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. "Perceived Quality of Life." Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. Ed. RH Binstock and LK George. San Diego: Academic Press, 2006. (Chapter)

George, LK, and Zeng, Y. "Female Disadvantages among the Elderly in China." Longer Life and Health Aging. Ed. Y Zeng, EM Crimmons, Y Carriere, and JM Robine. NY: Springer, 2006. (Chapter)

George, LK. "Sociology of Aging." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. G Ritzer. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. (Chapter)

George, LK. "Religion and Health in Life Course Perspective." Religious Influences on Health and Well-Being in the Elderly. Ed. KW Schaie and N Krause. New York: Springer, 2005.

George, LK. "Social Psychology." The Concise Encyclopedia of Ageism. Ed. EB Palmore. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, 2005.

George, LK. "Stress and Coping." The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. Ed. M Johnson. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

George, LK. "Age Structures, Aging, and the Life Course." Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues (3rd ed.). Ed. J Wilmoth and K Ferraro. New York: Springer, 2005.

George, LK. "Life Events." Encyclopedia of Gerontology (4th ed.). Ed. GL Maddox. New York: Springer, 2005.

George, LK. "Self-Esteem." Encyclopedia of Gerontology (4th ed.). Ed. GL Maddox. NewYork: Springer, 2005.

George, LK. "Sociology of Aging." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. G Ritzer. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.


Hays, JC, and George, LK. "The life-course trajectory toward living alone - Racial differences." RESEARCH ON AGING 24.3 (May 2002): 283-307. Full Text

Bosworth, HB, Hays, JC, George, LK, and Steffens, DC. "Psychosocial and clinical predictors of unipolar depression outcome in older adults." Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 17.3 (March 2002): 238-246.

Lynch, SM, and George, LK. "Interlocking trajectories of loss-related events and depressive symptoms among elders." The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences 57.2 (March 2002): S117-S125. Full Text

Connor, KM, Davidson, JRT, Hughes, DC, Swartz, MS, Blazer, DG, and George, LK. "The impact of borderline personality disorder on post-traumatic stress in the community: a study of health status, health utilization, and functioning." Compr Psychiatry 43.1 (January 2002): 41-48.

George, LK, Connor, KM, Davidson, JRT, Hughes, DC, Swartz, MS, and blazer, D. "The Impact of Borderline Personality Disorder on Post-Traumatic Stress in the Community: A Study of Health Status, Health Utilization, and Functioning." Comprehensive Psychiatry 43 (2002): 41-48.

George, LK, Ellison, CG, and Larson, DB. "Explaining the relationships between religious involvement and health." PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY 13.3 (2002): 190-200. Full Text

Hays, JC, Steffens, DC, Flint, EP, Bosworth, HB, and George, LK. "Does social support buffer functional decline in elderly patients with unipolar depression?." Am J Psychiatry 158.11 (November 2001): 1850-1855. Full Text

Bosworth, HB, McQuoid, D, George, LK, and Steffens, DC. "Time to recovery from geriatric depression: Psychosocial and clinical factors." GERONTOLOGIST 41 (October 2001): 72-72.

Hays, JC, Meador, KG, Branch, PS, and George, LK. "The History of Religion and Spirituality Scale in Four Dimensions (HRSS-4): Validity and Reliability." The Gerontologist 41 (May 2001): 239-249. (Academic Article)

Mendes de Leon, CF, Gold, DT, Glass, TA, Kaplan, L, and George, LK. "Disability as a function of social networks and support in elderly African Americans and Whites: the Duke EPESE 1986--1992." J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 56.3 (May 2001): S179-S190.