department of political science

206 Washburn Hall, 80 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– 401.874.2183

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Skye Leedahl



Skye N. Leedahl, Ph.D., is a faculty member with a joint appointment in the Departments of Human Development and Family Studies & Political Science. She was hired as part of the Cluster Hire Initiative in Aging & Health. She has worked in nursing homes, for a U.S. Senator, at a community agency action agency, and as a research project coordinator for various stated-funded program evaluation and research projects.

Dr. Leedahl was the recipient of the prestigious John A. Hartford Doctoral Fellowship in Geriatric Social Work, and she has received various awards from the Gerontological Society of America and the University of Kansas for her research. Dr. Leedahl currently teaches HDF 202 (Research Perspectives in HDF), HDF 440 (Environmental Context of Aging), PSC/HDF 405 (Policy Issues in Health and Aging), and PSC 505 (Public Program Evaluation).


Dr. Leedahl’s research is focused on strengthening health and long term services and supports as well as advancing social policy to address the needs of the growing older adult population. She is particularly interested in improving social integration for older adults in need of long term care services (in community & facility settings). Much of Dr. Leedahl’s past and current research projects involve developing and evaluating programs, interventions, and services for addressing social and health needs of older adults. She uses quantitative & qualitative methods in her research.


  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Kansas
  • M.A., Gerontology, University of Kansas
  • B.A., Honors Program, University of North Dakota


Leedahl, S.N., Chapin, R.K. Wendel, C., Hasche, L.K., & Townley, G. (2015). Successful strategies for discharging nursing facility residents with mental health diagnoses using Medicaid to the community. Journal of Social Service Research, 41(2), 172-192.

Leedahl, S.N., Chapin, R.K., & Little, T.D. (2015). Multilevel examination of facility characteristics, social integration, and health for older adults living in nursing homes. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Social Sciences, 70B(1), 111-122.

Chapin, R., Sergeant, J.F., Landry, S.T., Leedahl, S.N., Rachlin, R., Koenig, T.L., & Graham, A. (2013). Reclaiming Joy: Pilot evaluation of a mental health peer support program for Medicaid Waiver recipients. The Gerontologist, 53(2), 345-352.

Chapin, R., Baca, B., Leedahl, S.N., Rachlin, R., Wedel, X., & Zimmerman, M. (2012). The service use index: A tool for examining differences in service utilization. Contemporary Rural Social Work, 4, 50-62.

Leedahl, S.N., Koenig, T.L., & Ekerdt, D. J. (2011). Perceived benefits of VFW Post participation for older adults. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 54, 1-18.

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