Building Bridges between Gerontology and Elder Law

Nina Kohn, Maria Brown, Israel Doron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Academics have long called for greater interaction between gerontologists and legal scholars. However, prior studies have suggested that disciplinary borders remain a barrier to such interaction, hampering gerontology's ability to function as a truly multi- or interdisciplinary field. Objective: This study was designed to understand the nature of current interactions between legal scholars and gerontologists, and to identify opportunities to advance scientific dialogue and cooperation between the two. Methods: Semi-structured, open-ended interviews with 27 participants (12 elder law scholars, 15 gerontologists) were conducted by phone, recorded, and analyzed by an interdisciplinary team. Results: Both elder law scholars and gerontologists indicate that their field would benefit from research collaboration and cross-disciplinary teaching with the other field, but the fields remain distinct with little cross-disciplinary learning. Participants identified a series of opportunities, however, for increasing such learning and collaboration. Conclusions: The authors identify ways gerontologists can be encouraged to integrate elder law into their teaching and research, and suggest how this integration could enhance understanding of the aging experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10.1159/000489883
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Cross-disciplinary training
  • Elder Law
  • Geriatric jurisprudence
  • Gerontological education
  • Law and ageing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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