Ph.D. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997
Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Office: Davison Hall, 047
Office Phone: 848-932-4068
Deborah Carr is Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. She is Interim Director of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, and has a secondary appointment at the School of Social Work. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin in 1997, and her research interests include aging and the life course, psychosocial factors influences on health over the life course, and end-of-life issues.
One strand of her research focuses on how family roles and relationships affect health and well-being, with an emphasis on chronic and acute family-related stressors. These studies have appeared in journals including 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 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). Her most recent book is Worried Sick: How Stress Hurts Us and How to Bounce Back (2014, Rutgers University Press).
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 journals including 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, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Social Science & Medicine.
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 has served as deputy editor of Social Psychology Quarterly and Journal of Marriage and Family, and as trends editor of Contexts (an American Sociological Association publication).She is editor-in-chief of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences for the 2015-2018 term. She is also chair of the editorial committee of Rutgers University Press. Carr has held several offices for the American Sociological Association sections on Aging & the Life Course, Medical Sociology, Mental Health, and Social Psychology, and was the chair of the Aging & Life Course section in 2014-15. 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. She is serving a four-year term (2015-19) on the National Institutes of Health’s Social Sciences and Population Studies B (SSPB) study section. She also writes a monthly blog Bouncing Back for Psychology Today.