Richard A. SetterstenRick Settersten, PhD is Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, and Endowed Director of the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families. For a decade, he was a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy.

Dr. Settersten is a specialist in life-course studies, with a strong record of experience conducting research and collaborating across disciplines and across life periods. His research has often focused on the first and last few decades of adulthood, always with an eye toward understanding the whole of human life.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Settersten has held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin, the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, and the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. He is author or editor of many scientific articles and several books, including Not Quite AdultsHandbook of Sociology of Aging, and On the Frontier of Adulthood

Besides MacArthur, his research has been supported by divisions of the National Institutes of Health—including major projects on genomic medicine (funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute), on efforts to control human aging (by the National Institute on Aging), and on late-life health outcomes of military service (also funded by NIA).

Settersten recently participated in National Academy of Science/Institute on Medicine discussions of the health and well-being of young adults, and of the social demography, epidemiology, and sociology of aging.

His research has been covered in many media outlets, including the Economist, New York Times, NPR, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.


School, Department, or Affiliation


Research Interests

The life course; transitions to adulthood; age and aging; parenthood; social policy; epigenetics.



Not Quite AdultsNot Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It’s Good for Everyone
Richard A. Settersten, Ph.D. and Barbara E. Ray


Handbook of Sociology of AgingHandbook of Sociology of Aging (Recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Publication Award of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Aging and the Life Course) Edited by Richard A. Settersten, Ph.D. and Jacqueline L. Angel


On The Frontier of Adulthood-2On the Frontier of Adulthood Theory, Research, and Public Policy
Edited by Richard A. Settersten Jr., Frank F. Furstenberg, and Rubén G. Rumbaut



Special Issues

Rick Settersten guest-edited a special issue of Research in Human Development on Just One Wish for the Study of Human Development.

Rick Settersten co-organized a special issue of the Public Policy and Aging Report on Aging Families and Lagging Policies.