Kim Shifren


Professor; Lifespan Development Psychology


Contact Info

LA 2125


Ph.D. in Life Span Developmental
Psychology, Syracuse University, 1993

M.A. in Life Span Developmental
Psychology, Syracuse University, 1991

B.A. in Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County,

Dr. Shifren completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Department of Gerontology and Institute for Social Research focused on research on medication adherence in arthritis patients and hypertension patients.

Areas of Expertise

Emerging, Middle and Older Adulthood


Health-related behaviors

Caregivers across the lifespan

Individuals with chronic illnesses


Dr. Shifren came to Towson University in 1998, after spending 3 years at the University of Florida as a Visiting Assistant Professor, and 2 years at the University of Michigan for her Post-doctoral training.


Research Interests

Dr. Shifren's most recent research has been focused on variables involved in the self-management of a chronic illness as one ages including personality, coping, health-related behaviors, and mental health. Dr. Shifren’s most recent study was a comparison between Parkinson’s disease patients and Stroke patients. In addition, Dr. Shifren recently completed a study of young caregivers and the effects of early caregiving on adult development and aging. Dr. Shifren is especially interested in variables that affect caregivers such as personality, social support, coping techniques, health-related behaviors, mental health, and physical health.


Selected Publications

Anzaldi, K. & Shifren, K.  (2019).  Optimism, pessimism, coping, and depression: A study on individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.  The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 88, 231-249.  Doi: 10.1177/0091415018763401 

Shifren, K. & Anzaldi, K.  (2018).  Optimism, well-being, depressive symptoms, and perceived physical health: A study among Stroke survivors.  Psychology, Health and Medicine23, 46-57. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2017.1325505

Shifren, K.  (2017).  Identity Flexibility in Caregivers.  In J. Sinnott’s (Ed.) Identity Flexibility During Adulthood: Perspectives on Adult Development (pp. 289-301).  Switzerland: Springer. 

Shifren, K., Hillman, A. & Rowe, A. (2015).  Early caregiver experiences, optimism, and mental health: Former young caregivers and emerging adult caregivers.  International Journal of Psychology Research, 9, 361-383. 

Colby, D. A. & Shifren, K. (2013). Optimism, mental health, and quality of life: A study among breast cancer patients. Psychology, Health, and Medicine, 18, 10-20.

Shifren, K. & Chong, A. (2012). Health-related behaviors: A study among former young caregivers. Journal of Adult Development, 19, 111-121.

Shifren, K. (Ed.). (2009). How caregiving affects development: Psychological implications for child, adolescent, and adult caregivers. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Teaching interest

  • PSYC 203: Human Development (Undergrad)
  • PSYC 404: Adolescent Psychology (Undergrad)
  • PSYC 405: Psychology of Aging (Undergrad)
  • PSYC 610: Advanced Pschology of Aging (Graduate)
  • PSYC 611: Developmentat Psychology (Graduate)