Gerontology associate professor Kathrin Boerner will represent the UMass Boston campus this week at the annual University of Massachusetts Faculty Speaker Series in Florida, describing her ongoing research into the relationship between children and their surviving parents later in life.
The events, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Foundation, will feature presentations by one faculty member from each UMass campus. The speakers will be appear March 13 in Palm Beach and in Naples the following day.
Boerner, who teaches at the McCormack Graduate School, was selected as the UMass Boston speaker to discuss her research analyzing relationships between children age 65 or older and a parent who is at least 90 years old. In many individual cases, that became a study of mothers and daughters late in life.
“The most prominent gender configuration in the population of very old parents and their children, in particular with respect to children who are involved as caregivers, is mothers and daughters and this is reflected in our sample,” said Boerner. “In a way, we are primarily highlighting a women’s issue.”
Boerner’s study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, is analyzing relationships between 120 parent-child pairs. It is also interviewing children whose parents live with dementia. She expects interviews for the study to be completed by the end of the year.
Other UMass faculty members chosen to showcase their research at the Florida events will speak on topics such as Lyme disease, conceptualized robots, diversity in the sports industry, and the effects of cranberries on digestive health.
“There’s a lot of people doing great work at UMass Boston so it’s an honor to be chosen to show my research,” says Boerner. “I’m happy that a gerontology topic was selected. I think it will bring great visibility to the field and hopefully more people will become interested.”