Department of Sociology
Professor Carr's interests include social psychology, aging and the life course, gender, and family. She teaches undergraduate introductory sociology and social psychology courses, and graduate courses on social psychology, sociology of the life course, social structure and personality, social demography, and advanced research methods. Carr is co-director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) post-doctoral training program at Rutgers’ Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, and has a secondary appointment as faculty at the School of Social Work. She is co-author of Essentials of Sociology (2010, W. W. Norton), and Introduction to Sociology (2011, W. W. Norton), and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development (2009, Cengage).
One strand of her research focuses on how work and family experiences over the life course and across birth cohorts affect men's and women's psychological well-being. These studies have appeared in Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, Psychological Inquiry, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Methodology and several edited volumes. She also co-authored a trade book on the ways that generational differences in women’s work and family roles shape mother-daughter relationships: Making Up with Mom: Why Mothers and Daughters Disagree about Kids, Careers, and Casseroles (and What to Do about it) (2008, St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne).
A second strand of her research focuses on bereavement and end-of-life decision-making among older adults. She is interested in how demographic, technological, and social/political changes affect the experiences of the dying and their families. This research has appeared in Death Studies, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, Omega, Research on Aging, Sociological Forum, The Gerontologist, and several edited volumes. She is co-editor of Spousal Bereavement in Late Life (2006, Springer Publishing). She is principal investigator on several NIA-funded studies of end-of-life issues, including the New Jersey End of Life study and Wisconsin Study of Families and Loss (WISTFL), a follow up to Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Her third area of research focuses on the social, psychological, and interpersonal consequences of body weight and obesity. This work has appeared in journals including Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Body Image, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Obesity, and Social Psychology Quarterly. Carr is a member of the honorary organizations Sociological Research Association and Academy of Behavioral Medicine, and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. She is currently deputy editor of Social Psychology Quarterly and Journal of Marriage and Family, and is the former trends editor of Contexts (an American Sociological Association publication). She has served on the editorial boards of many journals including Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Journal of Marriage and Family, and is on the editorial board of Rutgers University Press. She has held elected offices for the American Sociological Association sections on Aging & the Life Course, Medical Sociology, Mental Health, and Social Psychology, and is a Committee Member at Large of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of the Gerontological Society of America. Carr also is Chair of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey, and is a co-investigator on the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) and Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS).