Angela M. O'Rand

Angela M. O'Rand

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

External address: 
417 Chapel Hill Drive, Campus Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90088, 417 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5629


My major research interests focus on patterns of inequality across the life span, with a special interest in the temporal diversity of life transitions, their consequences for later life, and the impact of institutions on these transitions over time. Over forty years I have examined workplace policies related to wage and benefit structures and the impact of workers' educational, work and family histories on socioeconomic outcomes. The changing employment relationship and the re-organization of retirement institutions (especially pensions) have been a central concern of my research. Most recently, I have turned to the cumulative impact of economic adversity on mid- and later-life health risks, such as heart attack. This research has uncovered the persistent effects of childhood adversity on adult heart attack risk, especially among women. I am expanding this focus over the next few years to examine the more general question of "life course risks" and increased economic and social inequalities in life course trajectories of health and wealth (including the role of debt as a stressor).

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Temple University 1974

Selected Grants

Center for Population Health and Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2020

SANDERS Admin Supp: Using Response Time Data from Social Science Surveys to Model Cognition and Early Alzheimer's Disease awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2019

Behavior And Physiology In Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1999 to 2015

Childhood Exposures and Adulthood Cardiovascular Disease awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2007

The Determinants and Consequences of Midlife Education awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1998 to 2000

(93-0332) Joint Retirement in Two-Worker Couples awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1992 to 1993

(89-0380) Effects of Competing Social Interest Groups on the Development of Contraceptive Technology awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1989

Hughes, M. E., and A. M. O’Rand. The Lives and Times of the Baby Boom (Census 2000 monograph). New York: Russell Sage/Population Reference Bureau, 2004.

O’Rand, Angela M., and John C. Henretta. Age and Inequality: Diverse Pathways Through Later Life. Westview Press, 1998.

Osterbind, C. C., and A. M. O’rand. Older People in Florida: A Statistical Abstract 1978. Edited by University Presses of Florida. University Presses of Florida, 1976.

O’Rand, A. M. “The Transition to Adulthood in the Vietnam Era by Timothy Owens.” Social Forces. Springer, 2005, 2006.

O’Rand, A. M. “The Social Networks of Older People: A Cross-National Analysis (Praeger, 1996).” Edited by H. Litwin. Contemporary Gerontology, 1998.

O’Rand, A. M. “What do we know and when do we know it? A self-exemplifying tale of gender politics and the popular production of knowledge.” Annual Review of Conflict Knowledge and Conflict Resolution, 1993.

O’Rand, A. M. “Minerva’s owl flies at dusk.The Gerontologist. Oxford University Press, 1989.

O’Rand, A. M. “Equal Employment Policy for Women (Temple University Press, 1980) by R.S. Ratner.” Sociology of Work and Occupations, 1983.


Remle, R. C., and A. M. O’Rand. “Intergenerational Solidarity in Blended Families: The Inequality of Financial Transfers to Adult Children and Stepchildren.” In Kinship and Cohort in an Aging Society: From Generation to Generation: Continuity and Change in Aging Families, edited by M. Silverstein, 31–58. Johns Hopkins University, 2013.

O’Rand, A. M. “The devolution of risk and the changing life course (reprint).” In Researching Social Gerontology, edited by M. Cutchin, C. Kemp, and V. Marshall. Sage Publishers, 2013.

O’Rand, A. M. “The Changing Life Course.” In The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Sociology, 197–211, 2012. Full Text

O’Rand, A. M. “The Devolution of Risk and the Changing Life Course.” In The New Blackwell Companion to Sociology, edited by G. Ritzer. Blackwell, 2011.

O’Rand, A. M., and Don Ebel. “Private Pensions in International Perspective.” In International Handbook of Population Aging, edited by Peter Uhlenberg ed, 429–44. Springer-Verlag, 2009.

O’Rand, A. M., Katelin Isaacs, and Leslie Roth. “Age and Inequality in Global Context.” In The International Handbook of Social Gerontology, edited by W Dale Dannefer and Chris R. Phillipson, 127–36. Sage, 2009.

O’Rand, A. M. “Cumulative processes in the life course.” In The Craft of Life Course Research, edited by Jr Glen H Elder and Janet Z. Giele, 121–40. Guilford, 2009.

O’Rand, A. M., and Jr Glen H Elder. “Changing Societies and Changing Lives.” In Within the Social World: Essays in Social Psychology, edited by J. Chin and C. Jacobson, 202–16. Longman, 2008.

O’rand, A. M. “Retirement.” In Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell Publishing, 2006.


Noppert, G. A., A. E. Aiello, A. M. O’Rand, and H. J. Cohen. “Investigating pathogen burden in relation to a cumulative deficits index in a representative sample of US adults.Epidemiol Infect 146, no. 15 (November 2018): 1968–76. Full Text Open Access Copy

Jones, Sydney A., Quefeng Li, Allison E. Aiello, Angela M. O’Rand, and Kelly R. Evenson. “Correlates of changes in walking during the retirement transition: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.Preventive Medicine Reports 11 (September 2018): 221–30. Full Text Open Access Copy

Zeng, Yi, Chao Nie, Junxia Min, Huashuai Chen, Xiaomin Liu, Rui Ye, Zhihua Chen, et al. “Sex Differences in Genetic Associations With Longevity.Jama Netw Open 1, no. 4 (August 2018): e181670. Full Text

Jones, Sydney A., Quefeng Li, Allison E. Aiello, Angela M. O’Rand, and Kelly R. Evenson. “Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Retirement: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 54, no. 6 (June 2018): 786–94. Full Text Open Access Copy

Brown, Tyson H., Angela M. O’Rand, and Daniel E. Adkins. “Race-ethnicity and health trajectories: tests of three hypotheses across multiple groups and health outcomes.Journal of Health and Social Behavior 53, no. 3 (September 2012): 359–77. Full Text

O’Rand, Angela M. “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose: latest words on "life words".The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 67, no. 2 (March 7, 2012): 235–37. Full Text

O’rand, A. M., and J. Hamil-Luker. “Late employment careers, transitions to retirement, and retirement income in the united states,” December 1, 2011, 283–307.

O’Rand, Angela M. “2010 SSS Presidential Address: The Devolution of Risk and the Changing Life Course in the United States.Social Forces; a Scientific Medium of Social Study and Interpretation 90, no. 1 (September 2011): 1–16. Full Text

Oksuzyan, Anna, Eileen Crimmins, Yasuhiko Saito, Angela O’Rand, James W. Vaupel, and Kaare Christensen. “Cross-national comparison of sex differences in health and mortality in Denmark, Japan and the US.European Journal of Epidemiology 25, no. 7 (July 2010): 471–80. Full Text Open Access Copy

O’Rand, Angela M., Jenifer Hamil-Luker, and Cheryl Elman. “Childhood adversity, educational trajectories, and self-reported health in later life among U.S. women and men at the turn of the century.Zeitschrift Fur Erziehungswissenschaft : Zfe 12, no. 3 (September 2009): 409–36.


Shuey, K. M., and A. M. O’Rand. “Changing demographics and new pension risks.” In Research on Aging, 28:317–40, 2006. Full Text

Elman, C., and A. M. O’Rand. “The race is to the swift: Socioeconomic origins, adult education, and wage attainment.” In American Journal of Sociology, 110:123–60, 2004. Full Text

O Rand, A. M. “Income maintenance in retirement and the need to rethink family policy.Center Reports on Advances in Research, 1983.