Suzanne R. Kunkel, PhD

Suzanne Kunkel

Executive Director, Scripps Gerontology Center 
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology & Gerontology

Phone: 513-529-2645
Office: Upham Hall, 398A


PhD, Sociology/Demography, University of Cincinnati
MA, Sociology/Gerontology, Miami University
BA, Psychology, Edgecliff College

Research Interests

Aging network and social determinants of health; age-friendly communities; demography of aging; global aging; innovations and consumer direction in community-based long-term care; research design; quantitative analysis

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Suzanne Kunkel is Executive Director of the Scripps Gerontology Center and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Her primary research focus is on planning for the health care needs for the older population, and the role of the aging network in health outcomes for older adults and for communities. Kunkel has been involved in several large-scale studies projecting the future of long-term care needs for the nation, and for the state of Ohio and its counties; has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on three projects assessing consumer direction for home care clients; and has directed or co-directed several federally and state- funded projects related to the design and effectiveness of community-based home care and the aging network.

Dr. Kunkel has published more than 45 articles, books, and book chapters, and more than 30 research monographs on the aging network, innovations in the delivery of home care, population projections, global aging, and gerontology education. Kunkel is co-author (with Leslie Morgan) of Aging, Society, and the Life Course, a gerontology textbook now in its fifth edition. With Frank Whittington and Erdman Palmore, she co-edited the most recent edition of the International Handbook on Aging. She is lead author (with Frank Whittington and J. Scott Brown) of a textbook on global aging. Kunkel is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE); she has served as President of AGHE, and is currently the Treasurer of the Gerontological Society of America. She was honored to receive the Tibbitts Award from AGHE in 2015.


Brewster, A. L., Wilson, T. L., Curry, L. A., & Kunkel, S. R. (2021). Achieving population health impacts through health promotion programs offered by community-based organizations. Medical Care 59(3), 273-279. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001492

Brewster, A., Wilson, T. Frehn, J., Berish, D., Kunkel, S. 2020. Linking health and social services through Area Agencies on Aging is associated with lower health care use and spending.  Health Affairs 39(4): 587-594.

Kunkel, S. R., Wilson, T. L., Lackmeyer, A. E., & Straker, J. K. (2020). Strengthening ties: Contracting between community-based organizations and health care entities. Oxford, Ohio: Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University.

Kunkel, S. R., Wilson, T. L., Lackmeyer, A. E., & Straker, J. K. (2019). Aging and Disability Business Institute: Final evaluation report. Oxford, OH: Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University.


Wilson, T. L., Scala-Foley, M., Kunkel, S. R., & Brewster, A. L. (2020). Fast-track innovation: Area Agencies on Aging respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, doi:10.1080/08959420.2020.1774313.

Brewster, A. L., Wilson, T. L., Frehn, J., Berish, D., & Kunkel, S. R. (2020). Linking health and social services through Area Agencies on Aging is associated with lower health care use and spending. Health Affairs, 39(4), 587-594. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01515.

Mehri, N., Messkoub, M., & Kunkel, S. (2020). Trends, determinants and the implications of population aging in Iran. Ageing International. doi:10.1007/s12126-020-09364-z.

Kunkel, S. R. (2019). Building on the past, securing the future: Area Agencies on Aging and Older Americans Act reauthorization. Public Policy and Aging Report. doi:10.1093/ppar/prz009/5485539.


Whittington, F., Kunkel, S., & de Medeiros, K. 2021. Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course, 2nd edition.  Springer Publishing. Imprint date is 2021 imprint date, but book was released in December, 2020.

Kunkel, S. & Settersten, R. Aging, Society, and the Life Course, 6th edition. 2021 (forthcoming). Complete manuscript delivered to Springer Publishing November, 2020. 


Highlighted Work

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