Chair, Older Adults & Families Field of Practice
Christina Matz, MSW, PhD, FGSA, is an Associate Professor in the Boston College School of Social Work where she is Chair of the Older Adults & Families Field-of-Practice and Director of the Spier Fellows in Aging program. Dr. Matz is also Co-Director of the Center on Aging & Work with Dr. Jacquelyn James. Her research focuses on meaningful engagement in later-life and its effects on the health and well-being of individuals, families, organizations, communities, and society.
She is a co-lead on the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare's (AASWSW) Grand Challenge focused on “Advancing Long and Productive Lives” and in 2019 she was inducted as a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).
Funded by a National Institute on Aging P30 pilot grant with the Boston Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions and the Boston College Institute on Aging, Dr. Matz developed and pilot-tested (RCT) a behavioral intervention (called Engaged4Life) designed to encourage community-dwelling older adults to embed physical activity, cognitive activity, and social interaction into their everyday lives in contexts that are personally meaningful and natural via technology-assisted self-monitoring of activity levels, psycho-education, goal setting, and peer support. She is currently adapting this intervention for new populations and planning to test its effectiveness on a larger scale.
Dr. Matz has co-authored more than 40 scholarly articles and book chapters and numerous reports/issues briefs. In 2018, one of her publications won the MatherLifeWays Institute on Aging Innovative Research on Aging Silver Award and in 2014, another publication was awarded the AARC/MECD Patricia B. Elmore Award for Outstanding Research in Measurement and Evaluation. Christina was a John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar (2012-2014), an Early Career Work and Family Scholar (2013-2014) and earned acceptance into the National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded Institute on Aging and Social Work (2012-2014).
She teaches courses in Research Methods and Advanced Practice with Older Adults in Home and Community Settings at the Masters level. In 2017 she won the Teaching Excellence Award and in 2017 the Mentor of the Year award at the Boston College School of Social Work.
Finally, Dr. Matz serves on the board of the Encore Boston Network and the steering committee of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work. She has facilitated working partnerships with several Boston-area community organizations including ReServe Greater Boston, Empower Success Corps, the Waltham Council on Aging, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and Generations Inc.
Ludlow, L.; O’Keefe, T.; Braun, H.; Anghel, E.; Szendeya, O.; Matz, C.; & Howell, B. (in press). An enhancement to the theory and measurement of purpose. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 27(4).
Anghel, E.; Ludlow, L.; Szendey, O.; Matz, C.; O'Keefe, T.; & Braun, H. (2021). Measuring purpose in life in college students: An assessment of invariance properties by college year and undergraduate school. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 7(4), 603-614.
Carr, D.; Matz, C.; Taylor, M.; & Gonzales, E. (2021). Retirement Transitions in the US: Patterns and pathways from full-time work. Public Policy & Aging Report.
Matz, C. & Brown, M. (in press). The choices of (low-income) aging workers on the margins: Expanding the narrative. Fideler, E. F., (Ed.) Handbook on Aging and Work. Rowman & Littlefield.
Yang, J. & Matz, C. (2020). A latent deprivation perspective: Mechanisms linking volunteering to mental health in later life. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development. doi: 10.1177/0091415020959767
Gonzales, E.; Matz, C.; & Morrow-Howell, N. (2020). Introduction to special issue: Productive aging. Clinical Social Work Journal, 48, 153-155.
Matz, C., Sabbath, E. & James, J. (2020). An integrative conceptual framework of engagement in socially-productive activity in later life: Implications for clinical and mezzo social work practice. Clinical Social Work Journal [special issue on productive aging], 48, 156–168.
Ludlow, L.H., Anghel, E., Szenday, O., O’Keefe, T., Howell, B., Matz, C., & Braun H. (2020). The Boston College Living a Life of Meaning and Purpose (BC-LAMP) Portfolio: An application of Rasch/Guttman Scenario methodology. Journal of Applied Measurement, 21(2).
