Heidi H Ewen, Ph.D.

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics

Adjunct Assistant Professor

203 Dawson Hall
305 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602


workOffice Phone: 7065424856

Curriculum Vitae


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Ph.D. Gerontology / Behavioral Science University of Kentucky 2006
M.A. Psychology University of Tennessee, Knoxville 1996
B.A. Psychology Eastern Illinois University 1994


My expertise is in aging-in-place and relocation research; stress, coping, and adaptation; and I have experience with advanced statistics and analyzing longitudinal datasets. I have a graduate certificate in statistics along with my master's and doctoral degrees. I have successfully collected, analyzed, interpreted, presented and published manuscripts on residential relocation, aging, and adaptation to senior housing.  

Current Research

The majority of my research on housing and relocation uses the theoretical models of Person-Environment Fit and the Push-Pull model of relocation. 
(P–E fit) is defined as the degree to which individual and environmental characteristics match. 

The key findings from my recent studies are older women whose expectations of relocation were incongruent with their relocation experiences were more “withdrawn” six months after the move and were at greater risk of not acclimating socially within the community (Ewen, 2006; Ewen & Chahal, 2013). Second, the majority of women did not anticipate resident deaths within the community, which resulted in increased physiological stress reactivity (measured via salivary cortisol) and increased dissatisfaction with the facility management (manuscript in process; [Ewen, 2009]). Collaborations with a colleague on bereavement and disenfranchised grief supported my findings on subsequent negative outcomes (Anderson & Ewen, 2011; Anderson, Ewen, & Miles, 2010). Perceptions of relocation as a stressor varied among women and the acclimation process was influenced by events within the facility and in family relationships outside of the facility (Ewen & Kinney, 2013). Third, a significant proportion of women relocated to be nearer a family member who needed care. As such, supportive housing and onsite provisions enabled them to spend more time in caregiving duties (Ewen & Chahal, 2013).


My combined research and teaching agenda reflects a commitment to the biopsychosocial aspects of aging, stress & adaptation, housing, and relocation decision-making.  I frame my teaching and research primarily from an interdisciplinary perspective largely built upon social psychology paradigms. The majority of my scholarly work is on relocation decision-making, stress, and adaptation among older adults using a mixed methods research designs.  I have analyzed data with basic univariate statistics, advanced multivariate statistics, and case study approaches.

Areas of Expertise

Aging, Relocation, & Environment:  Decision-making about aging in place or relocation; senior housing; home and community based service use; planning and adjustment to housing and health needs.
Physiological and Psychological Stress Reactions and Adaptation:  Cortisol reactivity; physiological impact of acute and chronic stress; coping strategies and behaviors; social support; perceptions and reappraisals; homeostasis, allostasis, & allostatic load; interventions; micro-level social policy; concurrent stresses; comorbities.
Mixed Research Methods:  Blending biological-psychological-social research methodologies for holistic approach to studying aging; use of qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods (triangulation) for analysis; longitudinal methods and analyses.


Relevant Publications

  • Ewen, H.H., Emerson, K.G., Washington, T., Carswell, A.T., and Smith, M.L. (2017). Characteristics of HCBS users living in service-rich, service-poor senior housing. Housing and Society.
  • Ewen, H.H., Washington, T., Emerson, K.G., Carswell, A.T., and Smith, M.L. (2017). Variation in older adult characteristics by residence type and use of home- and community- based services. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14 (3), 330.
  • Kaskie, B., Carr, D.C., and Ewen, H.H. (2017). What does the emergence of a critical mass of doctoral gerontologists mean to the field? Gerontology and Geriatrics Education. DOI: 10.1080/02701960.2017.1311880.
  • Ewen, H.H., Lewis, D.C., Carswell, A.T., Emerson, K.G., Washington,T., and Smith, M.L. (2017). A Model for Aging in Place for in Senior Housing Communities. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 31 (1), 1-13.
  • Ewen, H.H., Nikzad-Terhune, K.A., and ^Chahal, J.K. (2016). The Rote Administrative Approach to Death in Senior Housing: Using the Other Door. Geriatric Nursing, 37(5), 360-365.
  • ^Chahal, J.K., Ewen, H.H., Anderson, K.A., and Miles, T. (2015). Institutional Bereavement Care for Fictive Kin: Staff Grief in CCRCs. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 16(10), 892-895.
  • Ewen, H.H., ^Chahal, J., & ^Fenster, E. (2015).  A Portrait of Resilience in Caregiving. Research in Gerontological Nursing.
  • Ewen, H.H., ^Hahn, S.J., Erickson, M.A. & Krout, J.A. (2014).  Aging in Place or Relocation?  Plans of Community Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 28, 1-22.  DOI: 10.1080/07263893.2014.930366.
  • Ewen, H.H. & Kinney, J.M. (2014).  Application of the Model of Allostasis to Older Women’s Relocation to Senior Housing.  Biological Research in Nursing, 16 (2): 198-209. DOI:10.1177/1099800412474682.
  • Ewen, H.H. & ^Chahal, J.K. (2013). Influence of Late-Life Stressors on the Decisions of Older Women to Relocate into Congregate Senior Housing.  Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 27 (3): 392-408. DOI:10.1080/02763893.2013.813428.
  • Anderson, K.A. & Ewen, H.H. (2011). Death in the nursing home: An examination of grief and well-being in nursing assistants.  Research in Gerontological Nursing, 4(2): 87-94.
  • Anderson, K.A., Ewen, H.H., & Miles, E.A. (2010).  The Grief Support in Health Care Scale (GSHCS): Development and Testing.  Nursing Research, 59(6):  372-379.
  • Erickson, M.A., Robison, J., Ewen, H.H., and Krout, J.A. (2006).  Should I stay or should I go?  Moving plans of older adults.  Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 20 (3): 5-22.
  • Gaugler, J.E. and Ewen, H.H. (2005).  Building relationships in residential long-term care:  Determinants of staff attitudes toward family members in residential long-term care.  Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 31(9): 19-25.
  • Gaugler, J. E., Anderson, K. A., & Holmes, H. H. (2005).  Family-based intervention in residential long-term care.  Marriage & Family Review, 37: 45-62. Simultaneously published in Caputo, R. K. (Ed.,) Challenges of Aging on U.S. Families.  Haworth Press.
  • Gaugler, J. E. and Holmes, H. H. (2003). Families and the institutionalization experience: Adaptation and intervention.  The Clinical Psychologist, 7 (1): 32-43.
  • Krout, J., Moen, P., Holmes, H., Oggins, J., and Bowen, N. (June, 2002).  Reasons for relocation to a continuing care retirement community.  Journal of Applied Gerontology, 21 (2): 236-256.
  • Beissner, K., Collins, J., and Holmes, H. (2000).  Extremity strength and range of motion as predictors of function in older adults. Physical Therapy, 80 (6): 556-563.
  • Krout, J., Oggins, J. & Holmes, H.  (2000). Patterns of service use in a continuing care retirement community.  The Gerontologist, 40 (6): 698-705.