and Ynesse Abdul-Malak, Colgate University

Friday, November 12

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST
Session Title: The Vertical and Horizontal Relations of Korean and Korean American Older Adults and Their Well-Being
Intergenerational Relationships, Social Support, and Psychological Well-Being Among Korean Older Adults
Individual Symposium Abstract First Author: Yooumi Lee – Syracuse University
(Janet Wilmoth)

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST
Symposium: Social Research, Policy, and Practice
Policy Series/ESPO and Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section Symposium: It’s a Practice, Not and End State: Centering Equity in Gerontological Research and Policy
Author/Co-Chair: Claire Pendergrast, MPH – Syracuse University

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST
Session Title: Family and Intergenerational Relationships I
Early Intergenerational Relationships and Later Support Provided to Older Parents: Time-to-Death as a Contingency
First Author: Merril Silverstein – Syracuse University
(Wencheng Zhang, Douglas Wolf, and Maria Brown)

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
Session Title: Social Determinants of Mental Health
A New and Worrisome Predictor of Attitudes Toward Suicide: Self-Rated Health
First Author: Julene Cooney, MA, MS – Syracuse University

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST
Session Title: Family and Intergenerational Relationships II
Does Religiosity in the Transition to Adulthood Predict Filial Norms in Midlife?
First Author: Jeung Hyun Kim, MA – Syracuse University
(Woosang Hwang, Maria T.  Brown, and Merril Silverstein)

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST
Session Title: Innovations in Gerontology Pedogogy and Practice
Generational Views of Life Challenges and the Aging Process: Influence of Relationship Type, Frequency, Experience
First Author: Mary Pagan

Saturday, November 13

2:00 PM- 3:30 PM EST
Session Title: Leveraging Free Public Use Data for Aging and Life Course Research
Changes in Sociodemographic and Disease Prevalence Among Five Birth Cohorts of Older Latinos
Authors: Catherine Garcia, Syracuse University and Jennifer Ailshire, University of Southern California

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
Session Title: Religion and Spirituality
Paper Session Chair: Joonsik Yoon, MPP – Syracuse University
A Multidimensional Construct of Religiosity Among Baby Boomers and Trajectories of Social Attitudes
First Author: Joonsik Yoon, MPP – Syracuse University
(Woosang Hwang, Maria T. Brown, and Merril Silverstein)

2:00 PM -3:30 PM EST
Session Title: Religion and Spirituality 
Religiosity Among Young-Adult Baby Boomers: Associations With Psychological Well-Being Over 45 Years

First Author: Kent Jason G. Cheng, MA – Syracuse University
(Woosang Hwang, Maria T. Brown, and Merril Silverstein)

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST
Session Title: Subjective Aging and Health
Intergenerational Ambivalence, Loneliness, and Well-Being Among Older Adults in the United States
First Author: Xiaoyan Zhang, MS – Syracuse University
(Merril Silverstein)


Session Title: Minority and Diverse Populations: Between-Group Differences and Within Group Experiences
Race/Ethnicity, Vascular Aging, and Mortality Risk: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
First Author: Kevin Heffernan – Syracuse University
(Janet M. Wilmoth and Andrew London)

Session Title: Late Breaking Poster Session I
How Lonely are Older Americans Act National Family Caregiver Support Program Participants?
First Author: Claire Pendergrast, MPH – Syracuse University


In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Vernon Greene

Professor Emeritus of Public Administration and International Affairs Vernon Greene, who passed away on October 10 at the age of 77, saw the aging process as much more than a person getting old, and his vision helped build Syracuse University’s reputation as a national leader in gerontology, home of the Aging Studies Institute (ASI) and the Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS).

“Vernon is a bedrock for one of the most distinguished interdisciplinary aging institutes in the nation,” says the Maxwell School’s Dean David M. Van Slyke.  Greene was the director of the All-University Gerontology Center (1988-1993), the predecessor to the Aging Studies Institute.  He was a political scientist by training (M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington; B.A. from University of Texas, Austin).  He taught at the University of Arizona before coming to Syracuse University as an Associate Professor of Public Administration in 1986. He was promoted to Professor in 1992 and was the longtime chair of the doctoral program in social science at Maxwell.

“It is a testament to his work that we have been able to recruit and retain prolific research faculty and talented students who have an interest in aging as a life course and its direct relationship to public policy,” says Van Slyke. “Throughout his career—as researcher, teacher, advisor and mentor—he challenged colleagues and students to question conventional norms and to rethink issues through an interdisciplinary lens and rigorous research methodology.”

