Skye Leedahl

  • Associate Professor & Interim Chairperson
  • Human Development and Family Science
  • Phone: 401.874.4567
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Transition Center, Rm 201

PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Leedahl will not be accepting new doctoral graduate students for the 2023-2024 academic year.


Dr. Leedahl is a faculty member with a joint appointment in the Departments of Human Development and Family Science & 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 awards from the University of Rhode Island, the University of Kansas, and the Gerontological Society of America for her research.  Dr. Leedahl currently teaches or has taught HDF 314 (Later Adulthood Growth & Development), HDF 440 (Healthy Living Environments for Older Adults), PSC/HDF 405 (Policy Issues in Health & Aging), PSC 505 (Public Program Evaluation), and HDF 130G (This is Us: Individual & Family Development).


Dr. Leedahl’s research is focused on improving quality of life & health for older adults at multiple levels. Her research fits within three themes: 1) intergenerational programming and its impacts on ageism, interest in working with older adults, and digital inclusion & social connectedness for older adults; 2) social integration and health for older adults; and 3) state and community-level policy initiatives.  Much of Dr. Leedahl’s past and current research projects involve developing and evaluating public programs, interventions, and services for addressing social and health needs of older adults.  She uses quantitative & qualitative methods in her research. For information about one of her recent interdisciplinary projects that combines her research, teaching and service efforts to bring together college students and older adults: Check out


  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Kansas, 2013
  • M.A., Gerontology, University of Kansas, 2007
  • B.A., Honors Program, University of North Dakota, 2005

Selected Publications

  • Leedahl, S.N., Brasher, M., Wood, B., LoBuono, D., & Estus, E. (2020). Reducing ageism: Changes in students’ attitudes after participation in an intergenerational reverse mentoring program. Sustainability, 12(17), 6870.  doi: 10.3390/su12176870
  • LoBuono, D.L., Leedahl, S.N., & Maiocco, E. (2020). Teaching technology to older adults: Modalities used by student mentors and reasons for continued program participation. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(1), 14-20. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20191118-02
  • LoBuono, D.L., Leedahl, S.N., & Maiocco, E. (2019). Older adults learning technology in an intergenerational program: Qualitative analysis of areas of technology requested for assistance. Gerontechnology, 18(2), 97-107. doi: 10.4017/gt.2019.
  • Clark, P.G., & Leedahl, S.N. (2019). Becoming and being an Age-Friendly University: Strategic considerations and practical implications. Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 40(2), 166-178. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2019.1579714
  • Leedahl, S.N., Brasher, M., Estus, E., Breck, B.M., Dennis, C.B., & Clark, S.C. (2019). Implementing an interdisciplinary intergenerational program using the Cyber-Seniors ® reverse mentoring model. Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 41(1), 71-89. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2018.1428574
  • Leedahl, S.N., Sellon, A., & Chapin, R.K (2018). Assessment of multiple constructs of social integration for older adults living in nursing homes. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 61(5), 526-548. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2018.1451938
  • Breck, B., Dennis, C., & Leedahl, S.N. (2018). Implementing reverse mentoring to address social isolation among older adults. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 61(5), 513-525. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2018.1448030
  • Leedahl, S.N., Sellon, A., & Gallopyn, N. (2017). Factors predicting civic engagement among older adult nursing home residents. Activities, Adaptation, & Aging, 41(3), 197-219. doi: 10.1080/01924788.2017.1310581
  • Leedahl, S.N. (2017). Successfully collecting quantitative data from random samples of nursing homes & residents. SAGE Research Methods Cases, 1-17. doi: 10.4135/9781473992948
  • Sellon, A.M., Chapin, R., & Leedahl, S.N. (2017). Engaging nursing home residents as volunteers: A focus on strengths. Ageing International, 42, 93-114. doi: 10.1007/s12126-016-9252-8
  • Leedahl, S.N., Chapin, R.K. Wendel, C., Hasche, L.K., & Townley, G. (2015). Successful strategies for discharging Medicaid nursing home residents with mental health diagnoses to the community. Journal of Social Service Research, 41(2),172-192. doi: 10.1080/01488376.2014.972012
  • 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. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu112
  • 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. doi: 10.1093/geront/gns120
  • 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. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2011.594149
  • Leedahl, S., & Ferraro, F.R. (2007). Why is elder abuse overlooked?  Media and ageism. Psychology & Education, 44(3/4), 1-18.
  • Google Scholar Profile