Frameworks & Strategies

Our Four Core Strategies

Provide forums to advance the national and international conversation around aging and work and to work toward our vision of “making longer life a better life”.

  • THE SLOAN RESEARCH NETWORK ON AGING & WORK (PI: DR. J. JAMES)
    Beginning in 2014, The Sloan Foundation provided funding for a research network on aging & work beginning as a living legacy of the “Working Longer” program.  The Network has now grown to over 250 researchers from 21 countries and 24 disciplinary perspectives. The major goals of the Network are to provide a forum for sharing members’ cutting-edge work from various disciplines, including psychology, sociology, economics, social work, human resource management, and other areas of study; and to develop a future interdisciplinary agenda for aging and work research
  • Our Faculty Affiliates partner with nonprofits, for-profits, social service agencies, and other community stakeholders to advance the mission of the Center.

Conduct and share cutting-edge research on issues pertinent to the mission of the center.

  • Our Faculty Affiliates are conducting, translating and disseminating research on a variety of topics related to the changing contexts of aging and work.

Use new technologies, novel methodological approaches, etc. to advance research and practice in the realm of aging and work to develop new solutions to persistent problems in this arena.

  • Our Faculty Affiliates are using innovative primary data collection techniques (e.g., iPad mini, Ecological Momentary Assessment, MTurk, Fitbits) and novel frameworks to conceptualize their work.

Offer opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of and connection to issues of aging and work using a social justice and innovation lens.

Our Conceptual Framework

Advancing the national conversation around aging and work will require the efforts of many disciplines (including social work, economics, public health, psychology, occupational therapy, gerontology, sociology and others) and stakeholder groups (including individuals of all ages, practitioners, for- and not-for-profit organizations, community members, advocates, policymakers and others). Indeed, the topic of aging and work is an expansive one, especially when one considers both paid and unpaid work. However, few integrative models or frameworks have attempted to bring together these diverse perspectives. With a new vision and mission, we are well-positioned to occupy this unique space. Our previous conceptual framework was well-suited to paid work, but less so to other forms of productive engagement. The conceptual model depicted below (Figure 1) defines our intellectual space. The goals of this model are a) to build a more holistic and multilevel picture of the aging and work landscape; b) to guide interventions and future research on aging and work both within and across disciplines; and c) to articulate the Center’s alignment with the vision, mission, and values of the SSW and the University at large. The conceptual framework informs our revised vision and mission.

Conceptual Model of Engagement in Paid and Unpaid Work in Later Life

Conceptual Model of Engagement in Paid and Unpaid Work in Later Life

See article: 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.