Esther M. Friedman

esther friedman,f0304
Behavioral and Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in sociology, University of California - Los Angeles

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Esther Friedman is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research is at the intersection of family, education, and health. Friedman's work focuses on the roles of family, social ties, and community in shaping trajectories of healthy aging. One body of work examines family caregiving and long-term care, including the relationship between adult children's schooling and parental outcomes, coresidence in later life, and caregiving in the so-called “sandwich generation.” A second body of work examines the long-run health consequences of early life family relationships, stress, and adversity. Other work explores the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and cognitive decline among middle aged and older adults. Friedman is currently working on an NIH-R01 evaluating the effects of a long-term care program intended to increase home-and community-based services on health and health disparities of older adults in the U.S.

Friedman earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master's degree in statistics from Columbia University. Prior to joining RAND, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating disparities in older adult institutionalization and mortality after implementation of Medicaid's Balancing Incentives Program
  • Objective and Perceived Neighborhood Characteristics and Cognitive Decline
  • Aging, Work, and Intergenerational Obligations


  • Senior father and adult son

    Response to 'Study on Parental Longevity Is Short on Causation'

    The possible effects of families on health and mortality is an extremely complex topic. No single study or type of study is exactly a test of the argument. We need more studies that advance possible interpretations and describe patterns of associations in broad populations of interest.

    Aug 11, 2014 The New York Times

  • A son, father, and grandfather fishing from a dock

    Demographics Add Urgency for Action on Dementia Long-Term Care

    Dementia takes a huge toll on those afflicted with it. But it also has major consequences for those who must care for them, most often family and friends.

    Jul 28, 2014 Modern Healthcare