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Rebecca UtzPhoto of Rebecca Utz

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Rebecca Utz is an assistant professor of Sociology. Her scholarship is influenced by her training in social gerontology, developmental psychology, lifecourse sociology, and demography. At the broadest level, her research aims to understand how macro-historical forces shape the individual experiences of human development. Her specific research interests fall within three substantive areas related to health and aging in American society: 1) widowhood, 2) caregiving, and 3) health behaviors. A theme that runs across these disparate research areas is why or how different birth cohorts have unique experiences related to health and aging. She is currently working on a project that measures obesity-related trends across the past four decades, as well as two intervention studies that are evaluating the effectiveness of support programs that reduce caregiver burden or bereavement related stress. Her research is applied in nature and has direct relevance to aging policy and public health in the United States.