About the Adult Family Project

About The Adult Family Project

The Adult Family Project is under the direction of Dr. Karen Fingerman.

Dr. Fingerman is a Professor of Human Development & Family Sciences and is the Director of the Texas Aging & Longevity Center at UT Austin. The Adult Family Project focuses on adults’ relationships with their parents, spouses, grown children, romantic partners, friends, and other social partners across adulthood and into old age. We look at how relationships with family members, friends, and acquaintances change from young adulthood to old age. This research has drawn on survey methods, observational studies, experimental paradigms, daily diary, and salivary hormone data collection techniques.

Dr. Fingerman directed a longitudinal study involving middle-aged adults, their romantic partners, grown children and aging parents funded by the National Institute on Aging. This study examined relationships between young adults, midlife parents, and an aging older generation. Over 50 papers have identified the strength of intergenerational bonds, how family members support one other, and stresses and conflicts that arise in these ties. Data from the Family Exchanges Study are publically available at: https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/prc/_scientific-and-technical/prc-data-portal.php

Dr. Fingerman is also currently conducting the NIA-funded Daily Experiences in Late Life study examining older adults’ social relationships and physical and cognitive functioning in a daily context. This study included over 300 older adults and tracked social interactions and daily activities. Innovative methods included a variety of devices to assess physical activity, conversations, and older adults’ subjective experiences throughout the day.

Dr Fingerman has published over 150 scholarly articles. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has funded her work for over 20 years. She has also received funding from the Brookdale Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation Network on Transitions to Adulthood and the MacArthur Foundation Network on an Aging Society.

We have a number of exciting study opportunities for people who want to participate in our research and for students who want to get involved in conducting research. Research is conducted in the Human Development and Family Sciences Department at the University of Texas at Austin

To read publications from our research, please click here.

If you would like to learn more about us and our work- beyond that which the website provides, Contact us!

Visit the Texas Aging & Longevity Center website to stay up to date on events that discuss research in the field of aging.

Visit the Aging & Health Portfolio website to see the graduate portfolio program offered at The University of Texas.