Adulthood 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.

Faculty Research

Sharon Christ

Dr. Christ studies the relationships between visual impairment, functioning, psychosocial health, and mortality during the aging process. She also studies how employment and work characteristics impact health and mortality among adults. Her work in these areas has a strong methodological focus.

Cézanne Elias

Dr. Elias' research focus centers on how physical health and wellbeing and patient activation impacts aging individuals, caregivers, and other subsystems within and outside of the family system. She is currently studying the impact of patient-physician behaviors in decision making and pain assessment on health outcomes.

Melissa M. Franks

Dr. Franks’ research is focused on social influences on health among midlife and older adults. Her current work is focused on marital interactions that promote dietary adherence among patients with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, her collaborative work with Dr. Friedman addresses social ties and health outcomes among midlife and older adults managing multiple chronic conditions.

Elliot Friedman

Dr. Friedman examines psychological and biological processes related to healthy aging.

Pi-Ju (Marian) Liu

Dr. Liu’s research focuses on elder justice. She works with Adult Protective Services to identify effective services for victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. She also works in laboratory settings to identify risk and protective factors of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth

Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth’s research focuses on the experiences of early and middle adulthood, as workers navigate the challenges of fulfilling their responsibilities at work and at home.

Maggie O'Haire

Dr. O’Haire studies the interrelationships between humans and animals (also known as the human-animal bond) and how these connections influence mental health across the lifespan. She works with individuals with physical disabilities, mental health conditions, and the general population more broadly.

Cleveland Shields

Dr. Shields’ research examines how older patients interact with physicians and nurse practitioners to obtain the medical care they need.


Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

2016 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by HDFS

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact HDFS.