Steven H. Zarit PhD

Steven H. Zarit

PhD

Steven H. Zarit is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University with an adjunct appointment at the Institute of Gerontology at Jönköping University in Sweden.

Steven H. Zarit is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University with an adjunct appointment at the Institute of Gerontology at Jönköping University in Sweden.

Dr. Zarit received his Ph.D. from the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago, with emphases in adult development and aging and clinical psychology.

Dr. Zarit is a pioneer in the study of family caregivers. Beginning in the later 1970s, he has built an extensive research program on family caregiving, including one of the first trials of a psychosocial intervention for caregivers of persons with dementia. His work has defined and continues to influence the field. He was a member of the research team headed by Dr. Leonard Pearlin that conducted the largest and most in-depth longitudinal study of caregivers to date. In recent years he has explored different approaches to reduce stress and burden on caregivers. In a current study, he and his team found that caregivers of persons with dementia who used adult day care showed improvement in three critical biological markers of the body’s stress response, as well as in their health and well being. He has also conducted research that has explored functioning and well being among the oldest old, people 80 and over, and identified factors associated with continued independence in very late life.

Dr. Zarit and his colleagues developed two of the most widely used measures in caregiver research, the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), and Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist.

Dr. Zarit has held extensive service positions. Currently he is one of the editors of the journal, Aging & Mental Health, member of the Board of Directors of the National Adult Day Services Association and a member of the Volunteer, Programs and Services committee of the Lewy Body Dementia Association. Among past positions, he served on study sections for the National Institute on Aging and chaired the Aging Subcommittee of the National Institute of Mental Health. He was chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Division of the Gerontological Society of America, President of the Adult Development and Aging Division and the Clinical Geropsychology section of the American Psychological Association, a member and first chair of the Committee on Aging of the American Psychological Association, and a member of the board of directors, Alzheimer’s Association. He was head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University from 2003-2014, and previously was Associate Director of the Gerontology Center.

Dr. Zarit has published over 300 articles and chapters as well as several books.

Experience

2012-present Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

1986-2012 Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
The Pennsylvania State University

1986-2003 Assistant Director, The Gerontology Center
The Pennsylvania State University.

1993-Present Adjunct Professor, Institute of Gerontology
College of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.

2001-2002 Acting Director, The Gerontology Center
The Pennsylvania State University

1995-1996 Acting Director, The Gerontology Center
The Pennsylvania State University

1990-1991 Acting Director, The Gerontology Center
The Pennsylvania State University

1991-1992 Acting Head, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
The Pennsylvania State University

1989-1990 Professor-in-Charge, Graduate Program, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
The Pennsylvania State University.

1988-1989 Acting Director, The Gerontology Center
The Pennsylvania State University

1986-1987 Professor-in-Charge, Undergraduate Program, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
The Pennsylvania State University.

1984-1985 Acting Head, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
University of Southern California.

1982-1986 Associate Professor of Gerontology and Psychology
University of Southern California;

Director, Andrus Older Adult Center, Andrus Gerontology Center, and Co-Director, Human Relations Center, University of Southern California; Research Associate, Gerontology Research Institute, Andrus Gerontology Center
University of Southern California.

1975-1982 Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Psychology
University of Southern California.

1973-1975 Teaching Associate, Department of Psychology
City College of C.U.N.Y., New York.

Research Associate
Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged, New York.

1972-1973 Postdoctoral trainee, In-patient Psychiatry and Gerontology Clinic
University of Chicago.

Psychology intern, In-patient Psychiatry and Gerontology Clinic
University of Chicago.

Associate Project Director, Aging Project, Department of Psychiatry
University of Chicago.

Education

1967 B.A. Political Science, with High Distinction and Honors
University of Michigan

1968 M.A. American Civilization
University of Pennsylvania

1972 Ph.D. Human Development
University of Chicago

1972-73 Postdoctoral Training, Clinical Psychology
University of Chicago

Recent Publications / Research Support

Grants

“The Psychology of Intergenerational Transfers II,” NIA, 2011-2015 (PI K. Fingerman).

“Daily Stress and Health of Family Caregivers,” NIA, 2010-2014 (PI).

“The Psychology of Intergenerational Transfers”, NIA, 2006-2009 (PI K. Fingerman).

Download full list of all Grants

Publications

Qualls, S. H., & Zarit, S. H. (Eds). (2009) Aging Families and Caregiving. New York: Wiley.

Zarit, S. H. & Talley, R. C. (Eds.) (2013). Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders: Research, Practice, Policy. New York: Springer.

Zarit, S. H. & Zarit, J. M. (2007). Mental disorders in older adults, 2nd ed. New York: Guilford.

Download full list of all publications