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The Brookdale Foundation Group

300

Frank W. Burr Blvd

Suite 13

Teaneck, NJ

07666

 

Phone:

201-836-4602

 

Fax:

201-836-4342

 

Karen L. Fingerman, PhD

Dr. Fingerman is the Berner Hanley Professor in Gerontology at Purdue University. She received her BA degree from Harvard University and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Subsequently, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford Medical School. She served on the faculty at Pennsylvania State University from 1995-2002 and then moved to Purdue University.

Dr. Fingerman’s research focuses on emotions, social relationships, and well-being in late life. She received the Springer Award for Early Career Achievement in Research on Adult Development and Aging from the American Psychological Association in 1998 and the Margret Baltes Early Career Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology from the Gerontological Society of America in 1999.

As a Brookdale Fellow from 2000-2002, Dr. Fingerman examined relationships between parents and their grown offspring when parents incur vision or hearing loss in late life. The study relied on a combination of qualitative and quantitative interview techniques with parents and grown children to understand how families react as aging parents experience health declines during the transition to old-old age. Middle-aged offspring experienced ambivalence regarding their parents’ chronic health impairments. They worried more, experienced stress, and took on additional tasks for their parents. At the same time, most offspring reported that their relationships were improving.

Dr. Fingerman’s current research focuses on two issues. In a study funded by NIH, she is examining middle-aged adults’ relationships with both their aging parents and their young adult offspring. Her studies find that middle-aged adults typically give a great deal of tangible and non-tangible help to their grown children. Even when aging parents require hands-on caregiving, middle-aged adults continue to offer their children help as well. Dr. Fingerman also has looked at emotional qualities of relationships in late life and found that older adults regulate ties with friends and family in ways that often improve their own well-being.

Brookdale Fellow Class of 2000

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