Public Release:  Harrington Meyer, Leist, Hessel, Avendano to receive GSA's 2014 Kalish awards

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Madonna Harrington Meyer, PhD, of Syracuse University; Anja K. Leist, PhD, of the University of Luxembourg; and Philipp Hessel, MA, MSc, and Mauricio Avendano, PhD, of The London School of Economics and Political Science as the 2014 recipients of the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Awards.

These distinguished honors recognize insightful and innovative publications on aging and life course development in the behavioral and social sciences. There are two awards -- one in the book category and one in the article category -- underwritten by the Baywood Publishing Company and named after social psychologist Richard Kalish, PhD. Any empirical or conceptual publication that represents state-of-the-art thinking in aging and life course development is eligible for the awards, provided it is in English and was published in the last three years.

The award presentation will take place at GSA's 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 5 to 9 in Washington, DC. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit http://www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

Harrington Meyer earned the Kalish Award in the book category for "Grandmothers at Work: Juggling Families and Jobs," published by NYU Press. This work explores the stresses and benefits that come from caring for grandchildren by grandmothers who are often fully employed themselves. It makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the complex family dynamics of the 21st century. At Syracuse University, Harrington Meyer is professor and chair of the Department of Sociology; the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence; a senior research associate in the Aging Studies Institute; and a senior research affiliate in the Center for Policy Research. She is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society's highest class of membership.

Leist, Hessel, and Avendano earned the Kalish Award in the article category for "Do Economic Recessions During Early and Mid-Adulthood Influence Cognitive Function in Older Age?" which appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. This paper considers life-course influences on later-life cognitive function by combining childhood socioeconomic and health conditions with data on economic recessions during working life, associated changes in working conditions, and later-life health and socioeconomic status in order to explain older-age cognitive function. The article is the first to investigate later-life cognitive function by applying a life-course perspective on historical economic situation and individual health and socioeconomic conditions, thereby combining an economic approach with a social epidemiological design. Leist is a post-doc research associate in the PEARL Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality at the University of Luxembourg. Hessel is a research officer in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Avendano is the principal research fellow and deputy director at LSE Health in the London School of Economics and Political Science, with adjunct appointments at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,500+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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