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.

Job Opportunities: Associate Professor/ Assistant Professor Positions in the Department of Economics & Human Development and Family Science

Associate Professor/Full Professor of Economics
Syracuse University’s Department of Economics seeks to fill a position in health economics at the Associate or Full Professor level. This position is part of an ambitious cluster hire initiative in the broad area of Aging, Health, and Neuroscience and the subarea of Population Health into which several positions are being filled from different disciplines. Faculty hired into these positions will build on our existing strengths in the focus area and will participate in an organized research cluster that spans multiple departments in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs as well as the University. Further information on the campus-wide hiring initiative can be found at the Syracuse University Office of the Provost website.
Apply Here – 

Assistant/Associate Professor – Human Development and Family Science (Tenure-Track/Tenured)
The Department of Human Development and Family Science in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University is seeking applicants for a tenure-track position in the field of gerontology with a specialization in aging and health. Preference will be given to candidates already serving as an assistant or associate professor who apply multidisciplinary approaches, such as bio-psychological or bio-social models, to the study of human development over the second half of life.

Successful candidates cover this issue within broader family, social/socioeconomic, community, and cultural contexts; and have the potential to achieve a strong record of publication and establish a program of funded research; and engage in high quality teaching.. Candidates whose research, teaching, or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education are particularly encouraged to apply.
Apply Here –

ASI Faculty and Students Present their Work at the 2020 Gerontological Society of America Conference

ASI Faculty and Students Presented their work at the 2020 Gerontological Society of America Conference, that was held Nov 4-7. 

Schedule of synchronous sessions involving Syracuse University faculty and students:

Wednesday, November 4

1:45 PM – 2:15 PM EST
Veteran Status Matters! Life Course Perspectives on the Health and Well-Being of Aging Veterans: Presenter Discussion

Risk Aversion Among Male Older Adults: Does Veteran Status Matter?
Kent Jason G. Cheng, MA – Syracuse University, Scott Landes – Syracuse University, and Janet Wilmoth – Syracuse University

Diurnal Cortisol Profiles and Veteran Status
Jennifer R. Piazza – Public Health, California State University, Fullerton, Scott Landes – Syracuse University, and Natalia Dmitrieva – Northern Arizona University

Thursday, November 5

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM EST
ASI Booth: Video Chat
Janet Wilmoth – Syracuse University

12:45 – 1:15 PM EST
(2938-B) Isolation and Loneliness 2: Presenter Discussion
Family Solidarity, Social Support, Loneliness, and Well-Being Among Older Adults in Rural China
Xiaoyan Zhang – Syracuse University and Merril Silverstein – Syracuse University

1:45-2:15 PM EST
(2870) Transportation: Presenter Discussion
Visitation Access to U.S. Nursing Homes: An Analysis of Facility Locations, Ratings, and Disparities
Mary E. Helander – Syracuse University

1:45 – 2:15 PM EST
(2943-B) Family and Cross-Generational Relationships 2: Presenter Discussion
Grandparenting and the Receipt of Filial Piety From Adult Children in Chinese American Families
Jeung Hyun Kim – Syracuse University

2:45 PM – 3:15 PM EST
Rural Aging: Multidisciplinary, Multinational Innovations That Support New Approaches to Address Unmet Needs: Presenter Discussion
How Area Agencies on Aging Contribute to Social Connection for Older Adults in Rural America
Claire Pendergrast – Syracuse University

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM EST
Gerontology at the Intersection of Religion and Families: Honoring the Legacy of Vern Bengtson: Streaming Symposia
Tracing the Religious Life Course: Intergenerational Sources of Later Life Religiosity.
Merril Silverstein – Syracuse University, Woosang Hwang – Syracuse University, and Joseph Blankholm – University of California, Santa Barbara
This GSA streaming symposium is co-organized by Merril Silverstein. Additional papers will be presented by Andy Achenbaum, Ellen Idler, Linda George, and Robert Taylor.

Friday, November 6

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM EST
ASI Booth: Video Chat
Karen Cimilluca – Syracuse University

12:45 PM – 1:15 PM EST
Intergenerational Caregiving and Relationships: Presenter Discussion
Multidimensional Profiles of Religiosity Among Grandparents, Parents, and Grandchildren
Joonsik Yoon – Syracuse University, Woosang Hwang – Syracuse University, Merril Silverstein – Syracuse University, and Maria Brown – Syracuse University

12:45 – 1:15 PM EST
(2945-A) Caregiving (BSS) 5: Presenter Discussion
Assessing the Impact of Older Americans Act–Funded Services on Caregiver Stress
Racheal Chubb – Syracuse University and Janet Wilmoth – Syracuse University

1:45 – 2:15 PM EST
(2943-C) Family and Cross-Generational Relationships 3: Presenter Discussion
Multidimensional Profiles of Religiosity: Do they Matter for Gen-Xer’s Psychological and Familial Well-Being?
Kent Jason G. Cheng – Syracuse University, Woosang Hwang – Syracuse University, Jeung Hyun Kim – Syracuse University, Merril Silverstein – Syracuse University, and Maria Brown – Syracuse University

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM EST
Caring for Older Parents: Presenter Discussion
Reciprocal Associations Between Normative, Affectual, and Associational Solidarity With Parents in Young Adults
Jeung Hyun Kim – Syracuse University, Woosang Hwang – Syracuse University, Kent Jason G. Cheng – Syracuse University, Maria Brown – Syracuse University, and Merril Silverstein – Syracuse University.

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM EST
Gender- and Sex-Centered Topics in Aging: Presenter Discussion
Can Women Have It All: Marriage, Family, Career, and Good Health?
Julene Cooney – Syracuse University

Saturday, November 7

12:45 PM – 1:15 PM EST
Mental Health and Older Adults: Presenter Discussion
Psychiatric History and Trajectories of Cognitive Change Predict Risk of Nursing Home Residence
Maria T. Brown – Syracuse University

1:45 PM – 2:15 PM EST
Mobility, Disability, and Functional Impairment: Presenter Discussion
The Mediating Role of Optimism on the Relationship of Activities of Daily Living and Well-Being Among Older Adults
Kent Jason G. Cheng – Syracuse University, Darcy McMaughan – Texas A&M University, and Matthew L. Smith – Texas A&M University

2:45 PM – 3:15 PM EST
Social Support and Psychological Well-Being: Presenter Discussion
Intergenerational Relationships, Social Support, and Psychological Well-Being Among Korean Older Adults
Yooumi Lee – Syracuse University and Janet Wilmoth – Syracuse University

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM EST
Policy Series: ESPO/ Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section Symposium: Connecting Aging Research to Policy: Insights and Strategies for Early-Career Researchers: Streaming Symposia
This session is co-chaired by Claire Pendergrast.



Montez-led study linking state policies to life expectancy in LA Times

Could where you live dictate how long you live? A new study led by Professor of Sociology Jennifer Karas Montez, published in the Milbank Quarterly, illustrates how state-level policies impact life expectancy, with residents of blue states living longer on average than their red state counterparts. “The difference between the highest and lowest life expectancy states has grown to 7.0 years—the largest ever recorded.”

Montez tells the Los Angeles Times, “When we look at what is happening with life expectancy, the tendency is to focus on individual explanations about what Americans are doing,” she said, noting obesity and smoking behaviors as well as drug use. “But state policies are so important.” She is quoted in the article People live longer in blue states than red; new study points to impact of state policies.

More coverage:

WAER: SU Maxwell Professor: State Policies Driving Gaps in Life Expectancy

Daily DemocratLiberal policies, like California’s, keep blue-state residents living longer, study finds