My primary research interests involve exploring dynamics of power, inequalities, social justice, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic level in the experience of aging, especially among those with illness. My research is guided by a theoretical perspective and methodological framework that includes sociological concepts such as the impact of othering/otherness, social construction of identities, insideness (physical and social environments), social participation and capital; determinants of health and illness (gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic level); psychological constructs that mediate health and illness (e.g. resilience, gerotranscendence).
My dissertation explored successful aging among those traditionally ignored by successful aging research: individuals aging with illness. Using a mixed method (quantitative/qualitative) research design that embraced the voices of participants, interviews were conducted in person and online to ascertain self-reported psychological characteristics, physical health, successful aging, income adequacy, gender and demographiccharacteristics. Along with open ended questions and the use of validated scales, single item scales were developed to assess participant’s gender, quality of life, successful aging and self-reported health. The quantitative portion of the research examined the presence of and constructs associated with successful aging among those aging with illness using parametric and non-parametric techniques as appropriate (e.g. correlations; t-tests & Mann–Whitney U; linear regression & logistic regression).