Jennifer A. Ailshire is a NIA postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Biodemography and Population Health and the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology, with training in Demography, from the University of Michigan in 2009.
She recently received a NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) to pursue research on neighborhoods and health and aging and is currently gaining additional training in major organ system function and the pathophysiology of adult disease as well as the use of biomeasures for idenitfying risk for dysfunction in key biological systems.
Jennifer's research addresses questions that lie at the intersections of social stratification, urban sociology, and the sociology of health and aging. In particular, her research focuses on the importance of the neighborhood environment and social relationships in determining health over the life course. A consistent theme throughout her work is an interest in gender, socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic inequality in health.
Current projects include research on social factors associated with poor sleep; neighborhood determinants of racial and ethnic disparities in obesity; associations between the neighborhood environment and disability, social participation, and cognition among older adults; unequal exposure to particulate air pollution and consequences for cognitive function, inflammation, and lung function; and the social, psychosocial, and health correlates of exceptional longevity among U.S. adults.
SELECTED PUBLISHED WORK
Jennifer A. Ailshire & Sarah A. Burgard. 2012. “Family Relationships and Troubled Sleep among U.S. Adults: Examining the Influences of Contact Frequency and Relationship Quality.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 53(2): 248-262.
Jennifer A. Ailshire & James S. House. 2011. "The Unequal Burden of Weight Gain: An Intersectional Approach to Understanding Social Disparities in BMI Trajectories from 1986-2001/2002." Social Forces, 90: 397-423.
Jennifer A. Ailshire, Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, & Eileen M. Crimmins. 2011. "Social Characteristics and Health Status of Exceptionally Long-Lived Americans in the Health and Retirement Study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(12): 2241-2248.
Bader, Michael D., Jennifer A. Ailshire, Jeffrey D. Morenoff & James S. House. 2010 "Measurement of the Local Food Environment: A Comparison of Existing Data Sources." American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(5):609-617.
Burgard, Sarah A. & Jennifer A. Ailshire. 2009. "Putting Work to Bed: Stressful Experiences on the Job and Sleep Quality." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 50(4):476-492.
Clarke, Phillipa, Jennifer A. Ailshire & Paula Lantz. 2009. "Urban Built Environments and Trajectories of Mobility Disability: Findings from a National Sample of Community-Dwelling American Adults (1986-2001)." Social Science and Medicine 69(6):964-970.
Clarke, Phillipa, Jennifer Ailshire, Michael Bader, James S. House & Jeffrey D. Morenoff. 2008. "Mobility Disability and the Urban Built Environment." American Journal of Epidemiology 168(5):506-513.
SELECTED WORK IN PROGRESS
Burgard, Sarah A. & Jennifer A. Ailshire. "Gender and Time for Sleep among American Adults." Under Review
Bader, Michael D.M. & Jennifer A. Ailshire. “Improving Measurements of Neighborhood Attributes at Multiple Spatial Scales Using the Geostatistical Method of Kriging.” Under Review
Ailshire, Jennifer A. & Philippa Clarke. "Social Inequality in Residential Air Pollution andCognitive Function among Older U.S. Adults." Under Review
Ailshire, Jennifer A. “Linked Lives in the "Great Recession": Personal and Family Economic Stress and Older Adult Health.” In preparation