2016 Data Infrastructure Review Report
BSR supports a range of data infrastructure projects that serve as a platform for research studies by numerous individual investigators. In order to prioritize its investments in data infrastructure, BSR needs to maintain a clear vision of the research portfolio that would best advance its mission. In 2015-2016, a Committee on Data Infrastructure conducted an assessment of the BSR portfolio of data infrastructure investments to meet the scientific needs of the social and behavioral research community to further understanding of the aging process and aging outcomes in the coming decade. A full report is available.
2013 NACA Review Evaluation of BSR
The National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) periodically reviews each of the extramural divisions of the NIA to assess whether the overall performance and the future trajectory of research being supported are appropriate. The council evaluates the research portfolio and identifies areas that merit greater or less emphasis. This report, adopted at the February 25-26, 2014 NACA Meeting, summarizes the review of BSR conducted during 2013.
Read the full 2013 review of BSR (PDF, 766K).
Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development
The Stage Model is a model of behavioral intervention development composed of six stages: basic science (Stage 0), intervention generation, refinement, modification, and adaptation and pilot testing (Stage I); traditional efficacy testing (Stage II); efficacy testing with real-world providers (Stage III); effectiveness research (Stage IV) and; dissemination and implementation research (Stage V). Examination of mechanisms of behavior change is encouraged in every stage of intervention development. Consideration of the intervention's ease of implementation is encouraged as early as possible in the intervention development process. The ultimate goal is to produce highly potent and maximally implementable behavioral interventions that improve health and well-being.
Read more about the NIH Stage Model.
National Academies Publications
BSR has commissioned a number of National Academies reports on topics such as global aging trends; data confidentiality and accessibility; health care cost growth and output measurement; and the psychology of aging. For a copy, or for more information, please contact BSR via email.
Sharing Research Data to Improve Public Health in Africa: A Workshop Summary (2015)
Sharing research data on public health issues can promote expanded scientific inquiry and has the potential to advance improvements in public health. Although sharing data is the norm in some research fields, sharing of data in public health is not as firmly established. In March 2015, the National Research Council organized an international conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to explore the benefits of and barriers to sharing research data within the African context. The workshop brought together public health researchers and epidemiologists primarily from the African continent, along with selected international experts, to talk about the benefits and challenges of sharing data to improve public health, and to discuss potential actions to guide future work related to public health research data sharing. Sharing Research Data to Improve Public Health in Africa summarizes the presentations and discussions from this workshop.
Measuring the Risks and Causes of Premature Death (2015)
Measuring the Risks and Causes of Premature Death is the summary of two workshops conducted by The Committee on Population of the National Research Council at the National Academies to address the data sources, science and future research needs to understand the causes of premature mortality in the United States. The workshops reviewed previous work in the field in light of new data generated as part of the work of the NRC Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries (NRC, 2011) and the NRC/IOM Panel on Understanding Cross-National Differences Among High-Income Countries (NRC/IOM, 2013). The workshop presentations considered the state of the science of measuring the determinants of the causes of premature death, assessed the availability and quality of data sources, and charted future courses of action to improve the understanding of the causes of premature death. Presenters shared their approaches to and results of measuring premature mortality and specific risk factors, with a particular focus on those factors most amenable to improvement through public health policy. This report summarizes the presentations and discussion of both workshops.
Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography - A Collection of Papers (2014)
Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography is a collection of papers that examine cross-species comparisons of social environments with a focus on social behaviors along with social hierarchies and connections, to examine their effects on health, longevity, and life histories. This report covers a broad spectrum of nonhuman animals, exploring a variety of measures of position in social hierarchies and social networks, drawing links among these factors to health outcomes and trajectories, and comparing them to those in humans. Sociality, Hierarchy, Health revisits both theoretical underpinnings of biodemography and the empirical findings that have emerged over the past two decades. The full report is available from the National Academies Press website.
