B.A., Clark University, 1967, with Honors in Psychology. 
M.A., University of Rochester, 1972, in Developmental Psychology. 
M.S., Columbia University School of Social Work, 1976, in Community Organization and Planning. 
PH.D., Columbia University, 1983, In Social & Organizational Psychology. 


Areas of Research Interest
  • Romantic Relationships: I have carried out research on how social cognition in close personal relationships - thinking in terms of "us" versus "me" - is related to judgments of fairness and equity, and how those, in turn, are related to relationship satisfaction.  When people in relationships think in terms of "we" versus "me", levels of satisfaction are higher despite inequities;
  • Caregiving Relationships: I have applied interdependence theory to relationships between certified nurse aides (CNAs) and nusing home residents, making the case that personal relationships are functional and approriate.  This research has demonstrated that person-centered caregiving - as measured through observational coding of behavioral interactions- is associated with the development of relationship commitment and satisfaction.  This research has also demonstrated that social cognition - i.e. the complexity of caregivers' perceptions of residents - is related to their ability to provide person-centered care;
  • Quality of Life Among Older Adults: I have carried out research on how older adults' "possible selves" - how they picture themselves in the near future - is related to their future time perspective (time left) and their sense of self-efficacy in achieving their hoped-for possible selves and avoiding their feared possible selves.  The goal of this research is to identify factors associated with high quality of life.  I have also carried out research on the importance of social networks in the lives of older adults and demonstrated that computer training on the use of social media can enhance social engagement.
Areas of Teaching Interest
  • The term "successful aging" has been used for the past 30 years to stimulate theory, research and action around how quality of life and health can be maximized as we age.  In my teaching I explore several different ways in which "successful aging" has been defined including Rowe and Kahn's more biomedical thinking and Baltes' life-span developmental approach.  Rowe and Kahn are especially interested in the conditions under which people age without disease or disability.  Baltes has been interested in how purpose and meaning can be maintained despite losses, through the use of the adaptational strategy of selective optimization;
  • Intergenerational teaching and learning are becoming increasingly important on college campuses as larger number of older adults are taking classes and undergraduates are considering working with older adult populations.  In my teaching I use self-directed learning teams - composed of younger and older students - to explore the aging process itself, as well as societal changes in healthcare, the workplace, technology and marketing that might help to create more "age-friendly" communities;
  • The social and developmental foundations of behavior are of long-term interest to me.  In my teaching I review research and theory regarding attachment theory, dual theories of social cogntion - i.e. automatic and controlled processes - , the development of self-concept, and of social stereotypes.  I also focus on theories regarding the development and maintenance of social relationships, as well as theories of aging.  New literature from neuroscience and cross-cultural differences are of great interest.

Regarding romantic relationships:

  • Medvene, L.J., Teal, C.R., & Slavich, S. (2000) Including the other in self: Implications for judgments of balance and satisfaction in close relationships. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 19, 396-419. 

Regarding caregiver relationships:

  • Thompson, C. T., Medvene, L. J., & Freedman, D. (1995).  Caregiving in close relationships of cardiac patients: Exchange, power and attributional perspectives on caregiver resentment. Personal Relationships, 2, 125-142. 
  • Medvene, L.J., Mendoza, R., Lin, K.M., Harris, N. & Miller, M. (1995). Increasing Mexican American attendance of support groups for parents of the mentally ill: Organizational and psychological factors. Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 307-325. 
  • Medvene, L.J. & Teal, C.R. (1997). Leaders’ ambivalence about reciprocity obligations in self-help groups. Small Group Research, 28, 304-324. 
  • Medvene, L.J., Wescott, J.V., Huckstadt, A., Ludlum, J., Langel, S., Mick, K., Patrick, R., M & Base, M. (2003). Promoting signing of advance directives in faith communities. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 18, 914- 920.
  • Medvene, L. J., Base, M., Patrick, R. & Wescott, J. (2007) Advance directives: Assessing stage of change and decisional balance in a community based educational program.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 2298-2318.
  • Medvene, L. J., Grosch, K., & Swink, J. (2006).  Interpersonal complexity: A cognitive component of person-centered care. The Gerontologist, 46, 220-226.
  • Grosch, K, Medvene, L.J. & Wolcott, H. (2008). Person-Centered caregiving instruction for geriatric nursing assistant students: Development and evaluation. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 34, 23 – 31.
  • Grosch, K., Medvene, L.J. & Walker, D. (2011)  Using a measure of person-perception skills to identify outstanding home care workers. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 30, 24-41.
  • Medvene, L.J. & Coleman, C. (2012).  Applying interdependence theory to geriatric nurse aide/resident relationship. Journal of Research In Gerontological Nursing, 5, 43- 54.
  • Coleman, C. K. & Medvene, L. J. (2013) A person-centered care intervention for geriatric certified nursing assistants.  TheGerontologist, 53, 687-698.

