Research

Patterson Google Scholar Page

Demographic shifts in life expectancy, family structure, and gendered patterns of employment converge to create new and ever-changing forms of social inequality. My research explores two main areas of such inequality: how the institutions of work and family individually and interactively influence gender inequality across the life course, and intergenerational inequality through social support and family structure. My projects cover a range of topics including caregiving, work and family, education, and mortality. My overarching research question is whether and how family relationships lead to gender and intergenerational inequality, and if they don’t, what does?

My current research topics include:

  1. Multigenerational caregiving across the U.S., Canada, and Europe
  2. Family and work structures and intergenerational transfers
  3. Families and mortality
  4. Attitudes toward eldercare

My current work is funded through the Care, Retirement & Wellbeing of Older People Across Different Welfare Regimes (CARE) project (mentor: Rachel Margolis).