Mara Getz Sheftel is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Population Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University. She works in the Crossnational Aging Research Lab (CARL) with PIs Ashton Verdery and Rachel Margolis (Western University) and is a Visiting Research Collaborator at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.
Mara is a sociologist and demographer who uses a life course perspective to study new drivers of stratification for aging adults. Her research has been published in Demography,
Population Research & Policy Review, and the Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, among other peer-reviewed journals.
With a background in mentorship and service-learning, Mara is an experienced and enthusiastic educator.
Mara's research investigates drivers of older adult stratification across the life course in three domains: (1) distinct structural and social determinants of health for older Latinos, (2) rising socioeconomic stratification and occupational segregation, and (3) changing family structure and intergenerational support.
She comes to this field with an interdisciplinary background spanning Sociology, Demography, Public Policy and International Studies. Mara's research is aimed at informing policies and services to improve population health and functioning for older adults.
Mara's research has been published in Demography, Journal of Gerontology Social Sciences, Demographic Research, and Population Review among other peer reviewed journals and presented at the Population Association of America (PAA), American Sociological Association (ASA), and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meetings.
Structural & social determinants of health for older Latinos
Mara uses large scale survey data to document prevalence of disability and cognition within Latino subgroups in the US and explores sources of heterogeneity in health trajectories including selection mechanisms, early life conditions, and immigrant documentation status.
Rising socioeconomic stratification & occupational segregation
Mara looks at the consequences of socioeconomic stratification and occupational segregation across the life course for the health and well-being of older adults, investigating sources of wealth stratification among immigrant population in the US and the long term impact of labor market segregation on older age cognitive disparities by race/ethnicity and nativity.
Changing family structure and intergenerational support
Mara looks at the role of family structures and intergenerational support in older adult health outcomes within the US and through a crossnational comparative framework.