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Boston College School of Social Work

Christina Matz-Costa

Christina Matz-Costa

Assistant Professor, Older Adults & Families

Christina Matz-Costa, PhD, joined the Boston College School of Social Work faculty in 2011. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Center on Aging & Work. Her research focuses on understanding the changing needs and preferences of older adults with regard to engagement in paid and unpaid work (e.g., volunteering, informal helping, and caregiving) and the extent to which programs, policy, and societal institutions are responding to these changes. She was involved in developing one of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare's Grand Challenges for the next decade, focused on maximizing productive and meaningful activity throughout life.

Dr. Matz-Costa is currently the lead investigator on a pilot study funded by the National Institute on Aging (through the Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions) and the Boston College Institute on Aging to test the feasibility and initial efficacy of a program designed to empower older adults to become involved in social purpose work (whether paid or unpaid) or other activities that engage their heart, mind, body, and soul with the ultimate goal of increasing health and well-being. In September 2012, Dr. Matz-Costa received the John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Award, a two-year grant to conduct an experience sampling/ecological momentary assessment study that uses iPad minis to collect intensive daily data from adults age 65 and older. This project examined the subjective experience of productive activity involvement in later life and what it is about the contexts of these activities that is related to momentary or daily fluctuations in health and well-being.

Dr. Matz-Costa has co-authored more than 20 scholarly articles and book chapters and numerous reports/issues briefs. In 2014, one of her publications was awarded the AARC/MECD Patricia B. Elmore Award for Outstanding Research in Measurement and Evaluation. Dr. Matz-Costa earned acceptance into the Early Career Work and Family Scholars Program (2013-2014) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded Institute on Aging and Social Work (2012-2014), and currently serves on the board of the Encore Boston Network and the advisory committee of the Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work and the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work at Boston College. Dr. Matz-Costa has facilitated working partnerships with several Boston-area community organizations including ReServe Greater Boston, Discovering What’s Next, and Generations Inc.

Watch a video of Dr. Matz-Costa discussing Social Engagement in BC Talks Aging »