Sandra L. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Sandra L. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Gerontology/Public Policy 1996, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Description of Research Interests

Dr. Reynolds has had a long-standing interest in guardianship, advance directives, and legal and ethical issues in aging. She has published extensively on guardianship and advance directives, as well as trends in health. While her research interests still include legal and ethical issues in aging, particularly in the area of guardianship and financial exploitation, her recent focus on aging research relates to the impact of obesity.

Obesity has uncertain effects on mortality in older adults, but fairly clearly negative effects on physical functioning. Dr. Reynolds’ current research involves the impact of obesity on both disability and disease. Dr. Reynolds is currently examining differences in active life expectancy in obese and non-obese older adults. Dr. Reynolds is also working with several colleagues on an NIH grant proposal to study obesity’s effects on mortality, morbidity, and disability.


PubMed Publications Opens in a new window

Himes, C. L., & Reynolds, S. L.  (2012).  The impact of obesity on falls, injury, and disability.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60,124-129.

Reynolds, S. L., & Crimmins, E. M. (2010).  Trends in the ability to work among men and women in the older American population: 1997-2007.   European Journal of Ageing, 7, 249-256

Reynolds, S. L., & Crimmins, E. M. (2010).  Tendances de l’incapacité dans les activités de la vie quotidienne: Étude chez les Américains de 50 à 69 ans (1997-2006).  Retraite & Société59, 61-76.

Edwards, J.D., Perkins, M., Ross-Meadows, & Reynolds, S. L. (2009). Driving status and three-year mortality among community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 64A: 300-305.

Popa, M., Reynolds, S. L., & Small, B. J. (2009). Is the effect of reported physical activity on disability mediated by cognition in white and African-American older adults? Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64B, 4-13.

Reynolds, S. L. , Hagedorn, A., Yeom, J., Saito, Y., Yokoyama, E., & Crimmins, E. M. (2008). A tale of two countries—the United States and Japan: are differences in health due to differences in obesity? Japanese Journal of Epidemiology, 18, 280-290.

Reynolds, S. L. , & McIlvane, J. (2009). The impact of obesity and arthritis on active life expectancy in older American men and women. Obesity, 17, 363-369

Reynolds, S. L., Haley, W. E., & Kozlenko, N. (2008).  The effect of depressive symptoms on active life expectancy in the presence or absence of chronic conditions.  American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, forthcoming.

Black, K. B., & Reynolds, S. L. (2008). Factors associated with advance care planning among older women in southwest Florida. Journal of Women & Aging, 20(3/4), 249-264.

Black, K. B., Reynolds, S. L., & Osman, H. (2008).  Factors associated with advance care planning among older adults in southwest Florida.  Journal of Applied Gerontology, 27(1), 93-109.

Reynolds, S. L., Haley, W. E., & Hyer, K. (2007).  Expanding gerontology enrollments: successful results of an innovative outreach program.  Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 28, 35-50.

Reynolds, S. L., & Himes, C. L. (2007).  Cohort trends in adult obesity in the U.S.: 1982-1996.  Journal of Aging and Health, 19, 831-850.

Himes, C. L., & Reynolds, S. L. (2006). The changing relationship between obesity and educational status. Gender Issues , (Spring), 45-57.

Crimmins, E. M., Alley, D., Reynolds, S. L. , Johnston , M. W., Karlamangla, A., & Seeman, T. (2005). Changes in biological markers of health: older Americans in the 1990s. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 60A, 1409-1413.

Reynolds, S. L., Saito, Y. & Crimmins, E. M. (2005). The impact of obesity on active life expectancy in older American men and women. The Gerontologist , 45, 438-444.

Reynolds, S. L ., & Schonfeld, L. (2004). Trends in elder abuse in Florida : An examination of the Florida Adult Protective Services data. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect , 1-22.

Addington, L., Reynolds, S. L., & Duska, R. F. (2004). Legal and ethical issues in financial gerontology. Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 58(2), 25-29.

Reynolds, S. L. , & Silverstein, M. (2003). Observing the onset of disability in older adults. Social Science & Medicine, 57, 1875-1889.

