Life Course Studies Program


The program of life course studies at the UNC Carolina Population Center is directed by Glen H. Elder. This website is designed to acquaint you with his life course research currently being conducted at the Population Center.

Life course theory emerged in the 1960s out of the need to understand human development as occurring across the life span. Elder has been a pioneer in this field which emphasizes how individual lives are socially patterned over time, and the processes by which lives are changed by changing environments.

Most of the information at this website is organized according to the data archive on which the research is based. There are five such archives described herein:

For a more general overview of Elder’s research program, consult the following document:

Overview of Current Research

For a list of essential books and articles on the life course, consult the reading list.