Carol D. Ryff

Carol D. Ryff is Director of the Institute on Aging and Hilldale Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her model of psychological well-being has been translated to 40 languages and is used across diverse scientific fields (1,000+ publications have used her scales). Dr. Ryff studies how psychological well-being varies by age, educational status and cultural context as well as by the challenges and transitions of adult life. Whether well-being is protective of good physical health is a major interest, with numerous findings linking different aspects of well-being to morbidity and mortality, along with diverse biomarkers (neuroendocrine, immune, cardiovascular) and neural circuitry. A guiding theme is resilience – how some are able to maintain, or regain, well-being in the face of adversity and what neurobiology underlies this capacity. Dr. Ryff currently directs the MIDUS (Midlife in the U.S.) longitudinal study, which has become a major forum for studying health and well-being as an integrated biopsychosocial process. She also directed MIDJA (Midlife in Japan), for which she received an NIH Merit Award.