Matz-Costa, C., Howard, E., Sceppa, C., Dias-Valdes, A., & Lachman, M. (2019). Peer-based strategies to support physical activity interventions for older adults: A typology, conceptual framework, and practice guidelines. The Gerontologist, 59(6), 1007-1016. doi: 10.1093/geront/gny092
Matz-Costa, C., Berzin, S., Pitt-Catsouphes, M., & Halvorsen, C. (2019). Perceptions of the meaningfulness of work among older social purpose workers: An Ecological Momentary Assessment study. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 38(8), 1121–1146. DOI: 10.1177/0733464817727109
Ludlow, L., Matz-Costa, C., & Klein, K. (2019). Enhancement and validation of the Productive Engagement Portfolio-Scenario (PEP-S8) Scales. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 52(1), 15-37.
Calvo, R., Carr, D., & Matz-Costa, M. (2019). Expanding the “Happiness Paradox”: Racial/ethnic disparities in life satisfaction among older immigrants in the United States. Journal of Aging and Health, 31(2), 231-255.
Wang, Y., & Matz-Costa, C. (2019). Gender differences in the effect of social resources and subjective social status on the retirement satisfaction and health of retirees. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 62(1), 86-107. DOI: 10.1080/01634372.2018.1474156
Matz-Costa, C., Lubben, J. E., Lachman, M., Lee, H. N., & Choi, Y. J. (2018). A pilot randomized trial of an intervention to enhance the health-promoting effects of older adults' activity portfolios: The Engaged4Life Program. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 61(8), 792-816.
Wang, Y., Matz-Costa, C., Miller, J., Carr, D., & Kohlbacher, F. (2018). Uses and gratifications sought from mobile phones and loneliness among Japanese midlife and older adults: A mediation analysis. Innovation in Aging, 2(3), 1-13.
Carr, D., Kail, B.K., Matz-Costa, C., & Shavit, Y. (2018). Does becoming a volunteer attenuate loneliness among recently widowed older adults? The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 73(3), 501-510. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbx092
Spier Family Foundation Grant ($45,000)
Principal Investigator, Project title: Masters in Social Work (MSW) Fellowship/Enrichment Program in Aging at Boston College
Boston College Academic Technology Innovation Grant ($19,455)
Principal Investigator, Project title: The Living Database Project: Engaging students in hands-on data collection
National Institute on Aging (NIA) Boston Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions Pilot Grant ($36,228)
Principal Investigator, Study title: Enhancing the health-promoting effects of older adults’ activity portfolios: The development, feasibility and initial efficacy of a real-time, ecologically sensitive intervention
Boston College Institute on Aging’s Research Incentive Grant ($67,923)
Principal Investigator, Study title: The development and pilot testing of an ecological momentary intervention to enhance the health-promoting effects of productive activity involvement in later life
John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Award ($100,000)
Principal Investigator, Study title: The experience of engagement in the third age: An exploration of productive activities
Boston College Research Incentive Grant ($15,000)
Principal Investigator, Study title: Measurement of engagement in later life pilot study
John A. Hartford Doctoral Fellowship in Geriatric Social Work ($70,000)
Principal Investigator, Study title: Productive aging in the workplace: Understanding factors that promote or impede psychological engagement in work
Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (GSA), Social Research, Policy and Practice section (2019-present)
MatherLifeWays Institute on Aging Innovative Research on Aging Award, Silver Award Recipient (2018)
Co-Lead, Social Work Grand Challenge: Advancing Long and Productive Lives, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (2017-present)
Teaching Excellence Award, Boston College School of Social Work (2017-2018)
Mentor of the Year, Doctoral Program, Boston College School of Social Work (2016-2017)
Scholarship Excellence Award, Boston College School of Social Work (2016-2017)
Co-Lead, AGE-SW Leadership Group on Productive Engagement (2016-present)
Steering Committee, Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work (2015-present)
Editorial Board Member (Invited), Research on Aging (2016-present)
Incorporator and Member of the Board of Directors, Encore Boston Network (2014-present)
AARC/MECD Patricia B. Elmore Award for Outstanding Research in Measurement and Evaluation (2014)