Chicago Health Aging and Social Relations Study (CHASRS)

 

Overview:

The purpose of the National Institute of Aging funded CHASRS is to bring together sociological, psychological, and biological levels of analyses to bear on the relationships among, and mechanisms underlying, social isolation, feelings of loneliness, health, and the aging process. Social relationships are fundamental to emotional fulfillment, behavioral adjustment, and cognitive function. Recent research has shown that emotional closeness in relationships increases with age. Yet the number of social relationships decreases and social events triggering loneliness continue in older adults. Moreover, they are physically aging and tend to be less resilient so these psychosocial challenges could potentially leave them vulnerable to feelings of loneliness, dysphoria, elevated and prolonged neuroendocrine stress responses, and ill health. Feelings of social isolation and loneliness predict morbidity and mortality from broad based causes in later life even after controlling for health behaviors and biological risk factors. Understanding the antecedents of feelings of loneliness and their consequences for mental and physical health can thus be studied effectively in older adults and is particularly important because life expectancy has increased in the U.S., increasing dramatically the number of older adults.Funding from the National Institute of Aging has made it possible to study these issues in an interdisciplinary manner. Medical scientists, social scientists, behavioral scientists, and medical practitioners (e.g., geriatricians) work collaboratively under the auspices of the program project grant. The grants have also contributed to the development of new investigators (both M.D.s and Ph.D.s) in whose hands the future of the field rests. We, therefore, gratefully acknowledge the early funding by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the ongoing support by the National Institute of Aging, and the ancillary funding by the John Templeton Foundation.The Program Project Grant from the National Institute of Aging has made it possible to study these issues in an interdisciplinary manner. Medical scientists, social scientists, behavioral scientists, and medical practitioners (e.g., geriatricians) work collaboratively under the auspices of the program project grant. The Program Project Grant has also contributed to the development of new investigators (both M.D.s and Ph.D.s) in whose hands the future of the field rests. We, therefore, gratefully acknowledge the early funding by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the ongoing support by the National Institute of Aging.

940 East 57th Street

Chicago, IL 60637

773-834-7458

© 2014 initially created by Anne Gifford for the Center of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at The University of Chicago.

Last Updated by SC on 07-18-2016