Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Gerontology and Faculty Fellow in the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The author of 180 refereed articles and book chapters and 20 books (many in multiple editions and translations), her most recent popular work is The Search for Fulfillment (January 2010, Ballantine Books). She is a frequent commentator on local, national, and international media outlets and has appeared on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Dateline, CNN, Olbermann, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, USA Today, and Time.com.
Her research covers a wide range of topics related to adult development and aging, including personality development through midlife and into later adulthood. As the lead investigator of the Rochester Adult Longitudinal Study, she and her collaborators have published articles in the top journals in the field. This project is now into its 50th year, and a 2021 follow-up is now in preparation. In her latest scholarly work, she is a co-Principal Investigator on the University of Massachusetts Boston Age-Friendly University project.
A nominee for the 2018 and 2019 American Psychological Association President, in 2011 she received a Presidential Citation. She has served in executive board and advisory roles in regional and national professional organizations including the American Psychological Association (Council of Representatives and Board of Educational Affairs), the Council of Professional Geropsychology Training Programs (Chair), the Society for the Study of Human Development (past President), the Gerontological Society of America (current Past Chair, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section), the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (Executive Board member), and Psi Chi (past Eastern Regional Vice President), and the Society for Emerging Adulthood (Founding Board member), as well as a member of numerous task forces and advisory panels at the national, regional, state, and campus levels. She was President of the Eastern Psychological Association and a Member-at-Large on the Board of the Massachusetts Psychological Association. Currently, she is President-Elect of the American Board of Professional Psychology's Geropsychology Board.
At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she taught large undergraduate psychology classes and directed the Commonwealth Honors College's Office of National Scholarship Advisement. The winner of national and campus teaching and advising awards, she also was responsible for the University becoming a Top Producing Fulbright Institution. Currently, she serves as the Scholarship Coordinator for the University of Massachusetts President's Office. She grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. and graduated from the University at Buffalo. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral respecialization program in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Whitbourne lives in Framingham, Massachusetts with her husband and has the distinct pleasure of having raised two daughters who chose to follow their mother's profession. Her older daughter, Stacey, a developmental/health psychologist, is a Program Director at VA Boston where she is the coordinator of the Million Veterans Program. She is also a co-author on her adult development text. Her younger daughter, Jennifer, is a staff psychologist at MIT Medical Center. With hobbies that include knitting and daily exercising, Whitbourne practices what she preaches about the value to aging of both mental and physical exercise.