Rodlescia Sneed

Rodlescia Sneed

Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Rodlescia Sneed

Bio Sketch

 I am a social gerontologist interested in how the social environment impacts adult developing and aging in diverse populations.  I have expertise in biopsychosocial models of health, community-engaged research, and chronic disease. My work engages community and institutional stakeholders to identify and improve upon factors that contribute to inequities in health and well-being among mid and late-life adults.


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Gerontology, University of Pittsburgh

PhD, Social and Health Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

MPH, Epidemiology, Columbia University

Bachelor of Arts (AB), Molecular Biology, Princeton University


Research Project Title

The Social and Psychological Determinants of Health and Aging Research Group (The SHARE Group)

Research Focus

Social Ties & Well-Being

First, I am interested in the impact of older adults’ social ties on their health and well-being. Weak and/or difficult social ties are common concerns for older adults in economically distressed communities. I am interested in finding innovative solutions for helping older adults to navigate problematic social relationships and identify new, mutually supportive social connections. Further, I am interested in better understanding the mechanisms that link social ties to health and well-being.

Justice System Involvement Among Mid and Late Life Adults

A second line of research considers how justice system involvement impacts successful aging. Incarceration is an important social determinant of health, impacting one’s ability to maintain meaningful relationships, find employment, and manage one’s mental and physical health. I’m interested in how incarceration particularly impacts older people, as the number of older adults age 55+ with justice system involvement has increased by more than 280% in the last two decade. Through this work, I hope to better understand the psychological and physical health consequences of justice system involvement for older adults and implement effective interventions accordingly.

Office Location

Institute of Gerontology

87 East Ferry Street

231 Knapp Building



Areas of Expertise

Social Gerontology, Biopsychosocial Models of Health, Interpersonal Relationships, Chronic Disease, Community Engagement, Justice-Involved Populations

Research Project Link

Courses Taught

 PSY 2030, Statistical Methods in Psychology 


1) K01AG076740 (Sneed)

4/15/23-01/31/28 NIH/NationaI Institute on Aging

$597,616 (TC)

Maximizing the Scalability of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Among Older Adults in State Correctional Settings
This project uses a mixed methods approach to engage health professionals, program staff, corrections staff and incarcerated individuals in developing scalability and sustainment strategies for implementing the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program among older adults within a state correctional system.

Role: Principal Investigator


2) CVS Health Foundation (PI: Thompson)


$300,000 (DC)
Center for Health Equity and Community Knowledge in Urban Populations (CHECK-UP)
This Center will accelerate community-academic research partnerships by facilitating collaboration to improve health outcomes and advance health equity in metropolitan Detroit.
Role: Co-Investigator

3) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Sneed)


Lowering the Age for Medicare Eligibility: Who Benefits?
This project utilizes a large-scale, population-based dataset to explore the consequences of lowering the age for Medicare eligibility via a range of scenarios.
Role: Principal Investigator

4) Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation (Sneed)

HEALTH for Returning Citizens 
This project is a partnership with a community-based reentry program to 1) develop a nutrition education curriculum for formerly incarcerated older adults, 2) train formerly incarcerated adults to serve as group fitness instructors, and 3) evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a physical activity and nutrition program among formerly incarcerated older adults.
Role: Principal Investigator

5) U54 MD011227 (Furr-Holden)

7/01/16-2/28/23 NIH (NIMHD)

$10,689,313 (TC)
The Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions
This project establishes an NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for health disparities research on chronic disease prevention to be based in Flint, Michigan. The TCC will strengthen community-engaged research on multilevel interventions to target lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and substance use.
Role: Co-Investigator

6) Pilot Grant (Sneed) 7/1/19-06/30/21
Michigan Center for Urban African-American Aging (NIH/NIA)

$27,000 (TC)
The Health and Well-Being of African-American Older Adults With a History of Incarceration
This study utilizes population-based data and key informant interviews to evaluate the social, psychological, and physical health status of community-dwelling older adults who have been incarcerated.
Role: Principal Investigator


Professional Service

Associate Editor, Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

Leadership Team Member/Awards Committee Co-Chair, Aging and Public Health Section, American Public Health Association


Professional Associations

Gerontological Society of America

American Public Health Association


Honors and Awards

Policies 4 Action Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Research Scientist, Michigan Center for Urban African-American Aging Research


Full Publication List: 

Selected Publications

Jordan T**, Sneed RS. (2023) Food Insecurity Among Older Adults with a History of Incarceration. Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Sneed RS & Chan ACY**. (2023). The Implications of Intergenerational Relationships for Minority Aging: A Review of Recent Literature. Current Epidemiology Reports.

Sneed RS, Hailemariam M, Key KD, Jordan T, Richie F, Saddler S, Spencer B, Summers M, White JM, Johnson JE. (2022). Developing and Maintaining Intergenerational Relationships in an Economically Vulnerable Community: Findings from the Flint Women’s Study. Journal of Women & Aging 

Sneed RS, Key KD, Bailey S, Johnson-Lawrence V. (2020). Social and Psychological Consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemic in African-American Communities: Lessons from Michigan. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. (2020 Journal Impact Factor 3.226)

Sneed R.S., Schulz R. (2019). Grandparent Caregiving, Race, and Cognitive Function in a Population-Based Sample of Older Adults. Journal of Aging and Health.


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