Kelley Chosen as GSA’s Next Social Sciences Journal Editor

For Immediate Release
October 6, 2020

Contact: Todd Kluss
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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has named Jessica A. Kelley, PhD, FGSA, of Case Western Reserve University as the next editor-in-chief of the social sciences section of The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, effective January 2021.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work more closely with Dr. Kelley in the role of editor-in-chief due to her immeasurable experience as a leader in aging research and her editorial experience,” said Ishan C. Williams, PhD, FGSA, the chair of GSA’s Program, Publications, and Products Committee. “She brings to this role a high level of quality in her own research science and keen attention to take the journal to new levels of prestige by exploring key areas of aging research that will span areas of inclusion and diversity, contributing to the interests of our global readership.”

The Journal of Gerontology, Series B is published by Oxford Journals on behalf of GSA. Its social sciences section publishes peer-reviewed articles using a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches encompassing quantitative, qualitative, experimental, and non-experimental research. They cover such areas as anthropology, demography, economics, epidemiology, geography, health services research, political science, public health, social history, social work, and sociology. The journal, with an impact factor of 3.502, is currently ranked third out of 36 titles in the gerontology category of Journal Citation Reports: Social Sciences Edition.

“The journal has long been home to very high-quality social science on age, aging, and life course, and its reputation is strong and continues to grow,” Kelley said. It is a great honor to be selected as editor-in-chief, following the long line of prestigious scholars who have brought this publication to its highly visible and important place in our field. I look forward to working with the contributors, reviewers, and Editorial Board as we build on the journal’s current momentum in visibility, impact, and prestige.”

Kelley is a professor in the Department of Sociology and director of the Graduate Program in Sociology at Case Western Reserve University. She studies the causes and consequences of health disparities over the life course, particularly those related to race, socioeconomic status, and disability. She has expertise in the quantitative analysis of longitudinal and panel data, including latent trajectories and multilevel modeling. Her recent research has focused on life course influences on later-life functional disparities among Black and White adults; how cohort trends and social change affect later-life health profiles; social influences on the experience of disability; and neighborhoods and social exclusion of older adults.

She currently serves as co-editor (with Roland J. Thorpe Jr., PhD, FGSA) of the series Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. She served as volume editor for Volume 40, 2020, “Economic Inequality in Later Life.”

Kelley’s own work has appeared in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B, Research on Aging, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and American Sociological Review. Her 2017 article in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B with Jielu Lin, PhD, “From Noise to Signal: Capturing the Age and Social Patterning of Intra-Individual Variability in Late-Life Health” received the 2019 Outstanding Publication Award from the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association.

She is currently an associate editor of the social sciences section of The Journals of Gerontology, Series B and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Aging and Health, Research on Aging, and Journal of Aging and Social Policy. Kelley also serves on the Advisory Board for the Resource Center for Minority Data at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. And she recently completed terms as chair of the Section on Aging and the Life Course in the American Sociological Association and member-at-large for GSA’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Section.


The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed publication of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

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