Linda K. George

Linda K. George

Arts and Sciences Professor of Sociology

External Address: 
253 Soc-Psych, 1511 Duke Clinics, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708-0088
(919) 660-5605


My research falls into three broad areas: (1) social factors and the onset, course, and outcome of mental and physical illness, (2) social factors and aging, and (3) the organization and delivery of health services. I am working on funded research projects in all three areas. I have been the principal and co-principal investigator of two major epidemiologic studies. The first examines social factors and mental illness throughout adulthood. The second focuses on social factors related to both physical and mental health among older adults. I also am director of the one core of the Clinical Research Center for the study of depression in later life, funded by NIMH. The focus of my CRC project is the effects of social factors on the course of outcome of geriatric depression. In all of these studies, tje social factors examined include age, gender, race, urban vs rural residence, socioeconomic status, social stress, and social relationships. The major health services project in which I am involved is a randomized trial of outpatient commitment. This study is evaluating the extent to which outpatient commitment can increase the odds that the chronically mentally ill will be able to live in the community rather than being subjected to frequent involuntary commitments to state mental hospitals. The importance of this project is its potential to demonstrate that outpatient commitment is a less coercive and less expensive form of treatment for the chronically mentally that also improves their quality of life.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1975

  • M.A., Miami University, Ohio 1972

  • B.A., Miami University, Ohio 1969

George, LK. "Social and Economic Factors Related to Psychiatric Disorders in Later Life." Geriatric Psychiatry. Ed. DG Blazer and D Steffens. American Psychiatric Press, 2008.

George, LK. "Conceptualizing and Measuring Trajectories." The Craft of Life Course Studies. Ed. GH Elder and JZ Giele. Guilford, 2008.

George, LK. "Respite Care." Encyclopedia of Elder Care. Springer, 2008.

George, LK. "Life Events." Encyclopedia of Elder Care. Springer, 2008.

George, LK. "Life course perspectives on social factors and mental illness." Mental Health, Social Mirror. December 1, 2007. 191-218. Full Text

George, LK. "Age Structures, Aging, and the Life Course." Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues. Ed. J Wilmoth and K Ferraro. Springer, 2007.

George, LK. "Age Structures, Aging, and the Life Course." Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues. Ed. J Wilmoth and K Ferraro. NY: Springer, 2007. (Chapter)

George, LK. "Life Course Perspectives on Social Factors and Mental Illness." Mental Health, Social Mirror. Ed. WR Avison, JD McLeod, and BA Pescosolido. NY: Springer, 2007. (Chapter)

George, LK. "Perceived quality of life." Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. December 1, 2006. 320-336. Full Text

George, LK. "Aging, Mental Health, and Well-Being." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. G Ritzer. Blackwell Publishing, 2006.


Hastings, SN, George, LK, Fillenbaum, GG, Park, RS, Burchett, BM, and Schmader, KE. "Does lack of social support lead to more ED visits for older adults?." Am J Emerg Med 26.4 (May 2008): 454-461. Full Text

Son, J, Lin, N, and George, LK. "Cross-national comparison of social support structures between Taiwan and the United States." J Health Soc Behav 49.1 (March 2008): 104-118. Full Text

Hastings, SN, George, LK, Fillenbaum, GG, Burchett, BM, and Schmader, KS. "Does Lack of Social Support Lead to More Emergency Department Visits for Older Adults." American Journal of Emergency Medicine 26 (2008): 454-461. (Academic Article)

Clarke, P, and George, LK. "The role of the built environment in the disablement process." Am J Public Health 95.11 (November 2005): 1933-1939. Full Text

George, LK. "Socioeconomic status and health across the life course: progress and prospects." J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 60 Spec No 2 (October 2005): 135-139.

Hoenig, H, Landerman, LR, Shipp, KM, Pieper, C, Pieper, C, Richardson, M, Pahel, N, and George, L. "A clinical trial of a rehabilitation expert clinician versus usual care for providing manual wheelchairs." J Am Geriatr Soc 53.10 (October 2005): 1712-1720. Full Text

Yang, Y, and George, LK. "Functional disability, disability transitions, and depressive symptoms in late life." JOURNAL OF AGING AND HEALTH 17.3 (June 2005): 263-292. Full Text

Steffens, DC, Pieper, CF, Bosworth, HB, MacFall, JR, Provenzale, JM, Payne, ME, Carroll, BJ, George, LK, and Krishnan, KRR. "Biological and social predictors of long-term geriatric depression outcome." Int Psychogeriatr 17.1 (March 2005): 41-56.

Koenig, HG, George, LK, Titus, P, and Meador, KG. "Religion, spirituality, and acute care hospitalization and long-term care use by older patients." Arch Intern Med 164.14 (July 26, 2004): 1579-1585. Full Text

Koenig, HG, George, LK, and Titus, P. "Religion, Spirituality, and Health in Medically Ill Hospitalized Older Adults." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52 (2004): 554-562. (Academic Article)