Subjective Well-Being (2013)
Subjective well-being refers to how people experience and evaluate their lives and specific domains and activities in their lives. This information has already proven valuable to researchers, who have produced insights about the emotional states and experiences of people belonging to different groups, engaged in different activities, at different points in the life course, and involved in different family and community structures. Research has also revealed relationships between people's self-reported, subjectively assessed states and their behavior and decisions. Research on subjective well-being has been ongoing for decades, providing new information about the human condition. During the past decade, interest in the topic among policy makers, national statistical offices, academic researchers, the media, and the public has increased markedly because of its potential for shedding light on the economic, social, and health conditions of populations and for informing policy decisions across these domains. The full report is available from the National Academies Press website.
New Directions in the Sociology of Aging (2013)
The Future of the Sociology of Aging: An Agenda for Action evaluates the recent contributions of social demography, social epidemiology and sociology to the study of aging and identifies promising new research directions in these sub-fields. Included in this study are nine papers prepared by experts in sociology, demography, social genomics, public health, and other fields, that highlight the broad array of tools and perspectives that can provide the basis for further advancing the understanding of aging processes in ways that can inform policy. The full report is available from the National Academies Press website.
Aging in Asia: Findings from New and Emerging Data Initiatives (2012)
Aging in Asia: Findings from New and Emerging Data Initiatives is a peer-reviewed collection of papers from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand that were presented at two conferences organized in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, Indonesian Academy of Sciences, and Science Council of Japan; the first conference was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, and the second conference was hosted by the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi. The papers in the volume highlight the contributions from new and emerging data initiatives in the region and cover subject areas such as economic growth, labor markets, and consumption; family roles and responsibilities; and labor markets and consumption. The full report is available from the National Academies Press website.
The Continuing Epidemiological Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa (2012)
The public workshop was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on October 21–22, 2011. The workshop reviewed the changes that have taken place in the past 15 years in this rapidly moving area of inquiry, updated trends and their implications for health policy, coordinated data analysis across demographic surveillance sites and from new surveys and other sources, considered methodological challenges related to dealing with data from demographic surveillance sites, and explored new theoretical perspectives on demographic modeling and their application to modeling the epidemiological transition.
Perspectives on the Future of the Sociology of Aging (2012)
The Panel on New Directions in Social Demography, Social Epidemiology, and the Sociology of Aging was established in August 2010 under the auspices of the Committee on Population of the National Research Council to prepare a report that evaluates the recent contributions of social demography, social epidemiology, and sociology to the study of aging and seeks to identify promising new research in these fields. Perspectives on the Future of the Sociology of Aging provides candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the final published volume as sound as possible and to ensure that the volume meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The report "Perspectives on the Future of the Sociology of Aging" is available online.
The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation (2012)
The American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a subjective well-being (SWB) module in 2010 and 2012. The module, funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), is being considered for inclusion in the ATUS for 2013. The National Research Council was asked to evaluate measures of self-reported well-being and offer guidance about their adoption in official government surveys. The charge for the study included an interim report to consider the usefulness of the ATUS SWB module, specifically the value of continuing it for at least one more wave. Among the key points raised in this report are the value, methodological benefits, and cost and effects on the ATUS and new opportunities. A meeting report for "The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation" is available.
Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly (2011)
The economic crisis and recession that began in 2008 has had a significant impact on the well-being of certain segments of the population, and its disruptive effects can be expected to last well into the future. NIA, concerned with this issue as it affects the older population in the United States, asked the Committee on Population to review existing and ongoing research and to delineate the nature and dimensions of potential scientific inquiry in this area. Under NIA's sponsorship, CPOP convened a meeting of experts to discuss these issues. A workshop report for "Assessing the Impact of Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly" is available.
Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia (2011)
As part of an ongoing project to review the data needs to meet the new and emerging challenges posed by an aging Asia, The Committee on Population at the National Research Council has convened a series of meetings to provide an opportunity for Asian policymakers from several countries to interact with leading scientists from a variety of disciplines to review the existing evidence on economic security, health, and living conditions of older people and the ways in which critical changes are affecting their well-being. The members of the Panel, in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indonesian Academy of Sciences and the Science Council of Japan, issued a report entitled "Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia" in advance of the meeting.
Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries (2010)
The Committee on Population of the National Research Council (NRC) established a Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries to examine trends in life expectancy at older ages, to identify possible lessons about modifiable risk factors, and to discern implications for the future trajectory of mortality at advanced ages. The Panel commissioned a series of papers and issued a Panel Report, "Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries".
