Patricia Morton

Patricia Morton

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Adjunct Professor, Institute of Gerontology


313-577-2735 (fax)

 3250 Faculty/Administration Building

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Patricia Morton

Dr. Morton received her dual-title Ph.D. in Sociology and Gerontology from Purdue University.  Broadly, Dr. Morton's academic interests center on understanding health inequality throughout the life course. Her research primarily focuses on the lasting health consequences of childhood conditions.  This line of work underscores the importance of how early-life conditions produce unequal opportunities and constraints which impact health through multiple life domains such as socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and physiology.  Dr. Morton's approach to studying the early origins of adult health also addresses conceptual and methodological issues surrounding life course research.  Her work has been published in various journals such as Demography, Social Science & Medicine, and the Journals of Gerontology: Series B; highlighted by national and international news outlets; and received several awards, including the Gerontological Society of America's Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology.



Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Aging and the Life Course
    Health Disparities
    Medical Sociology
    Social Inequality
    Quantitative Methodology


 Health and aging over the life course

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Ph.D., Sociology and Gerontology (dual-title), Purdue University
  • M.S., Sociology, Purdue University
  • B.S., Applied Sociology, Texas State University

Selected Publications

Ferraro, Kenneth F. and Patricia M. Morton. 2018. “What Do We mean by Accumulation? Advancing Conceptual Precision for a Core Idea in Gerontology.” The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Social Sciences 73:269-278.

Morton, Patricia M., Sarah A. Mustillo, and Kenneth F. Ferraro. 2014. “Does Childhood Misfortune Increase Acute Myocardial Infarction Risk?” Social Science & Medicine 104:133-41.

Vuolo, Michael, Kenneth F. Ferraro, Patricia M. Morton, and Ting-Ying Yang. 2014. “Why Do Older People Change Their Ratings of Childhood Health?” Demography 51:1999-2023.

Currently Teaching

  • PH 3300: Epidemiology

Courses taught

 SOC 2020: Social Problems