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 is concerned with how, in this changing demographic environment, enduring norms and expectations around families and for individual family members function across three domains. First, I explore gender inequality at the work and family nexus, or how work and family individually and interactively contribute to trends in gender inequality. Second, I explore family demography and intergenerational inequality, or how family structure changes and norms around family roles contribute to inequality across and between generations. And third, I explore the demography of aging, or how population aging in tandem with changing family forms contribute to social inequality across the life course. My projects cover a range of topics including caregiving, work, education, and mortality.

My current research topics include:

  1. Caregiving across the life course
  2. Intergenerational transfers, family structure, and work
  3. Families and mortality
  4. Attitudes toward eldercare

Starting in the fall of 2019, I will be funded by a National Institute of Aging Postdoctoral Fellowship. My current work is funded through the Care, Retirement & Wellbeing of Older People Across Different Welfare Regimes (CARE) project (mentor: Rachel Margolis).