Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
After my graduation from Rutgers, I completed post-doctoral training at Rutgers in mental health services research and the Pennsylvania State University Program in Demography of Aging, "Population Biology, Generations, and Cohort Succession." I continued to pursue my research that focuses on issues at the intersection of family, health, and aging. I am particularly interested in how sociology of aging is affected by the life course and social policy. Most of my work encompasses the evaluation of the impact of policies on the health and well-being of Latinos, immigrants, and other vulnerable groups, and how cultural heterogeneity among the elderly affects the design of programs for the cost-effective delivery of health services. One of my major research projects along these lines is funded by the National Institute on Aging, which is a benchmark study of the longitudinal health of older Mexican Americans in the Southwestern United States. Since the inception of the project in 1992, I have assessed the impact of nativity and migration processes on health outcomes, and examined their implications for family living arrangements and long term care policy. Currently, I am developing a research agenda that focuses on the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations on the care of low-income elderly in the United States and Latin America. My most recent books include: Hispanic Families at Risk: The New Economy, Work, and the Welfare State co-authored with Ronald Angel (Springer, 2009); Inheritance in Contemporary America: Social Dimensions of Giving Across Generations (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008); and The Health of Aging Hispanics: The Mexican-Origin Population, co-edited with Keith Whitfield (Springer Publishing, 2007). Aside from publishing, I also serve as an advisor to professional committees, editorial boards, non-governmental organizations and other agencies that provide basic services to vulnerable groups including the old, the young, and the poor. Currently, I am the Co-Organizer of the NIA funded international Conference Series on Aging in the Americas (ICAA) www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa. Aside from research, I teach core courses and topical seminars on policy development with respect to health care, population diversity with a special emphasis on Hispanic families, and inequality in an aging society.