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Silvia Sorensen, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 273-2831

Office: (585) 273-2952

Fax: (585) 273-1082

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

Biography

Research

Dr. Sörensen is an internationally known researcher and educator in the field of Human Development and Aging with particular interests in facilitating well-being among vulnerable older adults and their families. Collaborating with colleagues in Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Primary Care, Immunology, and with community-based health activists, she has developed and/or evaluated interventions to (1) promote positive health behaviors, (2) prevent mental and physical health problems, (3) increase access to mental health services for underserved groups, (4) assist older adults with preparation for future care, and (5) support well-being among older adults. Her specific areas of research include successful aging through preparation for future care, family caregiver stress and coping, interventions with caregivers, interventions with vision-impaired older adults, future thinking among older adults, as well as health literacy and patient education for diabetes prevention.

She is the director of the Laboratory for Population Health, Disparities, and Intervention Research (LAPHDIR) in which new research and community health projects are hatched with the help of a Community Health-project Advisory Board (CHAB). Dr. Sörensen has a keen interest in community-partnered research and is a co-founder of the Aging Well Initiative community collaboration with faith-based organizations and member of community coalitions to focusing on the empowerment of underserved groups in order to reduce health disparities.

Areas of mentoring expertise include community engagement, research methods and statistics, and grant-writing; content expertise is in application of life-span developmental perspectives, adult development and aging, mental health in the context of chronic illness, health and aging, health disparities, and health promotion.

Credentials

Education

1984
BA | Antioch College
Psychology

1988
MS | Technical University of Berlin
Psychology

1993
PhD | The Pennsylvania State University
Human Development and Family Studies

Awards

2018
Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Award for Senior Faculty
Sponsor: University of Rochester
Location: Rochester, NY

2017
Outstanding Reviewer Award
Sponsor: The Gerontologist, Publication of the Gerontological Society

2017
Outstanding Reviewer Award
Sponsor: , The Gerontologist, Publication of the Gerontological Society

2017
John D. Baum Memorial Lecture Award
Sponsor: Division of Geriatrics and Aging, University of Rochester School
Location: Rochester, NY

2016
Community Partner Award
Sponsor: Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Location: Rochester, NY

2013
Elected Fellow
Sponsor: American Psychological Association

2009 - 2010
Stuber Fellow
Sponsor: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Location: Department of Psychiatry

2007
Leonard F. Salzman Research Award
Sponsor: Department of Psychiatry
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2006 - 2007
NIMH Advanced Research Institute Training in Geriatric Mental Health
Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health
Location: Washington, DC

2006
Innovations in Community Scholarship Award
Sponsor: Dept. of Psychiatry
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine

2006
Honoree at 1st Annual Excellence in Research Day
Sponsor: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Location: Rochester, NY

2004 - Present
Listed in editions of Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care

2004
Collier Day Poster Award, Second Place
Sponsor: Department of Psychiatry
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2003
Elected Fellow
Sponsor: Gerontological Society of America

2001
Leonard F. Salzman Research Award
Sponsor: Department of Psychiatry
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1992
Summer Research Award
Sponsor: The Pennsylvania State University Graduate School

1992
Invited Membership
Sponsor: Kappa Omicron Nu Honors Society

1992
Wohlwill Endowment Award
Sponsor: Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Location: The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

1991
Dissertation Award
Sponsor: Henry A. Murray Research Center at Radcliffe College
Location: Cambridge, MA

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Publications

Journal Articles

9/19/2018
Allen RS, Oliver JAS, Eichorst MK, Mieskowski L, Payne-Foster P, Sörensen S. "Preparation and Planning for Future Care in the Deep South: Adapting a Validated Tool for Cultural Sensitivity." The Gerontologist.. 2018 Sep 19; Epub 2018 Sep 19.

9/14/2018
Mak W, Sörensen S. "Are Humor Styles of People With Dementia Linked to Greater Purpose in Life?" The Gerontologist.. 2018 Sep 14; 58(5):835-842.

8/14/2018
Song Y, Sörensen S, Yan EC. "Family Support and Preparation for Future Care Needs Among Urban Chinese Baby Boomers." The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences.. 2018 Aug 14; 73(6):1066-1076.

Books & Chapters

2018
Chapter Title: Older Persons' Care-Related Preferences: Cultural and Cross-Cultural Influences
Book Title: Cultures of Care in Aging
Author List: Pinquart, M., Sörensen, S., Song, Y
Edited By: T. Boll, D. Ferring and J. Valsiner
Published By: Information Age Publishing 2018 in Charlotte, NC

2017
Chapter Title: Vision Impairment and Its Management in Older Adults
Book Title: Geriatric Rehabilitation: From Bedside to Curbside
Author List: Ramchandran, R., Hindman, H, & Sörensen, S.
Edited By: K. Rao Poduri
Published By: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis 2017 in Boca Raton, FL

2015
Chapter Title: Vision in Mid and Late Life
Book Title: Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging
Author List: Sörensen, S., White, K. & Ramchandran, R.S.
Edited By: S.K. Whitbourne
Published By: Wiley-Blackwell 2015 in Hoboken, NJ

VIEW ALL PUBLICATIONS