One of Dr. Fingerman’s recent projects, 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. Researchers are looking 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 also 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 publicly available here.
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 more than 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.
Daily Experiences in Late Life Study
The Aphasia Research and Treatment Lab at the University of Texas at Austin is conducting a study investigating how the brain processes language. They are recruiting individuals age 50-80 years old with a diagnosis from a neurologist of Mild Cognitive Impairment. The study consists of up to three sessions that include behavioral, EEG and MRI tasks. Participants will earn up to $100. Contact: Rachel Tessmer, Doctoral Student, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, email@example.com or 281.813.6102.
Study Examining Sleep, Memory and Decision Making
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin are looking for older adults (ages 70-90) to participate in a study examining sleep, memory and decision making. The study involves completing psychological tests, surveys and computer-based decision-making and memory tasks in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. It will also involve the continuous wearing of a small wristwatch device that measures sleep-wake activity for 10 days. The first session takes approximately 1 to 2 hours, and the second session takes approximately 3 hours. Eligible participants will receive $10/hour for participating on the first day of assessments and an additional $100 for wearing the wristwatch and participating on the second day of assessments. In total, each participant may earn up to $120. Each participant will also receive a picture of his or her brain and a personalized sleep-activity report. If you would like to receive more information about the study, please email UTagingresearch@gmail.com or call 512.471.2745 to reach the study coordinator.