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.