"Rethinking the Meaning of Human Health: Transformational Advances from MIDUS"

November 30, 2018

Carol Ryff, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Institute of Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary expertise is in studying psychological well-being and resilience. She currently directs the MIDUS (Midlife in the United States), a national longitudinal study of Americans’ health and well-being, as well as a parallel study in Japan known as MIDJA (Midlife in Japan).

Her research is strongly multidisciplinary and focuses on how various aspects of psychological well-being are contoured by broad social structural influences such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and culture as well as how psychological well-being is linked with biological factors. Her work addresses the mechanisms and pathways through which well-being may confer protection against illness and disease. Resilience is an overarching theme in putting these many levels of analysis (social structural, psychosocial, neurobiological) together.