Conferences archive > 2013 > SPEAKERS & ABSTRACTS

Howard Friedman

Howard S. Friedman is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside.  His research on health and longevity focuses on a group of 1500 men and women who were first studied as children in the 1920s and have been followed ever since. Dr. Friedman's newest book is The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study.  This book won first place in the "Wellness" category in the Books for A Better Life awards competition in New York.  Major awards for Professor Friedman's health research include the "Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology" award from the American Psychological Association; and the "James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award" from the Association for Psychological Science. He has also received the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for "inspiring students to make a difference in the community" graduate of Yale University, he was awarded a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship for his doctoral study at Harvard University.

The Longevity Project: Life-long Paths to Long Life

Large numbers of people will soon be living well into their 80s, 90s, and even 100s. Some of this increase is due to medical advances, but most of it results from the fact that many people are now living in very good health in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Why do some people thrive well into old age while others become ill or die young? Over 1500 boys and girls were first studied as children in the 1920s and have been followed ever since. Examining multiple influences across time uncovers important pathways through which personality, social relationships, and well-being relate to long life. Surprisingly, many negative life events are not random but are partly brought on by the individuals themselves. Life patterns are often established at a younger age, unfold across time, and interact with situations. The Longevity Project uses an 8-decade study and uncovers pathways to address the question of who lives longest—and why.

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