Baylor Sociologist Earns Award from Gerontological Society of America for Her Research on Older AdultsJan. 7, 2015
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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 https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=145546
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