International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources (2010)
International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources examines patterns in international differences in life expectancy above age 50 and assesses the evidence and arguments that have been advanced to explain the poor position of the United States relative to other countries. The papers in this deeply researched volume identify gaps in measurement, data, theory, and research design and pinpoint areas for future high-priority research in this area. In addition to examining the differences in mortality around the world, the papers in International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages look at health factors and life-style choices commonly believed to contribute to the observed international differences in life expectancy. They also identify strategic opportunities for health-related interventions. This book offers a wide variety of disciplinary and scholarly perspectives to the study of mortality, and it offers in-depth analyses that can serve health professionals, policy makers, statisticians, and researchers.
Accounting for Health and Healthcare: Approaches to Measuring the Costs and Sources of Their Improvement (2010)
The Panel to Advance a Research Program on the Design of National Health Accounts was established by the Committee on National Statistics to study and make recommendations about targeting research to improve and expand the knowledge base necessary for measuring changes in the population's health within an accounting framework. The Panel issued a Final Report, "Accounting for Health and Healthcare: Approaches to Measuring the Costs and Sources of Their Improvement", describing the state of research and accounting methodologies, and on approaches for tracking productivity in the healthcare sector.
Conducting Biosocial Surveys—Collecting, Storing, Accessing and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata (2010)
This report, "Conducting Biosocial Surveys—Collecting, Storing, Accessing and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata", from an Panel convened by the Committee on Population, offers findings and recommendations concerning the best approaches to the collection, storage, use, and sharing of biospecimens gathered in social science surveys and the digital representations of biological data derived therefrom. It is aimed at researchers interested in carrying out such surveys, their institutions, and their funding agencies.
Grand Challenges of Aging (2010)
The National Academies organized a symposium called "The Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society," held in Washington, DC, on May 28-29, 2009. Presentations in the fields of biology, public health, medicine, informatics, macroeconomics, finance, urban planning, and engineering approached the challenges of aging from many different angles. A Workshop Report, "Grand Challenges of Aging" is available.
Improving Health Care Cost Projections for the Medicare Population (2010)
A workshop was convened in January 2010 by the Committee on National Statistics to consider the current state and use of projections and simulation models and available data sources for the construction of cost projections for Medicare. A workshop report for "Improving Health Care Cost Projections for the Medicare Population" is available.
Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys: Beyond ADLs and IADLs, Summary of a Workshop (2009)
The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), in collaboration with the Committee on Population (CPOP), convened a public workshop to review a number of methodological advances with an eye towards improving measurement of physical and cognitive limitations in population surveys of older adults. The workshop focused on disability measures suitable for population surveys and that are most relevant for monitoring trends and policy-oriented research and evaluation. A final report, "Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys: Beyond ADLs and IADLs, Summary of a Workshop" is available.
Biosocial Surveys (2008)
This report, "Biosocial Surveys", is the culmination of work undertaken by a Panel convened by the Committee on Population. The project emerged from a series of discussions and interchanges that started in 2005 and ended in mid-2007. A workshop, held in June 2006, considered (and the contributions to the book reflect) a few fundamental questions: What has been learned from what has already been done? What is the place of genetic information in social research? What new concepts and methods are being developed or need to be developed?
Social Determinants of Health Among Older People (2008)
July 12-13, 2006, open meeting held in Washington DC - The US National Research Council's Committee on Population convened a panel of leading social and behavioral researchers with expertise in population aging and adult health to review the initial analytical and strategic documents of the Commission's nine "knowledge networks." The panel was specifically asked to identify additional recent studies on adult health at older ages that might bear on the Commission's deliberations and identify potential areas of interventions aimed at moderating the effects of the social determinants of health among older people. A report, Social Determinants of Health Among Older People, is available.
Aging in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recommendations for Furthering Research (2006)
Under the auspices of the Committee on Population, a Panel was organized to develop a series of workshops on advancing aging research in sub-Saharan Africa. The emphasis was on exploring ways in which to promote U.S. research interests and to augment sub-Saharan African governments' capacity to address the many challenges posed by population aging. A final report entitled "Aging in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recommendations for Furthering Research" is available.
