His primary research addresses how life course exposures and events influence the morbidity and mortality experiences of the older population. Recent studies have clarified how early life conditions influence socioeconomic, race and gender disparities in adult morbidity and mortality; the demography of race/ethnic and gender disparities in healthy life expectancy; social inequality in the biomarkers of aging, and the health consequences of marriage, divorce, and widowhood. Most recently, he has been investigating the fundamental inequalities in adult mortality in the United States arising from educational experience, differences in these associations by race and gender, and the growing educational inequality in mortality. His research on these topics has been by the National Institute on Aging and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. His recently published work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Public Health, Demography, the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Science and Medicine.
Dr. Hayward has served on a number of scientific advisory boards at universities around the country as well as the National Institutes of Health. He has a long-standing interest in enhancing the measurement and collection of population health data, particularly longitudinal data, and has served on the advisory boards of a number of national studies of population health.