Becca Levy PhD

Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and of Psychology; Director, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division


Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health: Chronic Disease Epidemiology: Social & Behavioral Sciences

Biography

Becca Levy is Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division and an associate professor (with tenure) at the Yale School of Public Health. She has a joint appointment with the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Levy's research explores psychosocial factors that influence elders’ cognitive and physical functioning, as well as their longevity. She is credited with creating a field of study that focuses on how positive and negative age stereotypes, which are assimilated from the culture, can have beneficial and adverse effects, respectively, on the health of older individuals.

Her studies have been conducted by longitudinal, experimental, and cross-cultural methods. She has received a Brookdale National Fellowship for Leadership in Aging, the Margret M. Baltes Early Career Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology from the Gerontological Society of America, the Springer Award for Early Career Achievement in Adult Development and Aging from the American Psychological Association, and the Ewald W. Busse Research Award in the Social Behavioral Sciences from the International Association of Gerontology that is given once every four years. She is an Associate Editor of the Handbook of Psychology of Aging, a consulting editor for Psychology and Aging, and serves on the editorial board of a number of gerontology journals.

Dr. Levy has given invited testimony before the United States Senate on the effects of ageism and contributed to briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court in age-discrimination cases. She was recently invited by the German government’s Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth to be the keynote speaker at its conference: “International Perspectives for a Future-Oriented Policy on Senior Citizens and Generations.”

She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University and held a National Institute on Aging postdoctoral fellowship at the Division of Aging and Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Science Foundation, and The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation.


Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University , 1995

Selected Publication

  • Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Murphy, T. E., & Gill, T. M. (2012). Association between Positive Age Stereotypes and Recovery from Disability in Older Persons. JAMA, 308, 1972-1973.

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • Ewald W. Busse Research Award for Excellence in Social Behavioral Sciences, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics