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Phone: (608) 262-5597

Office: 415 Psychology

Institute on Aging

Carol Ryff
Ph.D. 1978, Penn State

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My research is strongly multidisciplinary and focuses on how various aspects of psychological well-being are contoured by broad social structural influences such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and culture as well as how psychological well-being is linked with biological factors (e.g., neuroendocrine regulation, inflammatory processes, cardiovascular risk). The latter work addresses the mechanisms and pathways through which well-being may confer protection against illness and disease. Resilience is an overarching theme in putting these many levels of analysis (social structural, psychosocial, neurobiological) together. I currently direct the MIDUS (Midlife in the U.S.) national study of Americans (, which has become a major forum for integrative, multidisciplinary studies of health and well-being, as well as a parallel study in Japan known as MIDJA (Midlife in Japan).

Representative Publications

Charles, S.T., Luong, G., Almeida, D.M., Ryff, C.D., Sturm, M., & Love, G. (2010).  Fewer ups and downs:  Daily stressors mediate age differences in negative affect.  Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 65B, 279-286.

Manderscheid, R., Ryff, C.D., Freeman, E., Dhingra, S. McKnight-Eily L., Strine, T. (2010).   Evolving definitions of mental illness and wellness.  Preventing Chronic Disease, 7,1-6.

Friedman, E.M., Williams, D.R., Singer, B.H., & Ryff, C.D. (2009).  Chronic discrimination predicts higher circulating levels of E-selectin in a national sample:  the MIDUS study.  Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 23, 684-692.

SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 Costanzo, E.S., Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B.H. (2009).  Psychosocial adjustment among cancer survivors:  Findings from a national survey of health and well-being.  Health Psychology, 28, 147-156.

Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B.H. (2008).  Understanding healthy aging:  Key components and their integration.  In V. Bengtson, D. Gans, N.M. Putney, & M. Silverstein (Eds.), Handbook of theories of aging, 2nd Edition (pp. 117-144).  New York:  Springer.

Tsenkova, V., Love, G.D., Singer, B., & Ryff, C.D. (2008).  Coping and positive affect predict longitudinal change in glycosylated hemoglobin.  Health Psychology, 27, S163-S171.

Gruenewald, T.L., Mroczek, D.K., Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B.H. (2008).  Diverse pathways to positive and negative affect in adulthood and later life:  An integrative approach using recursive partitioning.  Developmental Psychology, 44, 330-343.

Tsenkova, V., Love, G.D., Singer, B.H., & Ryff, C. D. (2007).  Socioeconomic status and psychological well-being predict cross-time change in glycosylated hemoglobin in older women without diabetes.  Psychosomatic Medicine, 69, 777-784.

Friedman, E.M., Love, G.D., Rosenkranz, M.A., Urry, H.L., Davidson, R.J., Singer, B.H., & Ryff, C.D. (2007).  Socioeconomic status predicts objective and subjective sleep quality in aging women.  Psychosomatic Medicine, 69, 682-691.

Friedman, E.M., Hayney, M., Love, G.D., Singer, B., & Ryff, C.D. (2007).  Plasma interleukin-6 and soluble IL-6 receptors are associated with psychological well-being in aging women.  Health Psychology, 26, 305-313.

Keyes, C.L. M., Shmotkin, D., & Ryff, C.D. (2002).Optimizing well-being:  The empirical encounter of two traditions.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 1007-1022.

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