Advocacy and Social Action; Clinical Social Work and Mental Health; Older Women in the Work Force; Later Life Engagement; Diversity and Cultural Competence
Ph.D., Brandeis University
M.S.W., Simmons College
B.A., Simmons College
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Jennifer Kane Coplon
I have been a clinical social worker for over 40 years, practicing in several family service and health care settings and currently working privately from my home and at South End Community Health Center in Boston. I was eager to complement my social work background with a degree in social policy, so I returned to Brandeis’ Heller School and earned a Ph.D. in 1994; my dissertation topic was Labor Force Participation of Single Older Women. My combined clinical and social policy experience has allowed me to assume administrative and leadership positions at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tufts Health Care Institute, Child Care Resource Center, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the University of the Middle East Project, and Hearth that provides residential care for formerly homeless elders. My Ph.D. also has given me the skills to teach at several Boston-area graduate social work programs and to do research at Boston College’s Center on Aging and Work. I am particularly passionate about understanding and advocating for people in our society who are oppressed and disempowered. Research can be a powerful tool in broadening our knowledge and ability to advocate and make changes for these populations.
My research focuses on positive life reviews of underserved, often marginalized, older adults to determine their later life engagement. What are they proud of? What contributes to their sense of self? What are the differences between these women and men from similar socioeconomic circumstances? Photographs of these seniors and responses from interviews will be used to create community exhibits.
Coplon, J. Single Older Women in the Workforce: By Necessity or Choice? New York: Garland Press, 1997.
James, J. B., Pitt-Catsouphes, M., & Coplon, J. (in press). “Optimizing the long future of aging: What difference does engagement make for well-being?” In The Handbook on Aging. California: Sage Publishers, 2012.