Behavioral Research

rachel_profileRachel Pruchno, Ph.D. is Director of Research at the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, and Endowed Professor of Medicine at Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine. She directs the ORANJ BOWL project.

Dr. Pruchno has been the Principal Investigator on NIH-funded grants totaling close to $7 million and foundation grants of more than $3 million.  She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, 10 book chapters, and an edited book, Challenges of an aging society: Ethical dilemmas, political issues. Dr. Pruchno’s CV and links to her publications may be found on her website.

Since 2011, Dr. Pruchno has been Editor-in-Chief of The Gerontologist.


10/09/2013 : Dr. Pruchno has been awarded the ASPR Grant for a 2-year project, “Social Capital and Resilience of Older People Exposed to Hurricane Sandy.”


ORANJ BOWL (Ongoing Research on Aging in New Jersey:  Bettering Opportunities for Wellness in Life)

The goal of the ORANJ BOWL panel is to enable scientists to understand how characteristics of people and of the environment promote successful aging. The ORANJ BOWL panel includes a representative sample of 5,688 adults aged 50-74 living in New Jersey. Participants were recruited between November 2006 and April 2008 using telephone cold calling and list-assisted ran­dom digit dial (RDD) procedures.

People eligible to participate were:

ORANJ BOWL achieved a response rate of 58.73% and a Cooperation Rate of 72.88%, consistent with or better than average RDD response rates.

The ORANJ BOWL sample:

Each ORANJ BOWL panelist participated in a 60-minute baseline telephone questionnaire that included information about demographic characteristics, physical and mental health, functional ability, sleep, pain, life events, household composition, social network, life satisfaction, subjective age, health behaviors (smoking, drinking, BMI, exercise, annual health checks), hospitalizations, religion and spirituality, work history, volunteer behaviors, and leisure activities. Panelists reported on the foods they typically ate and the beverages they consumed.

One year after the baseline assessment, ORANJ BOWL participants completed a personality assessment.

In 2011, funding from the UMDNJ Foundation enabled all ORANJ BOWL participants to be re-assessed.


 ORANJ BOWL Publications:

Wilson-Genderson, M., & Pruchno, R. (2013).  Effects of neighborhood violence and perceptions of neighborhood safety on depressive symptoms of older adults.  Social Science & Medicine, doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.02.028

Pruchno, R. & Wilson-Genderson, M. (2012).  Adherence to clusters of health behaviors and successful aging.  Journal of Aging and Health, 24(8), 1279-1297, doi: 10.1177/0898264312457412

Cromley, E.K., Wilson-Genderson, M., & Pruchno, R.A. (2012).  Neighborhood characteristics and depressive symptoms of older people:  Local spatial analyses.  Social Science & Medicine, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.08.033

Pruchno, R., Hahn, S., & Wilson-Genderson, M. (2012).  Cigarette smokers, never-smokers, and transitions:  Implications for successful aging.  International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 74 (3), 193-209.

Pruchno, R.A., Wilson-Genderson, M. & Cartwright, F.P. (2012).  The texture of neighborhoods and disability among older adults.  The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67B (1) 89-98. First published online December 7, 2011  doi:10.1093/geronb/gbr131

Pruchno, R.A. Wilson-Genderson, M. & Cartwright, F. (2010).  A two-factor model of successful aging.  The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 65B (6), 671-679 doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbq051.

Pruchno, R.A., Wilson-Genderson, M., Rose, M., &Cartwright, F.  (2010). Successful aging: Early influences and contemporary characteristics. The Gerontologist, 50 (6), 821-833, doi: 10.1093/geront/gnq041.