RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Area(s) of Expertise:
Social Stratification, Health and Aging, Social Demography, Families and Households
Esther M. Friedman is a social demographer who studies social stratification as it relates to health, wealth, and aging. She is particularly interested in how families and other social ties affect inequalities in these outcomes over the life course. In her dissertation, for instance, she used data from multiple generations of the family to investigate the effects of children's education on their parents' later life outcomes, including health, care, and wealth. In other work, Esther has examined the factors that predict which children will care for older parents, how siblings coordinate care for their elderly parents, and the effects of social conflict and early life adversity on cortisol regulation in middle and later life. As a Health & Society Scholar, Esther will examine the degree to which the resources of broader social contexts - extended kin, friends, and neighbors - influence population health. Esther earned a Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA in 2011. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, she obtained a master's degree in statistics from Columbia University.