That’s what attracted Professor Douglas Wolf to Syracuse University more than two decades ago.  Wolf, now professor of public administration and international affairs and Gerald B. Cramer Professor of Aging Studies, says the interdisciplinary nature of the team and Greene’s approach to teaching reflected “the Maxwell way of looking at the world.”

“Vernon taught his students to ask the ‘central questions’ about the rationale for government intervention in people’s lives,” says Wolf. “He explored implications for public funding and policies involving the safety net, housing, organizational and community support. He included the neurosciences, biology and social sciences in his perspectives on aging.  His lens was broad and analytical.”

Greene referenced this approach in The Gerontologist in December, 1999 in his farewell message as he stepped down from his position as editor-in-chief.  “I have tried to steer a course for the journal that is multidisciplinary in substance and ecumenical in methodological philosophy.  As other journals in the (Gerontological Society of America) have increasingly defined their missions along section and disciplinary lines, I have tried to maintain and enhance the commitment of The Gerontologist to providing a venue for a reflective and scholarly conversation that seeks to broadly involve the Society as a whole.”  (Vol. 39, No. 6, 644).

“His legacy are the students whose work he supervised,” says Wolf.  “He was training people to be exceptionally rigorous in laying out the rationale and the tools for carrying out public services.”

“He was both big picture and a stickler for details,” says Stuart Bretschneider who, along with Greene, taught doctoral students research methodology.  Bretschneider is now director of the Center for Organization Research and Design at Arizona State University.  “Vernon trained a lot of people to do very careful, high quality analytical research.  He had high expectations for his students and worked tirelessly with them to help them achieve those expectations.”

Sarah Laditka, now professor emeritus in public health sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was one of Greene’s Ph.D. students. “Vernon was generous in sharing his wisdom and advice, which helped me greatly to succeed in my academic career. Vernon was never too busy to talk with me. When I needed his advice the most, he put meeting with me ahead of everything else. He was a role model for my entire career. I will always be inspired by Vernon’s dedication to mentoring graduate students in research and to promoting the health and well-being of older adults.”

Kristina Lambright, Greene’s graduate assistant from 1996-97, says he “influenced me to become a professor in public administration. The lessons I learned 25 years ago from Vernon about what it means to be a kind, thoughtful and conscientious faculty mentor continue to impact my own work with graduate students today as a professor at Binghamton University.”

Dean Van Slyke recalls that Greene served on his own mentoring committee when he first came to Syracuse as an assistant professor in 2004. “I recall people saying he’s exactly the kind of person you want on your mentoring committee because if you can make it by Vernon Greene, you can make it by most people.  Vernon was seen as a proxy for quality.  He did not suffer fools gladly. He was going to ask hard questions and scrutinize things.”

Bretschneider jokingly recalls that if Greene was in the audience for any research presentation, “he would invariably ask about some endogenous factor in the methodology, inspiring a comprehensive discussion of the issue. Vernon thought deeply about why things happen the way they do. He was a serious scholar who tackled the truly important things in life.”

Greene is survived by his wife of 42 years, Deborah Monahan, Emerita Professor of Social Work, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, their daughter Rachel (Philip Roth) Greene; son, Samuel (Kseniia) Greene; brothers, Geoffrey (Carol) Greene, Mark (Dani) Greene; and several nieces and nephews.

October 18, 2021, By Eileen Korey, SU News,_pioneer_in_the_study_of_aging/ 

ASI Faculty Associate Jennifer Karas Montez named University Professor

“Beyond my wildest dreams.” That’s how sociology professor Jennifer Karas Montez describes her reaction to being named University Professor. The appointment is a prestigious distinction granted to faculty who excel in their fields and who have made extraordinary scholarly contributions as judged by their peers nationally and internationally. Montez’s appointment was recently approved by the Syracuse University Board of Trustees following recommendations from the sociology department, Maxwell School and University leadership.

“I absolutely love what I do,” says Montez, professor of sociology, Gerald B. Cramer Faculty Scholar in Aging Studies, director of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies (CAPS) and co-director of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Montez has built a career around asking “big questions” in the search for solutions to some of life’s most pressing public health problems: Why do people in one state live longer than those in other states? Why is the United States losing ground in its international ranking in life expectancy? Why is life expectancy worse for lesser-educated adults than most other groups? What can be done to reverse these disturbing trends and change life trajectories?

Read the full SU News article here.

