Linda Wray is a gerontologist and social epidemiologist by training. She uses lifespan developmental, life course, and intersectional perspectives, along with the stress paradigm and behavior change theories to examine (1) links among the social environment, behavioral health risks, chronic disease, and aging; (2) health disparities; and (3) strategies to increase pool and yield of traditionally under-represented students in graduate programs. Under her leadership, the research conducted in her lab aims to understand the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying well-documented differences or disparities in health outcomes across social groups, some that are explainable by biology or other factors and others that remain more enigmatic and troubling. The focus on health disparities, in particular, underlies all of her research, teaching, and service leadership.

Research Interests

Health Disparities across the lifespan by ascribed and achieved social status; Aging and Health, particularly health risks and disease in midlife and older age; Social support and other resilience factors that ameliorate differences and disparities


  • Ph.D., Gerontology and Public Policy, University of Southern California, 1995
  • Graduate Studies, Public Policy and Gerontology, George Washington University, 1983
  • B.A., International Relations, Mary Washington College, 1973