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Structures and Systems: Life Course Scaffolding of Late-Life Health
Recent events (BLM, COVID-19 pandemic, #MeToo) have demonstrated how mutually reinforcing and interlocking systems trap socially vulnerable groups into cycles of disadvantage that compromise health at all ages. Yet despite wide support for integrating a systemic view into research on health over the life course, empirical studies can tend to return to explanatory frameworks focused on the individual-level or isolating a single exposure. In this talk, I will present some recent advances in the theoretical underpinnings of cumulative dis/advantage theory as it relates to health and suggest how these could be integrated into empirical analysis. Themes will include: (1) gendered and racialized life course(s); (2) life course reflexivity; (3) social change and the ‘cohort-centric’ life course. I will highlight recent exemplar empirical work and discuss the promise of methodological developments such as comparative life course research.

Sep 30, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Jessica Kelley
@Case Western Reserve University
Professor Jessica A. Kelley studies the causes and consequences of health disparities over the life course, particularly those related to race, socioeconomic status, and disability. She has expertise in the quantitative analysis of longitudinal and panel data, including latent trajectories and multilevel modeling. Her recent research has focused on: life course influences on later-life functional disparities among Black and White adults; how cohort trends and social change affect later-life health profiles; social influences on the experience of disability; neighborhoods and social exclusion of older adults. Jessica currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Gerontology Social Sciences. She is also Series Co-Editor (with Dr. Roland J. Thorpe, Jr. of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) of the Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Aging and Health, Research on Aging, and Journal of Aging and Social Policy.