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Adult Development and Aging

One of the most dramatic changes in the history of humanity occurred in the past 100 years as life expectancy has doubled from approximately age 40 in 1900 to age 80 today. The ways in which individuals enter adulthood, experience midlife, a senesce in old age warrants increased research attention. Social, emotional, familial factors that contribute to adult development are of particular importance.

The mission of the Purdue University Center on Aging and the Life Course is to promote aging-related interdisciplinary research and education at Purdue University that enhances quality of life. It seeks to generate, integrate, disseminate, and apply gerontologist knowledge that addresses complex life course topics.

Faculty Research

  • Melissa Franks
    Dr. Franks' research focuses on dyadic processes of married couples managing chronic illness in middle and late life.
  • Elliot Friedman
    Dr. Friedman’s research examines the biological imprints of challenges and life transitions in middle aged and older adults as well as the protective influences of social and psychological resources. Healthy/successful aging is a central focus of this work.
  • Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
    One of the primary contexts within which adult development occurs is the workplace. Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth's research has examined connections between work conditions and adult expressions of generativity, or investments in caring for and maintaining the larger society.