Baylor Sociologist Earns Award from Gerontological Society of America for Her Research on Older Adults

Jan. 7, 2015
Lindsay WilkinsonBaylor sociologist Lindsay Wilkinson, Ph.D. (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (Jan. 8, 2015) — Lindsay R. Wilkinson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of sociology in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, has won the 2014 Senior Service America Junior Scholar Award from the Gerontological Society of America.

The society-wide award was presented to Wilkinson at the society’s 67th annual scientific meeting in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes outstanding applied research that advances knowledge and understanding of the capabilities, contributions, challenges and concerns of disadvantaged older adults, especially those who are low-income and minority group members.

Wilkinson, who has conducted research on older adults and the “Great Recession,” presented her findings in August at the American Sociological Association’s 109th annual meeting in San Francisco.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for my research on disadvantaged older adults,” Wilkinson said. “This award highlights the value in doing research on the lives of older adults, and I feel grateful to be able to contribute to this ever-growing and important knowledge.”

In her study, Wilkinson found that more than 40 percent of older adults reported a decrease in “financial strain” between 2006 and 2010. She drew on 5,205 respondents from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.

She found that only one-quarter of respondents indicated an increase in financial strain between 2006 and 2010. But she also discovered that both initial financial strain and increasing strain over the period of the recession exacted a toll on mental health, with worsening anxiety and depressive symptoms and increased likelihood of using such drugs as antidepressants.

The ASA’s annual meeting involves nearly 600 sessions of study presentations, workshops and courses by sociologists from around the country and the world.

The 5,500-member Gerontological Society of America is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education and practice in the field of aging.

For more information on Wilkinson’s recent research, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.

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