Center for Health, Equity, & Aging (CHEA)

Photo by Dario Valenzuela

The Center for Health, Equity, & Aging (CHEA) (formerly known as the Center for Aging Studies, established 2001) is the hub for research on the social dimensions of health, equity, and aging in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health (SAPH). CHEA attracts researchers and students who are committed to furthering a comprehensive approach to the study of health, equity, and aging through qualitative and quantitative approaches.

The mission of CHEA is to promote productivity and pedagogy in social science research for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health. Since 2001, the Center has housed more than 20 multi-year studies, totaling over $20 million in external funding. Working in conjunction with the UMBC/UMB Doctoral Program in Gerontology, the UMBC Master’s Program in Applied Sociology, and our undergraduate programs in Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health, CHEA incorporates a mentorship model providing opportunities for students to work with faculty on research projects. 

Past directors include founding director, Dr. Kevin Eckert (2001-2010), Dr. John Schumacher (Associate Director, 2005-2008), Dr. Bob Rubinstein (2010-2018), Dr. Ann Christine Frankowski (2018-2019), and Dr. Laura Girling (2019-2022). In 2022, the Center was renamed to Center for Health, Equity, and Aging (CHEA) and is currently directed by Dr. Christine Mair.

News from CHEA Faculty



Dr. Takashi Yamashita and colleagues published a new article on “The STEM Wage Premium Across the OECD“! 


Dr. Marina Adler’s new book, “The Changing Faces of Families: Diverse Family Forms in Various Policy Contexts,focuses on nine national contexts and explores contemporary family diversity.


Dr. Christine Mair and her coauthors have three new publications in 2023, including:

  1. “Examining Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Coping and Stress within an Environmental Riskscape” in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
  2. Widowhood, Social Networks, and Mental Health among Chinese Older Adults: The Moderating Effects of Gender in Frontiers in Psychology – Psychology of Aging
  3. End-of-Life Experiences among ‘Kinless’ Older Adults: A Nationwide Register-Based Study.” in Journal of Palliative Medicine


Dr. Brandy Wallace was recently a guest editor for a special issue in The Gerontologist on “Determinants of Health in the Context of Race and Age“!


Dr. Sameera Nayak and her co-author recently published an article in Social Science & Medicine, entitled “Alignment of state-level policies and public attitudes towards abortion legality and government restrictions on abortion in the United States“!


Dr. Brandy Wallace (Co-PI) was recently awarded Year 3 funding on the project “Trauma Informed Care in Nursing Homes” by the Oregon Community Foundation!


Dr. Yamashita is leading the “Global Health Aging in Japan” program for UMBC and UMB students. 

Japan is considered one of the healthiest countries in the world and improvements in public health, advances in medicine, and socio-cultural practices have given Japan the highest life expectancy in the world. The Global Health Aging: Gerontology in Japan course explores and analyzes how broader cultural norms and social institutions of contemporary Japan shape individuals’ experiences of growing older, life-stage transitions, and intergenerational relations through a life course perspective.

During the summer semester course, students will take part in a two-week faculty-led travel experience in Japan. The course is informed by an interdisciplinary gerontological approach integrating visits to and engagement with academic (research centers and universities), business (biotech, pharmaceutical, robotics), health and medical (geriatrics, hospitals, preventative care), policy (local and prefectural government), and socio-cultural (cultural heritage, living environment, social network) sites.

Research by CHEA Faculty

“ScholarWorks@UMBC is an institutional repository (IR) for scholarly and other professional works created by members of the UMBC community.  It is a part of the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) initiative, a consortial institutional repository for institutions of higher learning throughout the state. ScholarWorks@UMBC collects, preserves, and provides public access to the scholarly output of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Community members can upload research products for rapid dissemination, global visibility and impact, and long-term preservation.”

