Susan Brown


  • Position: Distinguished Research Professor, CFDR Director, and Co-Director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research
  • Phone: 419-372-9521
  • Email:

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1998

Dr. Brown's research focuses on the familial events and transitions made throughout the life course with an emphasis on the implications of the rapid transformation of American family life for the health and well-being of both adults and children. Her research to date largely has been on cohabitation, emphasizing the relationship quality of cohabitors and its effects on cohabitors' union outcomes as well as their psychological well-being. Her work encompasses multiple projects designed to help researchers decipher the meaning(s) of cohabitation as well as its implications for the adults and children involved.

Recent Publications:

Wright, Matthew R., Susan L. Brown, and Wendy D. Manning. 2023. “A Cohort Comparison of Midlife Marital Quality: A Quarter Century of Change.” Journal of Family Issues 44:538-559. doi: 10.1177/0192513X211054466

Brown, Susan L. and I-Fen Lin. 2022. “The Graying of Divorce: A Half Century of Change.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 77:1710-1720. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbac057

Brown, Susan L., Wendy D. Manning, and Huijing Wu. 2022. “Relationship Quality in Midlife: A Comparison of Dating, Ling Apart Together, Cohabitation, and Marriage.” Journal of Marriage and Family 84:860-878. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12813

Brown, S. L. 2022. “Union and Family Formation During Young Adulthood: Insights from the Add Health.” Journal of Adolescent Health. 71(6), S32-S39. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.06.020

Brown, Susan L., Kagan A. Mellencamp, and I-Fen Lin. 2022. “Sole Family Survivors: Older Adults Lacking Family of Origin Kin.” Journals of Gerontology. 77: 930-35. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbab239

Brown, Susan L., I-Fen Lin, and Kagan A. Mellencamp. 2022. “The Rising Midlife First Marriage Rate in the US.” Journal of Marriage and Family. 84(4): 1220-1233. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12861

Brown, Susan L., I-Fen Lin, Alyssa Vielee, and Kagan A. Mellencamp. 2021. “Midlife Marital Dissolution and the Onset of Cognitive Impairment.” The Gerontologist, 61(7):1085-1094. doi:10.1093/geront/gnaa193

Lin, I-Fen and Susan L. Brown. 2021. “The Economic Consequences of Gray Divorce for Women and Men.” Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 76(10):2073-2085. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa157. PMCID: PMC8599059

Brown, Susan L., I-Fen Lin, and Kagan A. Mellencamp. 2021 “Does the Transition to Grandparenthood Deter Gray Divorce? A Test of the Braking Hypothesis.” Social Forces, 99(3), 1209-1232. doi: 10.1093/sf/soaa030

Lin, I-Fen and Susan L. Brown. 2020. “Consequences of Later-Life Divorce and Widowhood for Adult Well-Being: A Call for the Convalescence Model.” Journal of Family Theory & Review, 12, 24-277. doi: 10.1002/JFTR.12366

Wright, Matthew R., Anna M. Hammersmith, Susan L. Brown, and I-Fen Lin. 2020. “The Roles of Marital Dissolution and Subsequent Repartnering on Loneliness in Later Life.” The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 75(8,) 1796–1807. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbz121

Eickmeyer, Kasey, Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Wendy D. 2019. "A research note on income pooling in partnerships: Incorporating Nonresident Children.” Journal of Family Issues, 40(18), 2922-2943. doi: 10.1177/0192513X19868270

Brown, Susan L. and Matthew R. Wright. (2019). “Divorce Attitudes among Older Adults: Two Decades of Change.” Journal of Family Issues, 40(8), 1018–1037. doi: 10.1177/0192513X19832936

Brown, Susan L., I-Fen Lin, Anna M. Hammersmith, and Matthew R. Wright. (2019). “Repartnering Following Gray Divorce: The Roles of Resources and Constraints for Women and Men.” Demography, 56(2), 503-523, doi: 10.1007/s13524-018-0752-x.

Eickmeyer, Kasey, Wendy D. Manning, and Susan L. Brown. (2019). “What’s Mine Is Ours? Income Pooling in Complex Families.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 81(4) 968-978. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12565

Lamidi, Esther, Wendy D. Manning, and Susan L. Brown. (2019). “Change in the Stability of First Premarital Cohabitation among Women in the U.S.” Demography, 56(2), 427-450. doi: 10.1007/s13524-019-00765-7

Lin, I-Fen, Susan L. Brown, Matthew R. Wright, and Anna M. Hammersmith. (2019). “Depressive Symptoms Following Later-Life Marital Dissolution and Subsequent Repartnering.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 60(2):153-168. doi:10.1177/0022146519839683

Guzzo, Karen B., Paul Hemez, Lydia Anderson, Wendy D. Manning, and Susan L. Brown, S. L. (2019). Is Variation in Biological and Residential Ties to Children Linked to Mothers’ Parental Stress and Perceptions of Co-Parenting?” Journal of Family Issues 40(4): 488-517. doi: 10.1177/0192513X1882172. NIHMSID: 1010131

Updated: 02/26/2024 09:31AM