Patricia Drentea, Ph.D.What happens when modern families age? This question is being examined by Patricia Drentea, Ph.D., director of graduate studies in the Department of Sociology. Drentea explores the ramifications of social patterns in the United States, such as changing gender roles, the increasing average age of parenthood, work and retirement concerns plus health and caregiving.

In her research for the 2018 textbook, "Families and Aging," Drentea found several new patterns to be particularly intriguing about modern families, including older adult couples who keep two separate homes, second families due to divorces and remarriages, globalized relationships, men as caregivers, and the gradual loosening of expected gender behavior with men becoming more active parents.

Drentea hopes to help social workers, sociologists, nurses, psychologists, and other clinicians think through some of the emerging issues within society as millennials—and their kids—age and mature.