Christine Meyer

  • Professor of Sociology and Demography

Dr. Himes’ expertise is in the areas of demography of aging, family care giving, and patterns of health and mortality in later life. Her recent research examines the role of obesity in health and functioning at older ages. She has served as a consultant to the Bureau of the Census and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Her work on aging and health has appeared in several sociology and gerontology journals. Himes received her Ph.D. in demography and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Himes was a faculty member of the Pennsylvania State University from 1989 to 1995. She joined Syracuse University in 1995 where she served as Director of the Center for Policy Research (2009-2012).

At Syracuse she was awarded the Daniel Patrick Moynihan award for outstanding junior faculty member in 1999 and was recognized as University Scholar/Teacher of the Year in 2007. In 2008 she was named Maxwell Professor of Sociology in recognition of her contributions in teaching, research, and service to the Maxwell School. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Statistics.


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Sociology and Demography (1989)
M.A., University of Pennsylvania, Demography (1986)
B.A./B.S., Purdue University, Russian Language/Management (1979)

Research Interests

Demography of aging

Obesity and health

Family caregiving

Body size and disability


  • Senior Fellow, Brookdale Foundation Leadership in Aging Fellowship Program, 2009
  • Maxwell Professor of Sociology, 2008
  • United Methodist University Scholar/Teacher of the Year, Syracuse University, 2007
  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America, 2003
  • Visiting Scholar, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, 2001
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for outstanding member of the junior faculty in the Maxwell School, 1999
  • Brookdale Foundation National Fellow, 1991-1993
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Demography Traineeship, 1985-1987
  • Graduated with Honors, Purdue University, 1979


Himes, Christine L. and Sandra L. Reynolds. 2012. “The Impact of Obesity on Falls, Injury, and Disability.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Himes, Christine L. 2011. “The Demography of Obesity.” In Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity, John Cawley, ed., pp. 35-47. New York: Oxford University Press.

Himes, Christine L. 2011. “Relationships Among Health Behaviors, Health, and Mortality.” In International Handbook of Adult Mortality, Richard Rodgers and Eileen Crimmins, eds., pp. 289-310. New York: Springer.

Himes, Christine L. and Valerie Episcopo. 2011. “Obesity: A Sociological Examination.” In Handbook of Sociology of Aging, Richard Settersten and Jacqueline Angel, eds., pp.513-532. New York: Springer.

Himes, Christine L. and Madonna Harrington Meyer. 2009. “Longevity and Health: Future Prospects and Present Disparities.” In Aging in America, John C. Cavanaugh and Christine Cavanaugh, eds. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Himes, Christine L. 2008. “Adult Obesity” in D. Carr (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development. Detroit, MI: Gale Research.

Himes, Christine L. 2008 “Age Structure” in D. Carr (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development. Detroit, MI: Gale Research.

Caffrey, Christine and Christine L. Himes. 2008. “Health Insurance Coverage as People Approach and Pass Age-Eligibility for Medicare.” Journal of Aging and Social Policy 20:29-44.

Reynolds, Sandra L. and Christine L. Himes. 2007. “Cohort Differences in Adult Obesity in the U.S.: 1982-1996.” Journal of Aging and Health 19:831-850.

Himes, Christine L. 2006. “Active Life Expectancy.” In Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics, Neil Salkind, editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Himes, Christine L. and Ying Fang. 2006. “Social Lives in Later Life.” In Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Kenneth Ferraro and Janet Wilmoth, editors. New York: Springer.

Harrington Meyer, Madonna, Douglas A. Wolf, and Christine L. Himes. 2006. “How Will Declining Rates of Marriage Reshape Eligibility for Social Security?” CPR Policy Brief, No. 33. Center for Policy Research, Syracuse University.

Harrington Meyer, Madonna, Douglas Wolf and Christine L. Himes. 2006. “Declining Eligibility for Social Security Spouse and Widow Benefits in the United States?” Research on Aging 28:240-260.

Quoted in Washington Post, “Social Insecurity” by Richard Morin. September 22, 2006, page A-2.

Himes, Christine L. and Sandra L. Reynolds. 2005. “The Changing Relationship between Obesity and Educational Status.” Gender Issues 22:45-57.

NaPier, Emily, Harrington Meyer, Madonna, and Christine L. Himes. 2005. “Overweight Over the Life Course.” Generations 29:31-36.

Himes, Christine L. 2005. “Health Status in Later Life.” Public Policy and Aging Report 15(3):

Harrington Meyer, Madonna, Douglas Wolf and Christine L. Himes. 2005. “Linking Benefits to Marital Status: Race and Social Security in the U.S.” Feminist Economics 11:145-162. Reprinted in N. Folbre, L. Shaw, and A. Stark (eds.), Warm Hands in Cold Age: Gender and Aging(London: Routledge Taylor & Francis, 2006).

