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University of Humanistic Studies

Prof. Dr. Carol Ryff

She describes her work as follows:

'My research is strongly multidisciplinary and focuses on how various aspects of psychological well-being are contoured by broad social structural influences such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and culture as well as how psychological well-being is linked with biological factors (e.g., neuroendocrine regulation, inflammatory processes, cardiovascular risk). The latter work addresses the mechanisms and pathways through which well-being may confer protection against illness and disease. Resilience is an overarching theme in putting these many levels of analysis (social structural, psychosocial, neurobiological) together. I currently direct the MIDUS (Midlife in the U.S.) national study of Americans (, which has become a major forum for integrative, multidisciplinary studies of health and well-being, as well as a parallel study in Japan known as MIDJA (Midlife in Japan).' (source:

A more elaborate explanation of her take on the themes well-being, positive health and resilience, and an overview of publications, can be found here.

PLOS Blogs published an extensive interview with Carol Ryff on well-being and aging. It can be read here or here.

Important publications: C.D. Ryff & V.W. Marshall (eds.) The Self and Society in Aging Processes (Springer, 1999); O.G. Brim, C.D. Ryff & R.C. Kessler (eds.) How Healthy Are We? A National Study of Well-Being at Midlife (The University of Chicago Press, 2004), 687 pp. and C.D. Ryff, “Eudaimonic Well-Being and Health: Mapping Consequences of Self-Realization”, in: A.S. Waterman (ed.) The Best Within Us: Positive Psychology Perspectives on Eudaimonia (American Psychological Association, 2013): 77-98.