Jessica A. Kelley

Professor; Director, Graduate Program in Sociology

Mather Memorial Building 230

Professor Jessica A. Kelley studies the causes and consequences of health disparities over the life course, particularly those related to race, socioeconomic status, and disability.  She has expertise in the quantitative analysis of longitudinal and panel data, including latent trajectories and multilevel modeling.  Her recent research has focused on: life course influences on later-life functional disparities among Black and White adults; US-England comparisons of health and wealth inequality with age; social influences on the experience of disability; neighborhoods and older adults.


She also works on issues of access to healthy food in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Jessica is featured on discussing family-based strategies for healthy eating. She also recently completed a cooking-based intervention project for residents of public housing. The project was featured on WVIZ in a story on Be Well: Obesity – Poverty and Food Deserts (6 of 6).


Jessica currently serves as Associate Editor of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences and on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Aging and Health, and Research on Aging.  Jessica will begin a term as Member-at-Large for the Behavioral and Social Sciences section of the Gerontological Society of America in November 2015.  She was also recently elected Chair-Elect of the Section on Aging and the Life Course in the American Sociological Association, beginning August 2015.