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Meet the Director

university institute on aging


James Lubben, DSW, MPH, Director of the IOA

James Lubben, DSW, MPH Director

Boston College
McGuinn Hall 315
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-1366

Dr. James Lubben is the inaugural holder of the Louise McMahon Ahearn Chair in Social Work at Boston College where he also serves as Director of the Doctoral Program in Social Work. He is the National Director of the Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program in Geriatric Social Work that is funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation of New York City and administered by the Gerontological Society of America. He also serves on the National Program Advisory Board for the Hartford Faculty Scholars Program. In 2002, the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGE-SW) presented him with their Leadership Award. Dr. Lubben served for four terms on the congressionally mandated National Advisory Committee on Gerontology and Geriatrics for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Lubben is also Professor Emeritus at UCLA where he taught for 20 years and was the former Associate Dean and Director of the Social Welfare program.

Dr. Lubben is a leading scholar in social gerontology with an active research agenda examining social support networks among older populations. He developed the Lubben Social Network Scale (LSNS), an abbreviated measure designed for both research and clinical use among older populations. The LSNS has been translated into many languages and employed in studies in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Scores on the LSNS have been associated with a wide array indicators of health including mortality, morbidity, psychological distress and loneliness, cognitive impairment, and various indicators of health care use. Dr. Lubben has actively promoted the development of both gerontology and social work by serving as a principal investigator or collaborator on over $25 million (direct costs) of research and training grants. He was co-principal investigator on a Health Care Financing Administration clinical trial evaluating the benefits of health promotion for Medicare elderly persons. He was principal investigator on a National Institute of Aging longitudinal panel study of social supports and long-term care among older Korean Americans. He was also co-principal investigator on studies of Japanese and Chinese American elderly in Los Angeles and comparable surveys in Japan, China and Hong Kong. Professor Lubben has been a visiting scholar in Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Wales.