Patricia Morton

Patricia Morton

Patricia Morton

Administrative Title

Assistant Professor

Office Address

 Faculty Administration Building (FAB), Room 2251

Office Phone



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.

Education Training

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


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




Selected Publications
Morton, Patricia M., and Kenneth F. Ferraro. 2020. "Early Social Origins of Biological Risks for Men and Women in Later Life." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 61:503-522.


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.

NIH R01. National Institute on Aging. “Childhood Misfortune and Adult Health among Black, White, and Hispanic Americans.” PI: Ferraro. (R01AG043544). $824,948, 2020-2022.
Role: Site PI and Co-Investigator


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