Click Here for ScholarWorks@UMBC Open Access to Papers by UMBC Faculty in Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health

  • Adler, M.A. (2021). Active Fathers in the United States: Caught Between DeGendering Care and Caring Masculinities.” Journal of Family Issues, 92513X211055510.
  • Chapin, B.L. (2018). Learning about Culture from Children: Lessons from Rural Sri Lanka. In Advances in Culture Theory from Psychological Anthropology, edited by Naomi Quinn, 185209. Society for Psychological Anthropology’s “Culture, Mind, and Society” Series. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Chapin, B.L., & Xu, J. (2022). Children in Social Change: Socialization and the Shifting Contexts of Childhood. Cambridge Handbook of Psychological Anthropology. Cambridge University Press.
  • Chard, S. (2020). Unending work and the emergence of diabetes. American Anthropologist. Chard, S., Henderson, L., Wallace, B., Roth, E., Girling, L., Eckert, K. (2022). ‘How I can help me’: selfcare priorities and structural pressures among Black older adults with diabetes. The Gerontologist.
  • Chu, J., Roby, D., Boudreaux, M. (2022). Effects of the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on immigrant children’s healthcare access. Health Services Research.
  • MaddoxWingfield, C. (2018). The Dance Chose Me: Womanist Reflections on Bèlè Peformance in Contemporary Martinique. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism.
  • MaddoxWingfield, C. (2020). Unapologetically Dramatic: Faye V. Harrison’s AnthroPerformance Pedagogy. Transforming Anthropology.
  • Mair, C.A. (2019). Alternatives to Aging Alone?: ‘Kinlessness’ and the Importance of Friends across European Contexts. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
  • Mair, C.A., Lehning, A.J., Waldstein, S.R., Evans, M.K., & Zonderman, A.B. (2021). Exploring Neighborhood Social Environment and Social Support in Baltimore City. Social Work Research.
  • Mair, Christine A., M. Kristen Peek, Richard B. Slatcher, and Malcolm P. Cutchin. (2023). “Examining Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Coping and Stress within an Environmental Riskscape.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.
  • Nayak, S. S., Carpenito, T., *Zamechek, L., Roper, K., MéndezPeñate, L., Arty, M.,…& Molnar, B. E. (2022). Predictors of service utilization of young children and families enrolled in a pediatric primary care mental health promotion and prevention program. Community Mental Health Journal.
  • Nayak, S. S., Tobias, C., Wolfe, J., Roper, K., MéndezPeñate, L., Moulin, C., …& Molnar, B. E. (2022). Engaging and supporting young children and their families in early childhood mental health services: The role of the family partner. Community Mental Health Journal.
  • Schumacher, J.G. & Melady, D. (2022). Creating a Geriatric Emergency Department: A Practical Guide. Cambridge University Press. Schumacher, J.G., Hirshon, J.M., Magidson, P., Chrisman, M. & Hogan, T. (2018). Tracking the Rise of Geriatric Emergency Departments in the United States. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 118.
  • Smith, D.T. (2019). Medicine over Mind: Mental Health Practice in the Biomedical Era. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Smith, D.T., Mouzon, D.M., & Elliott, M. (2022). Hegemonic Masculinity and Mental Health Among Older White Men in the U.S.: The Role of Health and Wealth Decline. Sex Roles.
  • Wallace, B., Chard, S. and Roth, E. (2022). The graying of the cool pose: examining active care strategies among older African American men with type 2 diabetes. Journals of Gerontology: Social Science.
  • Wallace, B.H. (Guest Editor). 2022. Social Determinants of Health in the Context of Race and Age (Special Issue). The Gerontologist, Volume 62(5).
  • Yamashita, T., Punksungka, W., Van Vleet, S., Helsinger, A., & Cummins, P. A. (2021). Experiences of Older Adults During the 2020 COVID19 Pandemic in the U.S.: An Initial Exploration of Nationally Representative Data at the Intersection of Gender and Race. Journal of Applied Gerontology.

CHEA is located on the lower level of the Public Policy Building (PUP).

To contact CHEA, email: chea(at) or christine_mair(at)