2004 Recipient: Steven H. Zarit, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven H. Zarit, Ph.D., is professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. He is also adjunct professor at the Institute of Gerontology at the College of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden.
His peers nominated him to receive the award because, like Dr. Lawton, he has the ability to integrate research, teaching, mentoring, and community service. According to his colleagues, Dr. Zarit's pioneering research, examining the relationship between seniors with Alzheimer's disease and their family caregivers, has revolutionized the field of dementia care. His research and advocacy have been largely responsible for propelling caregiving issues into the national policy arena and the media spotlight. As a result of this attention on the plight of caregiving families, a variety of resources have become available to assist older adults with dementia and their family caregivers, including increased governmental funding to adult day care centers.