Regarding Quality of Life Among Older Adults:

  •  Ofei-Dodoo, S., Medvene, L. J., Nilsen, K., Smith, R. & DiLollo, A. (2014). Exploring the potential of computers to enrich Home and Community-Based Services clients’ social networks.  Educational Gerontology, 41, 216-225.
  • Medvene, L. J., Nilsen, K., Smith, R., Ofei-Dodoo, S., DiLollo, A., Webster, N., Graham, A., & Nance, A. (2016) Social networks and links to isolation and loneliness among elderly HCBS clients.  Aging and Mental Health, 20, 485-493. 
  • Nilsen, K., Medvene, L. J., Ofei-Dodoo, S., Smith, R., DiLollo, A., Graham, A. & A. Nance (2018). Home and community-based services clients’ use of computers as a protective factor for social isolation and loneliness. Educational Gerontology, 44, 648-661.
  • Drum, J. L. & Medvene, L. J. (2017).  “Time Left” and the social convoys of affordable senior housing residents.  Journal of Educational Gerontology. 43, 540-551.
  • Pontinen, H., Medvene, L.J. & Gerstenkorn, J. (2019). Possible selves of older adults transitioning to a life plan community. Journal of Educational Gerontology, 45, 201-213.
  • Runyan, A. M., Medvene, L. J., Coleman, C. K. & DiLollo, A. (2021). Understanding nursing home residents’ lives through the lens of selection, optimization and compensation theory. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 14, 277-284. 
Working Papers

Pontinen, H. & Medvene, L. J. Possible selves of college students experiencing depression: A shift in focus towards well-being. 

Awards and Honors
  • “Field studies of collaboration between self-help groups and mental health professionals”; 1983- 1985. Recipient of two-year, $70,000 Individual National Research Service Award from NIMH: Post-doctoral fellow at Institute for Social & Policy Studies, Yale University.     
  • 2002  Selected to be trainee in the National Institute of Aging supported research training program in Social Psychological Aging.
  • 2004 Awarded the John R. Barrier Distinguished Teaching Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Wichita State University.
  • 2008 Awarded the Community Research Award, Wichita State University.
  • 2010 Attended training at University of Bradford, UK in Dementia Care Mapping for coding interactions between caregivers and persons with dementia.
  • 2018 Appointed Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Wichita State University.
  • 2018 Academy for Effective Teaching.  Inducted into academy at Wichita State University, November 15, 2018.
  • 2019 Elected to Fellow Status in the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues,  Division 9 of the American Psychological Association.
  • 2019 Elected to Fellow Status in the American Psychological Association. 
Areas of Service
  • I was a member of the Board of Directors of Senior Services, Inc. of Wichita for 6 years;  
  • I was a member of the Board of Directors of Inter-faith Ministries of Wichita for 6 years;
  • I served as vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board of Via-Christi for 6 years;
  • I am currently a member of the Board of Directors of Larksfield Place.
Other Interests
  • I play the clarinet and am a fan of both jazz and classical music;
  • I am an active member of Congregation Emanu-El in Wichita.