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Assistant Professor of Sociology Leah Rohlfsen won the 2008 Susan B. Anthony Aetna Award for Excellence in Research on Older Women and Public Health at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in San Diego in October.

The award, given by the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association, was for a paper presented by Rohlfsen, titled "Older Adults and Issues of Depressive Symptoms and Alcohol Use: Gender Disparities in Mental Health." Based on a chapter in her dissertation, the paper assessed gender differences in trajectories of mental, functional and self-rated health among older adults using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study. The awards program states, "Findings from her dissertation provide evidence of a new health paradox, in which females have the same or better self-rated health compared to males regardless of more physical limitations, acute and non-fatal chronic health conditions and depressive symptoms."

Rohlfsen is involved with several research projects which examine chronic health conditions, functional heath and mental health among older adults. She earned the Ph.D. in sociology from Arizona State University in 2008. Other research Rohlfsen is involved in examines gender differences in suicide among the elderly; aging and the sense of control; and racial/ethnic differences in trajectories of functional health.

Posted: November 5, 2008


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