Edna Brown, PhD

Associate Professor, Human Development & Family Studies (Affiliate)

Research Overview

Coping with divorce and coping with illness are two major life transitions that affect a large percentage of our adult population. Drawing on my background in developmental psychology, sociology, and social work, my research focuses on the impact of stressful life transitions on health and well being during middle and later adulthood. Using life course theories, I have examined how social (i.e., gender, social class, family configurations; social relations) and cultural contexts (i.e., race, ethnicity, religion), affect coping, health, and well being during normative and non normative life transitions. The social and cultural contexts provide meaning and substance for interpreting research findings.

Current research collaborations address health and mental health disparities among older adults in urban multiethnic, multicultural communities. My research objective is to understand the contextual factors that influence the health promoting behaviors and the development of health promoting interventions that focus on reducing health disparities. My previous research endeavors investigated the psychological, social, and cultural contexts related to marital stability, adjustment to divorce and health outcomes.


I earned a Joint Doctorate in Developmental Psychology and Social Work at the University of Michigan and completed a NICHD funded postdoctoral and NIMH research investigator position at the Institute for Social Research at UM.

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Human Development and Family Studies
348 Mansfield Road, Unit 2058
Storrs, CT 06269-2058
Office LocationFamily Studies Building