ASI Faculty Associates Janet Wilmoth and Andrew London co-edited a new book “Life-Course Implications of U.S. Public Policies

Janet M. Wilmoth and Andrew S. London, two professors from the Maxwell School’s Department of Sociology, the Aging Studies Institute and the Center for Aging and Policy Studies, co-edited a new book “Life-Course Implications of U.S. Public Policies” (Routledge, 2021). The 11 chapters in the book by leading scholars of aging and the life course are written to be accessible to a broad range of audiences. Collectively, they encourage readers to systematically consider the influence of public policies and social programs on lives, aging and the life course. Wilmoth and London hope that this volume will meet two main goals: to foster an appreciation of how interrelated public policy influences condition the life course; and to demonstrate how the life-course perspective and cumulative inequality theory can serve as tools to re-shape contemporary public policy debates. Ultimately, they are advocating for social programs that respond to the needs of individuals across the life course.

In the foreword, authored by Gerald B. Cramer Faculty Scholar in Aging Studies Jennifer Karas Montez, and three distinct chapters, five Maxwell professors, and one sociology Ph.D. student contribute to a discussion of how public polices affect everyone through intended and unintended consequences over the short- and long-term. Their specific contributions to this book include an examination of the historical development of U.S. public policies and their relation to the life course, the variable influences of public policies related to food and nutrition across the life course, and how public policies—or the lack thereof—shape grandparental care work.

In Chapter 1, “An Introduction to Life-Course Perspectives on Public Policies,” Wilmoth and London review the history of U.S. public policy development, starting with policies and associated programs that emerged out of President Theodore Roosevelt’s New Deal. That early wave of policy and program development was bolstered by President Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of a “War on Poverty.” According to Wilmoth and London, policies can generate or ameliorate inequalities in the United States through cumulative processes that play out differently on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, immigrant status, ability and sexual orientation.

In Chapter 6, “U.S. Food and Nutrition Policy Across the Life Course,” Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs Collen M. Heflin evaluates the development of U.S. food and nutrition policy. Heflin argues that food insecurity across the life course is often linked to other forms of precarity. She also examines the temporary nature of food assistance programs in relation to age-related life-course transitions. Heflin maintains the gaps in coverage at critical periods of children’s development have long-term implications for health and well-being.

In Chapter 10, “How Social Policies Affect Grandparent Care Work,” University Professor of Sociology Madonna Harrington Meyer and sociology Ph.D. student Amra Kandic examine the nexus of public policies and care work by grandparents. In the United States, grandparents provide a lot more care than their counterparts in other countries, and there is great deal of variation in grandparental care work by race, class and gender. Harrington Meyer and Kandic use data from in-depth interviews with grandparents to illustrate how the lack of federal policies and the use of poverty-based criteria to determine access to social welfare programs shape demands for, and experiences of, their care work.

ASI Faculty Associates Scott Landes, Andrew London and Janet Wilmoth article published in Armed Forces & Society

Scott D. Landes, Andrew S. London, and Janet M. Wilmoth wrote, “Service-Connected Disability and the Veteran Mortality Disadvantage,” which was published by Armed Forces & Society.

Abstract: Research consistently reports a veteran mortality disadvantage relative to nonveterans, but has not considered the contribution of service-connected disability to this differential. We use data from the 1986 and 1989 National Health Interview Survey-2011 Linked Mortality Files (N = 124,122) to estimate multivariate Cox regression models of the association between veteran status and mortality, taking service-connected disability status into account. Bivariate analyses demonstrate higher mortality risk, lower socioeconomic status, and poorer health and functioning among veterans with a service-connected disability than among nonveterans and veterans without a service-connected disability. Multivariate models confirm a mortality disadvantage for all veteran service-connected disability subgroups, which is reduced by the inclusion of exogenous sociodemographic variables and substantially mediated by the health/functional limitation status measures. Results indicate that service-connected disability status accounts for some variation in, and may have a cumulative effect on, the veteran mortality disadvantage. When possible, future research should account for service-connected disability status when studying veteran–nonveteran mortality differentials. Read more. 

ASI Faculty Associate Scott Landes Interviewed for PBS Newshour Story

Scott Landes was interviewed for the PBS Newshour story, Relative invisibility makes for uphill battle to get COVID vaccines for Americans with IDD.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities like Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism often have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Plus, many receive care in group living facilities, putting them at further risk. But despite the elevated risks for those with IDD, they face an uphill vaccination battle. William Brangham reports.

Watch the interview here.

ASI Faculty Associates 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. Read more.