Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
After my graduation from Rutgers, I completed the NIMH Rutgers-Princeton Program on 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 bi-national research project that focuses on the role of the state, civil society and non-governmental organizations on the care of low-income elderly in the United States and Mexico. As part of this agenda, I am Principal Investigator of the NIA funded international Conference Series on Aging in the Americas and https://sites.utexas.edu/caa/. My most recent co-authored work includes: New Frontiers in Population Aging and Mental Health: Mexico and the United States (Springer Nature, 2021); The Politics of a Majority-Minority Nation: Aging, Diversity and Immigration (Springer Publishing, 2019); and Family, Intergenerational Solidarity and Post-Traditional Society (Routledge, 2018). I also sit on the City of Austin’s Commission on Seniors and 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. At the LBJ School, I teach undergraduate and graduate 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.