Kate de Medeiros, PhD
Dr. de Medeiros is Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Scripps Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dr. de Medeiros' research has focused on narrative approaches to understanding old age, including the meaning of suffering in late life, expressions of selfhood, attributions of depression in life narratives, and friendships in later life, including friendships among people with dementia. Dr. de Medeiros' work as a Brookdale Fellow has focused on refining "Self Stories," a structured approach to autobiographical writing for older adults in which participants use several literary genres (e.g., letters, poems, third-person stories) to write about their past, and evaluating its effectiveness in a community sample. Dr. de Medeiros' earlier work has suggested that "rethinking" one's past through different narrative frames may have a positive effect on cognition and well-being in older age. Participants in her study were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Self Stories, an active control group (participants in an oral reminiscence group) or a wait-list control group (no intervention). All completed assessments of memory, mood and self-concept throughout the study period and at several follow-up points. Although Dr. de Medeiros did not find any changes in memory among groups, her study did provide rich detail on construction of self-concept and wellbeing with regards to group participation on which she is basing future research.
Dr. de Medeiros holds a BA in English literature from Northwestern University, an MS in gerontology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and a doctoral degree in gerontology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As a doctoral student, de Medeiros researched everyday attributes of depression in life stories of older adults using two narrative forms (interviews and letters) through the support of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Brookdale Leadership in Aging Fellow Class of 2008