Professor of Sociology and Criminology and Department Chair

Degrees: Ph.D, Case Western Reserve University

Expertise: Aging Studies, Alzheimer's disease and caregiving, Poverty studies, Counseling, Social work

Dr. Harris received her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and is professor and chair of the Sociology and Criminology department, and director of John Carroll University’s Aging Studies Program. She is also a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the founding Co-Editor of Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, and is currently licensed in the state of Ohio as an LISW. She received the JCU Distinguished Faculty Award in 2009, and the Curtis W. Miles Award for Faculty Community Service in 2016. Among the assets that she brings to the university are three important areas of teaching, research and practice in 1) Aging Studies, 2) Poverty Studies, and 3) Social Work and Counseling. Her research interests are Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care, and gender and aging. Dr. Harris’s research focuses on understanding the psychosocial impact of a dementing illness on family members and persons living with early stage dementia. She has published 2 books, written over 60 book chapters and articles in leading gerontology journals, and presents nationally and internationally on dementia care.

Dr. Harris teaches the following courses:

First Year Seminar-Poverty and Social Justice

Aging, Health and Society

Poverty, Welfare, and Social Justice

Internship and Seminar in Human Service, Health, and Social Justice; Multicultural Counseling

Mental Health and The Elderly; Counseling Theories

Some of her publications include these books:
1) Men giving care: Reflections and husbands and sons. (1997). New York: Garland Publishing, with Joyce Bichler.

2) The person with Alzheimers disease: Pathways to understanding the experience. (2002). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

And selected journal articles and book chapters are:

1) Caring for bedridden elderly: Ideals, realities and social change in Japan. 
(1997). In S. Formanek & S. Linhart (eds.),   Aging Asian concepts and experiences . Vienna, Austria: The Austrian Academy of Science, with Susan Long.

2) Listening to caregiving sons: Misunderstood  realities. (1998). The Gerontologist, 38 (3), 342-352.

3) Husbands and sons in the United States and Japan:  Cultural expectations and caregiving experiences. (1999). Journal of Aging Studies, 13 (3), 241-268, with Susan Long.

4) Insider’s perspective:  Defining and preserving the self in Dementia. (1999)Journal of Mental Health and Aging, 5 (3), 241-256.

5) The voices of husbands and sons caring for a family member with dementia. (2001) In B.J. Kramer & E.H. Thompson (Eds.), Men as caregivers: Theory research &service implications, New York: Springer Publishers.

6) Building resilience through adapting and coping. (2002). In P.B. Harris (Ed.), The Person with Alzheimer’s disease: Pathways to Understanding the experience (Pp. 165-185). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, with K.C. Durkin.

7) The perspective of younger people with dementia: Still an overlooked population. (2004). Social Work in Mental Health, 2 (1), 17-36.

8) Living with early on-set dementia:Exploring the experience and developing evidence-based guidelines for practice. (2004). Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, 5 (2), 111-122, with John Keady.

9) HIV Risk Factors For Midlife and Older Women. (2005). The Gerontologist, 45 (2), 617-625, with Marcia Neundorfer, Paula Britton, and Deloris Lynch.

10) The Experience of Living Alone with Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease: What are the Person’s Concerns. (2006). Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, 7 (2), 84-95.

11) People with Early Stage Alzheimer’s disease as Mentors: Developing A Truly Collaborative Research Process. (2007). Alzheimer’s Care Today, 8 (3), 259-265.

12) Another Wrinkle in the Debate About Successful Aging: The Underdeveloped Concept of Resilience and the Lived Experience of Dementia. (2008). Aging and Human Development, 67 (1), 43-61.

13) Intimacy, Sexuality, and Early-Stage Dementia: The Changing Marital Relationship. (2009).Alzheimer’s Care Today, 19 (2), 63-77.

14) Selfhood in younger onset dementia: Transitions and testimonies. (2009). Aging & Mental Health, 13, (3), 437–444., with John Keady.

15) Dementia and dementia care: The contributions of a psychosocial perspective. (2010).Sociological Compass, 4(4), 249-262.      

16) Harris, P.B. (2012). Maintaining friendships in early stage dementia: Factors to consider. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 11 (3), 305-314.

17) Harris, P.B. (2013). Dementia and Friendship: The Quality and Nature of the Relationships that Remain. The international Journal of Aging and Human Development, 76 (2), 141-164.

18) Harris, P.B., & Caporella, C.A. (2014). An intergenerational choir formed to lessen  Alzheimer’s disease stigma in college students and decrease the social isolation of  people with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members: A pilot study. American Journal of Alzheimer’s disease and Other Dementias, 29 (3), 270-281.  

19) A framework for working with people with  early stage dementia: A relationship – focused approach to counseling. (2016).Social Work in Health Care Settings: Practice in Context. New York: Routledge, with K.C. Durkin.