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Division on Aging
Stephen Crystal, Ph.D. directs the Division on Aging. Dr. Crystal and his colleagues play a significant role in analyzing policies and programs for the elderly and for persons with chronic illnesses. They have developed and tested longitudinal models of how life course events and social programs and policies produce distributions in health, economic and other social outcomes among the elderly. Their findings contribute significantly to the field of gerontology and to defining different policy choices for intergenerational equity.

Much of the research undertaken in the division builds on the cumulative advantage/cumulative disadvantage model developed by Dr. Crystal. This theoretical framework focuses on how later-life economic inequalities are affected over time by health status, onset of functional impairment, widowhood, educational level, minority status as well as by public policy choices that shape the retirement income and health care financing systems.

Recent studies address disparities in access to health care in the older population and the impact of policy choices in financing health care. National estimates of the distribution and financial impact of out-of-pocket health care costs for older persons have been completed. Current studies examine approaches taken by states to cover pharmaceutical costs for lower income elderly and the implications of states' experiences for a national health policy; socioeconomic differences in the treatment of the elderly diagnosed with depression; and the measurement of consumer satisfaction among nursing home residents.

Stephen Crystal, Ph.D.
Associate Director Chair, Division on Aging