Markus Schafer

Markus Schafer
Associate Professor of Sociology
High Res Photo


Ph.D., Sociology, Purdue University, 2011
M.A., Sociology, Purdue University, 2007
B.A., Psychology and Sociology, Grove City College, 2005


Markus Schafer is an associate professor of sociology. He completed his PhD in sociology and in gerontology at Purdue University in 2011. His research lies mainly in the area of health and aging. Some of the topics that interest him include adult health problems associated with childhood adversity, the association between health and social networks among older adults, the role of the physical environment in shaping older adults’ social connectedness and health, and the intersection of personal networks and religion. Schafer’s work on networks and health has been funded by the Province of Ontario’s Early Research Award program and by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He currently serves as an associate editor of Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences and on the editorial board of several other interdisciplinary journals.


Recent Publications

Andersson, Matthew A., Lindsay R. Wilkinson, and Markus H. Schafer. Forthcoming. “The Long Arm of Childhood: Does It Vary According to Healthcare System Quality?” Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Schafer, Markus H. and Laura Upenieks. Forthcoming. “Do Sexual Expectations Matter for Older Men and Women? Anticipated Sexual Futures and Late-Life Sexuality over Two Decades.” The Gerontologist.

Cohn-Schwartz, Ella, Markus H. Schafer, and Liat Ayalon. Forthcoming. “Age Integration in Later Life Social Networks and Self-Perceptions of Aging: Examining Their Reciprocal Associations.” European Journal of Ageing.

Schafer, Markus H., Haosen Sun, and Jin A. Lee. Forthcoming. “Compensatory Connections? Living Alone, Loneliness, and the Buffering Role of Social Connection among older American and European Adults.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

Sun, Haosen and Markus H. Schafer. Forthcoming. “Close Ties, Near and Far Away: Patterns and Predictors of Geographic Network Range among Older Europeans.” European Journal of Ageing.

Upenieks, Laura, Jeremy Uecker, and Markus H. Schafer. Forthcoming. “Couple Religiosity and Well-Being among Older Adults in the United States.” Journal of Aging and Health.

Lee, Jin A. and Markus H. Schafer. Forthcoming. “Social Network Characteristics and HIV Testing among older adults in South Africa.” Ageing & Society.

Schafer, Markus H. and Haosen Sun. 2022. “There at Any Distance? Geographic Proximity and the Presence of Adult Children in Older Europeans’ Core Discussion Networks.” Social Science Research.

Upenieks, Laura and Markus H. Schafer. 2022. “Keeping 'In Touch': Demographic Patterns of Interpersonal Touch in Later Life.” Research on Aging. 44:22-33.

Sendroiu, Ioana, Laura Upenieks, and Markus Schafer. 2021. “The Divergent Mental Health Effects of Dashed Expectations and Unfulfilled Aspirations: Evidence from American Lawyers’ Careers.” Social Psychology Quarterly. 84:376-397.

Upenieks, Laura, Matthew A. Andersson, and Markus H. Schafer. 2021. “God, Father, Mother, Gender: How Are Religiosity and Parental Bonds During Childhood Linked to Midlife Flourishing?” Journal of Happiness Studies. 22:3199–3220.

Schafer, Markus H. and Laura Upenieks. 2021. “Functional Disability and the Role of Children in U.S. Adults’ Core Discussion Networks.” Network Science 9:194-212.

Silva e Silva, Vanessa, Janine Schirmer, Bartira D’Aguiar Roza, Priscilla Caroliny de Oliveira, Sonny Dhanani, Joan Almost, Markus Schafer, and Joan Tranmer. 2021. “Defining Quality Criteria for Success in Organ Donation Programs: A Scoping Review.” Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease.

Lee, Haena and Markus H. Schafer. 2021. “Are Positive Childhood Experiences Linked to Better Cognitive Functioning in Later Life? Examining the Role of Life Course Pathways.” Journal of Aging and Health 33:217-226.

Schafer, Markus H., Laura Upenieks, and Julia DeMaria. 2021. “Do Older Adults with HIV Have Distinctive Personal Networks? Stigma, Network Activation, and the Role of Disclosure in South Africa.” AIDS and Behavior 25:1560-1572.

Upenieks, Laura, Markus H. Schafer, and Andrea Mogosanu. 2021. “Does Childhood Religiosity Delay Death?” Journal of Religion and Health 60:420-443.

Upenieks, Laura and Markus H. Schafer. 2020. “Religious Attendance and Physical Health in Later Life: A Life Course Approach.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 61:486-502.

Schafer, Markus H. and Matthew A. Andersson. 2020. “Looking Homeward with the Life Course: Early Origins of Adult Dwelling Satisfaction?” Advances in Life Course Research.

Wilkinson, Lindsay R., Markus H. Schafer, and Renae Wilkinson. 2020. “How Painful is a Recession? An Assessment of Two Future-Oriented Buffering Mechanisms.” Social Science & Medicine

Schafer, Markus H., Jason Settels, and Laura Upenieks. 2020. “As Goes the City? Older Americans’ Home Upkeep in the Aftermath of the Great Recession.” Social Problems 67:379- 397.


Dr. Schafer's Full Curriculum Vitae.

Department of Sociology

Tidwell Building
One Bear Place #97326
Waco, TX 76798-7326

(254) 710-1165