Rosnick, C. B., & Reynolds, S. L. (2002). Thinking ahead: factors associated with executing advance directives. Journal of Aging & Health, 18, 409-429.

Haley , W. H., Gallagher-Thompson, D., Reynolds, S. L., Allen-Burge, R., Chen, H., & Burton , A. (2002). Family issues in end-of-life decision making and end-of-life care. American Behavioral Scientist, 46(2), 284-298.

Reynolds, S. L . (2002). Guardianship primavera: A first look at factors associated with having a legal guardian using a nationally representative sample. Aging & Mental Health, 6, 109-120.

Reynolds, S. L. & Carson, L. G. (1999). Dependent on the kindness of strangers: The role of professional guardians in Florida . Aging & Mental Health, 3, 301-310.

Reynolds, S. L. & Wilber, K. H. (1999). Correlates of open- and locked-facility placement in a population of decisionally impaired adults. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 54B, S349-S355.

Crimmins, E.M., Reynolds, S.L., & Saito, Y. (1999). Trends in health and ability to work among the older working age population. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 54B, S31-S40.

Reynolds, S.L. , Crimmins, E.M., & Saito, Y. (1998). Cohort differences in disability and disease. The Gerontologist, 38, 576-590.

Zelinski, E., Crimmins, E.M., Reynolds, S.L., & Seeman, T. (1998). Do medical conditions affect cognition in older adults? Health Psychology, 17, 504-512.

Crimmins, E. M., Saito, Y., & Reynolds, S. (1997) Further evidence on recent trends in the prevalence and incidence of disability among older Americans from two sources: the LSOA and the NHIS. The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 52B, S59-71.

Reynolds, S. L. (1997). Criteria for placing older adults in public conservatorship: Age as proxy for need. The Gerontologist, 37, 518-526.

Reynolds, S. L. (1997). Protected or neglected: An examination of negative vs. compassionate ageism in public conservatorship. Research on Aging, 19(1), 3-25.

Reynolds, S. L ., & Wilber, K. H. (1997). Protecting persons with severe cognitive and mental disorders: An analysis of public conservatorship in Los Angeles County . Aging & Mental Health, 1(1), 87-97.

Wilber, K. H., & Reynolds, S. L. (1996). Introducing a framework for defining financial abuse of the elderly, Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 8(2), 61-80.

Reynolds, S. L. (1995). Shedding new light on old dilemmas: A critical approach to protective interventions. Journal of Ethics, Law, and Aging, 1(2), 107-119.

Wilber, K. W., & Reynolds, S. L. (1995). Rethinking alternatives to guardianship. The Gerontologist, 35, 248-257.

Honors and Awards

2011: University of South Florida, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

2010: University of South Florida, Innovative Teaching Opportunities with iPads Program ($1000).

2010: University of South Florida, iTOPP project, entitled "Adapting General Education Courses to Online Format," ($2,000).

2003:  University of South Florida, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

2002, April 11; Award for Excellence in Research, Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies, University of South Florida.  Rosnick, C. B., & Reynolds, S. L., Thinking Ahead: Factors Associated with Executing Advance Directives.

2001, Elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America

2011, Elected Fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education

Guest Editor, October 1999 Issue, Journal of Ethics, Law, and Aging

NIA Summer Research Institute, attended 1997.

National Institutes of Health Study Sections:
Special Interest Panels:
Population Studies:  February, 2005; October, 2005; July, 2007; July, 2009; April, 2010

Elder Mistreatment:  November, 2005; March, 2007
Community-Level Health Promotion (CLHP), Sept. 2011;  February, 2012 (upcoming) 

Classes Taught


Introduction to Gerontology, Public Policy Analysis, Business Management in an Aging Society, Sociocultural Aspects of Aging, Women and Aging, Death & Dying, Gerontological Research Methods, Elder Abuse & Neglect.


Interdisciplinary Doctoral Seminar on Health and Aging, Population and Aging, The Aging Family, Gerontological Research and Planning, Gerontological Concepts and Issues, Social Policy and Aging, Geriatric Rotation for Second Year Medical Students (participant), Women and Aging, Elder Abuse & Neglect.