David J. Ekerdt, PhD

David J. Ekerdt is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas. From 1988-1997 he was Associate Director of the Center on Aging and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Ekerdt teaches the sociology of aging and quantitative research methods, and has supervised graduate students on both campuses. His funded studies of work and retirement have examined the retirement process and its effects on health, well-being, and the marital relationship, as well as behavioral expectations on later life.

Dr. Ekerdt is presently conducting research on American workers' changing plans and decisions for retirement, and on the ways that people manage and dispose of their possessions in later life. These studies have been supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging. He also is Editor-in-Chief of the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Aging, a four-volume, one-million-word work published in 2002. The work has seven specialty editors from the U.S. and Canada and covers topics in biology, health care, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, ethics, and social policy.

A graduate of Boston University (Ph.D., 1979), Dr. Ekerdt has also been a member of the faculties of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Boston University School of Public Health. From 1994 to 1997 he served as editor of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and from 1998-2001 was Chair of the Editorial Board for the journal Generations. From 1997-1999 he was chair of the Human Development and Aging (HUD-2) study section for grant reviews at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ekerdt is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America GSA, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society on Aging. During 2002-2003 he served as chair of the Aging and Life Course section of the American Sociological Association. During 2004-2006 he chaired the Publications Committee of GSA, and in 2010-2011 he will chair the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of GSA.

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