Suzanne R. Kunkel, PhD

Suzanne Kunkel

Executive Director, Scripps Gerontology Center 
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology & Gerontology

Phone: 513-529-2645
Office: Upham Hall, 398A


PhD, Sociology/Demography, University of Cincinnati
MA, Sociology/Gerontology, Miami University
BA, Psychology, Edgecliff College

Research Interests

Measurement of health and disability; demography of aging; global aging; gender and aging; consumer direction in community-based long-term care; research design; quantitative analysis

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Suzanne Kunkel is Executive Director of the Scripps Gerontology Center and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Her primary research focus is on planning for the health care needs for the older population. She has been involved in several large-scale studies projecting the future of long-term care needs for the nation, and for the state of Ohio and its counties. Her projections of population aging and the impact on long-term care needs have expanded to include a focus on global aging and the consequences of a rapidly aging society on less-developed regions of the world. Dr. Kunkel’s research also includes federally funded projects related to community-based home care and the aging network. She has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on three consumer-direction projects, including a study of quality in consumer direction in programs funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is currently Principal Investigator on a grant to develop a curriculum and an exchange program with three European universities; the focus for the curriculum is comparative study of health and social policies of older people.

Dr. Kunkel is a frequent speaker at national and state professional conferences. She also makes numerous presentations at state, local, and national training conferences on the uses of demographic data, projections of long-term care needs, and consumer directed services for older people. She has authored numerous book chapters, research monographs, and articles, and a textbook (with Leslie Morgan) entitled, Aging, Society and the Life Course. She was guest editor, along with colleague Mildred M. Seltzer, of a special issue of Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging, on the topic of what it means to be a professional in the field of aging.

Dr. Kunkel’s service to the field of aging has included offices as President of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, member of the governing board of the Gerontological Society of America, editorial board member for several professional journals, board member for several state and local organizations, and technical assistance to a number of Ohio area agencies on aging and service providers in the region.


L. Morgan & S. Kunkel. (2015) Aging, Society, and the Life Course (5th Edition). New York:  Springer Publishing Company. (Previous editions published in 2011, 2007, 2001 and 1998).

S. Kunkel, J. S. Brown, & R. Whittington. (2014) Global aging: Comparative perspectives on aging and the life course. New York:  Springer Publishing Company.

F. Whittington & S. Kunkel (Eds.). (2013) Our world growing older: A look at global aging. Generations 37(1). Containing 15 peer-reviewed articles.


A. L. Brewster, Suzanne R. Kunkel, Jane K. Straker, & Leslie A. Curry (2018). Cross-sectoral partnerships by Area Agencies on Aging: Associations with health care use and spending.  Health Affairs, 31(1). Published online 1/8/18. doi:10.1377hlthaff.2017.1346.

N. Shugru, K. Kellett, C. Gruman, A. Tomisek, J. K. Straker, S. R. Kunkel, & J. Robison (2017). Progress and policy opportunities in family caregiver assessment:  Results for a national survey. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Published online 9/21/2017. doi:10.1177/0733464817733104.

P. Cummins, P. Taylor, & S. R. Kunkel (2015). Working longer, learning longer. Public Policy & Aging Report, 25(4), 150-154.

S. R. Kunkel, H. R. Reece, & J. K. Straker (2014). The evolution, innovations, and future of Area Agencies on Aging. Generations, 38(2), 30-39.

A. Bardo, R. Applebaum, S. Kunkel, & E. Carpio (2013). Everyone's talking about it, but does it work? Nursing home diversion and transition. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 33(2), 207-226.