The National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to expand understanding of the role and impact of families and interpersonal relations on health and well-being in midlife and older age.
The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context (PAR-15-042), notes that it is widely recognized that families and relationships with intimate partners and close friends represent some of the most significant social forces in a person’s life. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence that “suggests that the family environment, including both family of origin and family networks forged in adulthood, can profoundly influence and shape lifespan trajectories of health and the experience of aging. The Institute explains that while well-replicated associations between various family and interpersonal relationship variables and health outcomes have been documented in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, in both humans and well-characterized social animal models, the mechanisms through which these relationships might mediate and moderate well-being and health outcomes are not well understood.
NIA is seeking studies that examine interrelations between multiple domains. Relevant research topics include: life course studies, the family as a context for genetic and epigenetic expression, family structure and family dynamics, allocation of resources, the family as a context for decision making and behavior change, relationship status and quality, and interpersonal affilial relationships and social support.