The Development of Late Life Psychopathology

Studies in this research arm utilize data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS;, a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. The WLS provides an opportunity to study the life course, intergenerational transfers and relationships, family functioning, physical and mental health and well-being, and morbidity and mortality from late adolescence through 2011. WLS data also cover social background, youthful aspirations, schooling, military service, labor market experiences, family characteristics and events, social participation, psychological characteristics and retirement.

We are primarily motivated to understand how psychosocial and genetic factors affect late life health and behavioral outcomes, including depression and coping with stress. We incorporate rigorous phenotyping analyses (i.e., growth modeling, multiple mediation) with powerful genome-wide prediction methods (e.g., polygenic scores) to investigate the ways in which genes and psychosocial development might influence how a person develops health and behavioral outcomes in later life.

Key collaborators:


Jan Greenberg, Ph.D. (Social Work)

Jinkuk Hong, Ph.D. (Waisman Center)

Qiongshi Lu, Ph.D. (Biostatistics & Medical Informatics)

Marsha Mailick, Ph.D. (Social Work)

Representative articles: