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Dr. Birditt’s research focuses on the negative aspects of relationships, stress, and the implications of relationships and stress for health and well-being across the life span. She is particularly interested in understanding how relationships differentially influence health and well-being depending on the context of stress. Most of her projects involve examining individuals and dyads either over time and or within families.

Dr. Freedman has published extensively on the topics of population aging, disability trends and long-term care and has investigated the connections among disability, time use and wellbeing in later life. She has co-led the National Health and Aging Trends Study and the National Study of Caregiving since their inception and has served as an Associate Director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Through these efforts she has been instrumental in disseminating new measures to study disability and care needs of older adults.