Professor of Sociology
Linda Waite is the George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago. She is Principal Investigator of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), widely recognized as the gold standard for the collection of survey data on older adults’ intimate and social relationships and innovation in the development of methods for the collection of biomarkers such as blood spots and saliva during in-home interviews. Her research, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, Demography, Journals of Gerontology, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Sexual Medicine, and the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates that sexuality is a key component of physical and emotional well-being for both older and younger adults, and it is closely connected with dynamics of social relationships and health in later life.
Waite has received numerous honors and awards for her scholarly contributions. In 2012, Waite received the Matilda White Riley Award from the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Research. This Award honors scholars who have shown remarkable achievement in research and theory of aging and the life course. She also, separately, received the Matilda White Riley Award for career achievement from the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association. Waite is also past president of the Population Association of America and served as Chair of the Committee on Population, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. She was a member of the Advisory Board to the Director on the National Institutes of Health. She has received a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.