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Lydia W. Li

Professor of Social Work

Lydia W. Li

Professor Li’s research examines how socio-structural factors are related to depression, suicide, cognitive function and healthy aging in older adults. She has conducted epidemiological and intervention studies to understand and address health disadvantages of older adults in rural China, older Chinese immigrants in the United States and older adults with low incomes. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and served as the co-chair of the 2016 GSA program committee. She was a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. Currently, she is serving as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Social Welfare, on the editorial board of Research on Aging and Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and as an expert reviewer for the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme in Hong Kong. She has been an Associate Editor of BMC Geriatrics. She teaches courses related to social welfare policy, research methods, program evaluation, aging policy, and social gerontology.

Research Interests/Focus

Depression and suicide in later life, rural elders, cross-cultural gerontology, ageism, community-based interventions.


Year Degree   School
2000 PhD Social Welfare University of Wisconsin, Madison
1989 MSW Social Work University of Hong Kong, China
1984 Honor's Diploma Social Work Hong Kong Baptist College, China
Year Description
2016 Program Co-Chair, Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Meeting
2013 Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (GSA).
2005-2006 Selected participant of the "Summer Research Institute in Suicide Prevention," with scholarship awarded, University of Rochester Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, NIMH
2002 Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar, John A. Hartford Foundation and Gerontological Society of America
2002 Selected participant of the "Workshop on Aging" and the "Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists," with scholarship awarded, RAND, NIA,
2002 Invited participant of the "Retreat on Health Dynamics in Old Age," Older Americans Independence Center, University of Michigan, NIA,
2002 Trainee, African American Aging Research Training Network, NIMH, Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research, University of Michigan
2001 Selected participant of the "Minority Aging and Health Workshop," with scholarship awarded, ICPSR, University of Michigan, NIA
2000 New Investigator Award, Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
1996 Eugene Lehrmann AARP Scholarship, Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
1988-1989 Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Scholarship, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong
1988-1989 Postgraduate Studentship, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong
1982-1983 Dean's List, Hong Kong Baptist College

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