Video from the 2013 Bronfenbrenner Conference now online
October 31, 2013
The Fourth Biennial Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference on New Developments in Aging, Emotion, and Health was held October 3-4, 2013 on Cornell campus. The event brought together national and international experts to examine the ways emotions change and impact health in new ways as people age. The conference was organized by Corinna Loeckenhoff, assistant professor, and Anthony Ong, associate professor, both of the Department of Human Development.
The conference aimed to close the gap between two burgeoning fields of research at the intersection of aging, emotion, and health. On the one hand, recent advances in affective science have documented systematic age differences in emotional processing, affective experience, and affect regulation. Although researchers are beginning to explore the neural, cognitive, and motivational mechanisms behind such effects, their contributions to later-life health and well-being are not fully understood. On the other hand, research on the psychobiology of health and disease has provided growing evidence for the role of psychosocial factors (e.g., mental health, positive and negative emotionality) in physical health. Specific pathways including biological and behavioral mechanisms are beginning to emerge, but their potential for yielding answers to developmental questions involving intraindividual variability and change has yet to be realized. To integrate these lines of inquiry, the conference convened leaders in the respective fields for two days of intense dialogue aimed at setting the stage for transformative future research.
A book with chapters by the presenting academics will be published by the American Psychological Association as part of the Bronfenbrenner Series on the Ecology of Human Development. Earlier volumes in this series, resulting from past Bronfenbrenner Conferences, are Chaos and Its Influence on Children's Development: An Ecological Perspective, Research for the Public Good: Applying Methods of Translational Research to Improve Human Health and Well-being, and, upcoming from the 2011 Bronfenbrenner Conference, The Neuroscience of Risky Decision Making.
Presentations at New Developments in Aging, Emotion, and Health were:
- Leveraging motivation to improve aging outcomes by Laura Carstensen, Stanford University
- Happy to be unhappy? Pro- and contra-hedonic orientations from adolescence to old age - Michaela Riediger, Max Planck Institute for Human Development
- Ideal affect across the life span: Cultural variation and implications for views of old age - Jeanne Tsai, Stanford University
- The emotion paradox in the aging brain - Mara Mather, University of Southern California
- Aging, attention, and its emotional regulation - Adam K. Anderson, Cornell University
- Resources for emotion regulation in older age - Heather Urry, Tufts University
- Regulatory flexibility and adaptation to highly aversive life events - George Bonanno, Columbia University
- Macro and micro change: Predicting mortality risk from 10-year personality trajectories and 1-week emotional reactivity coefficients - Daniel K. Mroczek, Northwestern University
- Positive psychological functioning: An enduring asset for healthy aging - Laura D. Kubzansky, Harvard University
- Negative affect predicting general health: What we know, and where to go from here - Susan T. Charles, University of California, Irvine
- The humanization of social relations - Alex J. Zautra, Arizona State University
- Future directions (discussion) and closing remarks - Corinna Loeckenhoff, Cornell University
Experts explore roots of healthy aging - Cornell Chronicle
The Fourth Biennial Urie Bronfenbrenner Conference was sponsored by the Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, the Cornell University Institute for the Social Sciences, the Scientific Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging (R24-AG039350), the Cornell University Department of Human Development, Mrs. Constance F. Ferris, and Mrs. Liese Bronfenbrenner.