The Life Course Center (LCC) at the University of Minnesota is an incubator for innovative research on the demography and economics of aging. The LCC recruits and fosters connections among researchers across disciplines; develops leading-edge collaborative pilot studies on aging contexts, trends, dynamics, and disparities; provides technical and administrative support for research development; and supports a research network to leverage large-scale population data to advance interdisciplinary scholarship on social determinants and contexts of aging and health.

Research Snapshot

Understanding the effects of COVID-19 through a life course lens

Phyllis Moen and Jeylan T. Mortimer 

The Covid-19 pandemic is shaking fundamental assumptions about the human life course in societies around the world. In this essay, we draw on our collective expertise to illustrate how a life course perspective can make critical contributions to understanding the pandemic’s effects on individuals, families, and populations. 


Why a Life Course Center?

A life course approach is about time, age, biography, and history—the dynamics and inequalities of women’s and men’s pathways, perspectives, health, and well-being as they play out in work, family, educational, health, community, policy, and comparative locational contexts. Transformational demographic, technological, socioeconomic, and cultural changes are upending existing institutions undergirding the conventional life course, while simultaneously exacerbating multiple dimensions of disadvantage. Interdisciplinary life course scholars can address the human meaning of these dislocations and disadvantages, as well as necessary policy innovations to promote social engagement, social welfare, health and well-being.


  • Provide a learning community around life course scholarship and training
  • Foster intergenerational educational experiences
  • Understand lives, contexts, and social change through interdisciplinary longitudinal research

Upcoming Events

Fall 2020 Seminars are scheduled! They will all be virtual this semester. 


Will the Robots Take Care of Grandma? Reconceptualizing Technology and Health Aging
Jerry Jacobs, Professor, University of Pennsylvania 


Patterns of Social Network Change and Homeostasis in Later Life: Results from a National Survey
Benjamin Cornwell, Professor, Cornell University  


Title to be announced 
Ellen Demerath, Professor, University of Minnesota

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