Jacquelyn Benson, PhD

Associate Professor, State Specialist for HES Extension

403 Gentry Hall, Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-4399
Curriculum Vitae


PhD, University of Missouri, 2013; MA, University of Missouri, 2008; BS, University of Missouri, 2004; BES, University of Missouri, 2004.

Research Interests

  • Family structure and process
  • Family caregiving for older adults with serious illnesses
  • Dying, death, and bereavement
  • Intimate relationships and repartnering in later life
  • Intervention research


As a family gerontologist, Dr. Benson's program of research has a translation focus aimed at enhancing the lives of older adults and their families. Dr. Benson studies the reciprocal associations between older adults' close relationships and their well-being, and translates this research-based knowledge into interventions, programs, and other strategies for healthy aging. She is specifically interested in examining complex family structure and processes as they relate to intimate relationships in later life and the family caregiving experience. Based on life course framework and family systems perspectives, she attributes healthy aging to interactions between individual development, social relationships, and environments, emphasizing the importance of timing, context, family process, and meaning.