Susan Silverberg Koerner

Head of Human Development and Family Studies

226 Bevier Hall
905 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Susan Silverberg Koerner is Professor and Head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois.

Koerner received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from the State University of New York-Binghamton. She completed both her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Child and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before coming to the University of Illinois in 2013, Koerner was a faculty member at the University of Arizona in the Division of Family Studies and Human Development for 23 years (Fitch Nesbitt Professor from 2007 to 2012). Prior to that, she spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Max Plank Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin, Germany (1987-1989).

Currently, Koerner maintains research interests in families, aging, and health—specifically the emotional and physical well-being of adults who provide care for elder frail/ill/disabled relatives (e.g., older parents or spouses). Her areas of focus include, for example, stress reactivity assessed via daily diary techniques, family conflict and disagreement regarding care, and the unique experiences of Hispanic/Latino caregivers. She utilizes both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and analyses. Koerner is known also for her earlier research on parents and adolescents in the wake of parental divorce. Of special interest has been the extent, meaning, and mental-behavioral health implications of mother-to-adolescent disclosure about sensitive topic areas (e.g., financial concerns, anger felt toward the adolescent's father/the ex-husband). Koerner has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards (her most recent courses have been on issues in aging) and has been recognized for excellence in mentorship of graduate students.