Himes, Christine L. 2004. “Obesity in Later Life: An Overview of the Issues.” Research on Aging 26:3-12.

Himes, Christine L. and Christine Caffrey. 2003. “Linking Social Gerontology with Quantitative and Critical Thinking Skills.” Teaching Sociology 31:85-94.

Gerontological Society of America. 2002. The State of Aging and Health in America Washington, DC: Gerontological Society of America.

Himes, Christine L. 2001. Elderly Americans. Population Bulletin 56(4). Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.

Trief, Paula M., Christine L. Himes, Rebecca Orndorff, and Ruth S. Weinstock. 2001. “The Marital Relationship and Psychosocial Adaptation and Glycemic Control of Individuals with Diabetes.” Diabetes Care 24:1384-1389.

Himes, Christine L. 2000. “Standardization.” In Edgar Borgatta (eds.) Encyclopedia of Sociology

Himes, Christine L. and Erin B. Reidy. 2000. “The Role of Friends in Caregiving.” Research on Aging 22:315-336.

Himes, Christine L. 2000. “Obesity, Disease, and Functional Limitation in Later Life.” Demography 37:73-82.

Himes, Christine L. 1999. “Racial Differences in Education, Obesity, and Health in Later Life.” Pp. 370-372 in Socioeconomic Status and Health in Industrial Nations: Social, Psychological, and Biological Pathways, Nancy E. Adler, Michael Marmot, Bruce S. McEwen, and Judith Stewart eds. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol 896. (Published conference proceedings).

Farkas, Janice I. and Christine L. Himes. 1997. “The Influence of Caregiving and Employment on the Voluntary Activities of Midlife and Older Women.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 52B:S180-S189.

Wilmoth, Janet M., Gordon F. DeJong, and Christine L. Himes. 1997. “Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Living Arrangements in Later Life.” International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 17:57-82.

Himes, Christine L., Anne K. Jordan, and Janice I. Farkas. 1996. “Factors Influencing Parental Caregiving by Adult Women: Variations by Care Intensity and Duration.” Research on Aging 18:349-370.

Himes, Christine L., Dennis P. Hogan, and David J. Eggebeen. 1996. “Living Arrangements of Minority Elders.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 51B:S42-S48.

Miles, Toni P. and Christine L. Himes. 1995. “Biological and Social Determinants of Body Size Across the Life Span--A Model for the Integration of Population Genetics and Demography.” Population Research and Policy Review 14:327-346.

Himes, Christine L. 1994. “Age Patterns of Mortality and Cause of Death Structures in Sweden,Japan, and the United States.” Demography 31:633-650

Himes, Christine L., Samuel H. Preston, and Gretchen A. Condran. 1994. “A Relational Model of Mortality at Older Ages in Low Mortality Countries.” Population Studies 48:269-292.

Himes, Christine L. and Thyne S. Rutrough. 1994. “Differences in the Use of Health Services by Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Elderly.” Journal of Rural Health 10:80-88.

Himes, Christine L. 1994. “Parental Caregiving by Adult Women: A Demographic Perspective.” Research on Aging 16:191-211.

Clogg, Clifford C. and Christine L. Himes. 1993. “Comment: Uncertainty in Demographic Analysis.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 88:1072-1074.

Himes, Christine L. and Clifford C. Clogg. 1992. “Demographic Analysis as a Method for Estimating Population by Age, Sex, and Race.” Population Index 58:587-607.

Angel, Ronald, Jacqueline L. Angel, and Christine L. Himes. 1992. “Minority Group Status, Health Transitions, and Community Living Arrangements Among the Elderly.” Research on Aging 14:496-521.

Himes, Christine L. 1992. “Social Demography of Contemporary Families and Aging.”Generations 17:13-16. Reprinted in Linda Burton, ed., Families and Aging. Generations and Aging Series. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company.

Himes, Christine L. 1992. “Future Caregivers: Projected Family Structures of Older Persons.”Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 47:17-26.

Condran, Gretchen A., Christine L. Himes, and Samuel H. Preston. 1991. “Old Age Mortality Patterns: Evaluation of Population and Death Data at Advanced Ages in Low-Mortality Countries.” United Nations Population Bulletin 30:23-60.

Preston, Samuel H., Christine L. Himes, and Mitchell Eggers. 1989. “Demographic Conditions Responsible for Population Aging.” Demography 26:691-704.

Chris Himes

Contact Information

312.567.3933 Siegel Hall Room 116