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Deborah Carr, Ph.D.
Interim Director
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research
Professor, Sociology

carrds@rutgers.edu, (848) 932-4068

Deborah Carr (PhD, 1997, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a professor of sociology and interim director of the Institute for Health at Rutgers University. She is a life course sociologist whose research focuses on the ways that macrosocial factors affect individual-level health and well-being. Her recent studies focus on bereavement and end-of-life decision-making among older adults; how family roles and relationships affect health and well-being; and the psychosocial consequences of body weight. She is the principal investigator of two National Institute of Aging-funded studies of end-of-life plans and preparations among older adults and their families. The Wisconsin Study of Families and Loss (WISTFL) focuses on healthy, community-dwelling white older adults in Wisconsin; the New Jersey End-of-Life Study focuses on terminally ill white, black, and Latino older adults in New Jersey. Her research appears in journals including ANNALS, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Forces, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Methodology, and Social Science & Medicine. She is the author of several books including Worried Sick: How Stress Hurts Us and How to Bounce Back (Rutgers University Press, 2014), co-editor of Spousal Bereavement in Late Life (Springer, 2007) and editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development (Cengage, 2009). She has held several editorial positions, most recently as editor-in-chief of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (2015-18). She is also chair of the editorial committee of Rutgers University Press. Carr has held several offices for the American Sociological Association sections on Aging & the Life Course, Medical Sociology, Mental Health, and Social Psychology, and was the chair of the Aging & Life Course section in 2014-15. Carr also is Chair of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey, and is a co-investigator on the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) and Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. She is serving a four-year term (2015-19) on the National Institutes of Health’s Social Sciences and Population Studies B (SSPB) study section. She also writes a monthly blog Bouncing Back for Psychology Today. She is a fellow of the Behavioral and Social Sciences section of the Gerontological Society of America, and a member of the honorary Sociological Research Association.


Current Projects
Curriculum Vitae (.pdf)

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