When I'm 64 (2006)
To further advance understanding of how social and individual factors can improve the health and functioning of older adults, the National Research Council tasked the Committee on Aging Frontiers in Social Psychology, Personality, and Adult Developmental Psychology with exploring research opportunities in social, personality, and adult developmental psychology. A final report, "When I'm 64", is available.
Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers (2004)
Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers provides an image of what is currently known about the health and safety needs of older workers and the research needed to encourage social policies that guarantee older workers a meaningful share of the nation's work opportunities. A final report is available.
Technology for Adaptive Aging (2004)
Technology for Adaptive Aging is the product of a workshop that brought together distinguished experts in aging research and in technology to discuss applications of technology to communication, education and learning, employment, health, living environments, and transportation for older adults. It includes all of the workshop papers and the report of the committee that organized the workshop. The committee report synthesizes and evaluates the points made in the workshop papers and recommends priorities for federal support of translational research in technology for older adults.
Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life (2004)
A panel under the direction of the Committee on Population held a series of meetings to discuss current research on disparities in health in let life and to make recommendations on a research agenda and set of priorities for further study and interventions. A series of commissioned papers and a final report are available.
Elder Mistreatment (2003)
The National Research Council, through the Committee on National Statistics, established a panel of experts to assess the current state of knowledge in the area of elder mistreatment and to formulate a set of recommendations for a research agenda in that field. The panel issued an Elder Mistreatment report which notes research and data needs.
Preparing for an Aging World (2001)
The Committee on Population, a body within the National Research Council, was asked to convene a panel to review new research and demographic trend data to describe and provide recommendations for an international research agenda and for the types of data needed to implement that agenda in the context of rapid demographic change. A final report, "Preparing for an Aging World", is available.
The Aging Mind—Opportunities in Cognitive Research (2000)
The National Research Council was asked to identify areas of opportunity in which additional research support would substantially improve understanding of cognitive functioning in aging. The Committee on Future Directions for Cognitive Research on Aging was formed to identify highly promising opportunities in behavioral science, cognitive science, and neuroscience and at the conjunctions of these fields. A report, "The Aging Mind—Opportunities in Cognitive Research", is available.
Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity (1997)
The product of a 1997 Committee on Population Panel commissioned by NIA, this volume deals with such diverse topics as the role of the elderly in other species and among human societies past and present, the contribution of evolutionary theory to our understanding of human longevity and intergenerational transfers, mathematical models for survival, and the potential for collecting genetic material in household surveys. Full text of the report "Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity" is available.
Improving Data on America's Aging Population (1996)
The Committee on National Statistics and the Committee on Population convened a workshop in March 1996 to discuss data on the aging population that address the emerging and important social, economic, and health conditions of the older population. The purposes of the workshop were to identify how the population at older ages in the next few decades will differ from the older population today, to understand the underlying causes of those changes, to anticipate future problems and policy issues, and to suggest future needs for data for research in these areas. A report, "Improving Data on America's Aging Population", is available.
Demography of Aging (1994)
The Committee on Population, under the auspices of the National Research Council was tasked to review the current state of research and data on emerging trends in population aging and make recommendations on new and fruitful areas of research in the field of Demography and Aging. A final report is available.
Other Sponsored Publications
Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well-Being (August 2016)
An Aging World: 2015 (March 2016)
Directory of Research on Ageing in Africa: 2004-2015 (November 2015)
65+ in the United States: 2010 (June 2014)
Next Steps for Research on Informal Caregiving (May 2012) (PDF, 274K)
In seeking cutting-edge research directions that can lead to interventions to address the unmet and growing needs of informal caregivers, in 2012, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) commissioned experts in the field to write brief papers about key knowledge gaps and research priorities in informal caregiving.
90+ in the United States: 2006–2008 (November 2011)
The report describes this rapidly growing segment of the population which suggests that the designation of oldest-old should be changed from 85 to 90 years, and details the demographic, health and economic status of America's oldest adults.
Research Highlights from the NIA Demography Centers (November 2009) (PDF, 3.6M)
An Aging World: 2008 (July 2009) (PDF, 14.5M)
Issued in July 2009, this update to the Census Bureau series on global aging was commissioned by the NIA to examine nine international population trends identified in 2007 by the NIA and the U.S. Department of State (Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective). An Aging World: 2008 contains detailed information on life expectancy, health, disability, gender balance, marital status, living arrangements, education and literacy, labor force participation and retirement, and pensions among older people around the world.
Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being (January 2008)
Contains data from several federal sources on several indicators of well-being for older adults. The indicators are categorized into five broad areas—population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care. It is produced every two years by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
Growing Older in America: The Health & Retirement Study (June 2007)
This NIA data book about the Health and Retirement Study offers a snapshot of research findings on the combined health and economic circumstances of Americans over age 50.
Research Highlights: Cross-National Research on Aging (March 2007) (PDF, 117K)
Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective (March 2007) (PDF, 1.5M)
This booklet provides a succinct description of population trends that are transforming the world in fundamental ways. The report, using data from the United Nations, US Census Bureau, and the Statistical Office of the European Communities as well as regional surveys, identifies nine emerging trends in global aging. These trends present a snapshot of challenges and opportunities that will stimulate a cross-national scientific and policy dialogue. The booklet was prepared for the March 15, 2007, Summit on Global Aging, hosted by the U.S. State Department in collaboration with the National Institute on Aging.
The National Institute on Aging: A Catalyst for Global Aging Research (March 2007) (PDF, 81K)
NIA leads the Federal research effort to increase our understanding of the nature and implications of aging and to find ways to extend the healthy, active years of life. Established in 1974, NIA's mission is to improve the health and well-being of older people through research.
An Aging World: 2001 (December 2001) (PDF, 3.9M)
Issued in December 2001, the Census Bureau released its latest report on global aging entitled An Aging World: 2001. This publication updates and expands on previous Census Bureau reports that focused on past, current, and projected numbers, proportions, and growth rates of the elderly population worldwide. Recognizing the characteristics of the elderly are increasingly heterogeneous among and within nations, a second objective of An Aging World: 2001 is to summarize socioeconomic statistics for both developed and developing nations. This report highlights such data for 52 nations when information is available and reasonably comparable.
Special Journal Issues
BSR has supported or contributed to a number of Special Journal Issues.
- Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, Special Section: Personality, Health, and Aging, 2019
- Behaviour Research and Therapy, An experimental medicine approach to behavior change: The NIH Science of Behavior Change (SOBC), 2018
- The Journals of Gerontology, Trends in the Prevalence and Incidence of Dementia: Causes, Disparities, and Projections for the Future, 2018
- Developmental Psychology, Special Issue on Conscientiousness and Healthy Aging, 2014. A Table of Contents (PDF, 119K) of articles only from the Special Issue Section is also available.
- Journal of Aging and Health, An Interdiscplinary Research Forum: The ACTIVE Study, 2013
- Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Special Issue on Aging, 2011
- The Gerontologist, The Science of Recruitment and Retention Among Ethnically Diverse Older Adults, 2011
- Perspectives on Psychological Science, Genetics, Personalized Medicine, and Behavioral Intervention -- Can this Combination Improve Patient Care?, 2010
- Global Health Action, Growing Older in Africa and Asia: Multicentre Study on Ageing, Health and Well-Being, 2010
- Demography, Research on Demography and Economics of Aging, 2010
- The Journals of Gerontology, The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, 2009
- Twin Research and Human Genetics, Special Issue on Genetics, Social Behaviors, Social Environments and Aging, 2007
- The Journals of Gerontology, Cognitive Interventions and Aging, 2007
- Ethnicity and Disease, Community-Based Participatory Research to Reduce Health Disparities among Minority Elders: The Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research, 2007
- Medical Care, Measurement in a Multi-Ethnic Society, 2006
- Journal of Applied Gerontology, Research on American Indian and Alaska Natives Aging, 2006
- Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, Research on Environmental Effects in Genetic Studies of Aging, 2005
- Health Affairs, Health and Costs of the Future Elderly, 2005
- Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, The Graying of the AIDS Epidemic: HIV/AIDS and People Age 50 and Older, 2003
- The Science of Inclusion: A special issue by the Gerontological Society of America, Recruiting and Retaining Racial and Ethnic Elders in Health Research, 2003
- Behavior Genetics, Special Issue on Genetics, Behavior and Aging, 2002