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 the demography of aging, or how population aging in tandem with changing family forms contribute to social inequality across the life course. 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 gender inequality at the work and family nexus, or how work and family individually and interactively contribute to trends in gender inequality. 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. Family structure and intergenerational transfers
  3. Work and family balance among caregivers
  4. Attitudes toward care for older adults