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. "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. "Embedding Control Beliefs in Social and Cultural Context." Societal Impacts on Personal Control in the Elderly. Ed. KW Shaie and S Zarit. NY: Springer, 2004. (Chapter)

George, LK. "The Health Impact of Religious and Spiritual Practices." Healing, Intention, and Energy Medicine. Ed. W Jonas. Edinburgh Scotland: Elsevier Science, 2004. (Chapter)

George, LK. "Social and Economic Factors Related to Psychiatric Disorders in Late Life." Textbook of Geriatric Psychiatry. Ed. D Blazer, DC Steffens, and EW Busse. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 2004. (Chapter)

George, LK. "The health impact of religious and spiritual practices." Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine. May 1, 2003. 3-12. Full Text

George, LK. "Life Course Research: Achievements and Potential." Handbook of the Life Course. Ed. JT Mortimer and ME Shanahan. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003. (Chapter)

George, LK. "Life Course Research: Achievements and Potential." Handbook of the Life Course. Ed. JT Mortimer and ME Shanahan. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 2003.


Hays, JC, Meador, KG, Branch, PS, and George, LK. "The Spiritual History Scale in four dimensions (SHS-4): validity and reliability." Gerontologist 41.2 (April 2001): 239-249.

Zeng, Y, and George, L. "Family Dynamics of 63 Million (in 1990) to More Than 330 Million (in 2050) Elders in China." Demographic Research 2.5 (May 2000).

George, LK, and Clipp, EC. "Quality of Life: Conceptual Issues and Clinical Implications." Neurology Report 24 (2000): 127-132. (Academic Article)

George, LK, Larson, DB, Koenig, HG, and McCullough, M. "Spirituality and Health: State of the Evidence." Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 19 (2000): 102-116. (Academic Article)

George, LK, Larson, DB, Koenig, HG, and McCullough, ME. "Spirituality and health: What we know, what we need to know." Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 19.1 (2000): 102-116.

Amaya-Jackson, L, Davidson, JR, Hughes, DC, Swartz, M, Reynolds, V, George, LK, and Blazer, DG. "Functional impairment and utilization of services associated with posttraumatic stress in the community." J Trauma Stress 12.4 (October 1999): 709-724. Full Text

Lynch, TR, Mendelson, T, Robins, CJ, Krishnan, KR, George, LK, Johnson, CS, and Blazer, DG. "Perceived social support among depressed elderly, middle-aged, and young-adult samples: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses." J Affect Disord 55.2-3 (October 1999): 159-170.

Koenig, HG, Hays, JC, Larson, DB, George, LK, Cohen, HJ, McCullough, ME, Meador, KG, and Blazer, DG. "Does religious attendance prolong survival? A six-year follow-up study of 3,968 older adults." J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 54.7 (July 1999): M370-M376.

Lynch, TR, Mendelson, T, Robins, CJ, Krishman, KRK, George, LK, Johnson, CS, and Blazer, DG. "Perceived Social Support among Depressed Elderly, Middle-Aged, and Young Adult Samples." Journal of Affective Disorders 2 (June 1999): 212-218. (Academic Article)

Koenig, HG, Idler, E, Kasl, S, Hays, JC, George, LK, Musick, M, Larson, DB, Collins, TR, and Benson, H. "Editorial: Religion, spirituality, and medicine: A rebuttal to skeptics." International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 29.2 (1999): 123-131. Full Text