The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen J. Jill Suitor, PhD, of Purdue University as the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award.
This distinguished honor is given annually to an individual whose theoretical contributions have helped bring about a new synthesis and perspective or have yielded original and elegant research designs addressing a significant problem in the literature.
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.
At Purdue University, Suitor is a professor of sociology and a faculty associate of the Center on Aging and the Life Course. She joined the faculty in 2004. Her research focuses the effects of status transitions on interpersonal relations, particularly between parents and adult children.
Over the past 30 years, Suitor has pursued a vigorous and innovative program of research that has shed new light on intergenerational relations in the second half of life. Her work has led to major advances in knowledge about the importance of status transitions throughout the life course and their effects on a wide range of outcomes. She has also contributed to theoretical advances in the study of older parent - adult child relations, by extending to intergenerational relations conceptual frameworks that had previously been used in the study of social networks. Through this theoretical innovation, Suitor has made important discoveries regarding the importance of similarity in parent-child relations, the role of transitions in family relationships, and the salience of parental differentiation in intergenerational relations and well-being in later-life families. She has also advanced the study of gender and race in intergenerational relations.
Suitor's research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Spencer Foundation, and has resulted in the publication of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. She is an associate editor of The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and has been a member of the editorial boards of Social Forces, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, The Gerontologist, and Gender & Society. She has also served as a member of the National Institutes of Health Study Section on Personality, Social Psychology, and Interpersonal Processes. She regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on family relationships across the life course with particular emphasis on later-life families.
Suitor is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society's highest class of membership.
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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