I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Center on Longevity in the Financial Security Division. Prior to Stanford I received a Ph.D. in Gerontology from University of Southern California (USC) School of Gerontology and a B.S. in biological psychology from UCLA. As a gerontologist trained in multidisciplinary research, I define successful aging as maintaining physical and mental functioning, cultivating meaningful social relationships, and being financially secure throughout the life course. An important component of financial security is avoiding financial abuse and fraud in older age, yet financial victimization of seniors results in billions of dollars in losses each year. Victims also suffer from depression, shame, shattered relationships, and financial ruin.
My work focuses on identifying the demographic, psychological, social, and contextual factors related to financial victimization, and identifying the prevalence and cost of financial fraud in the US. At USC, I conducted research on elder abuse and neglect in community settings, and the tactics scam artists use to deceive older victims. In addition to my work on fraud and financial abuse, I have published studies on how older adults from different racial/ethnic backgrounds define elder abuse and how mandatory reporters and adult protective services workers perceive elder abuse response. My career objective is to generate and test novel interventions that protect older adults from financial victimization, in addition to understanding the factors that make some people vulnerable to scams and fraud.