Fengyan Tang

  • Professor

Fengyan Tang earned her PhD and master degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Tang’s research focuses on productive and social engagement in later life, that is, engagement in social roles (e.g., volunteer, worker, and caregiver) that are meaningful to the individual and society.  She also conducts research on how to provide adequate care to vulnerable older adults and the aging experiences in Chinese immigrants. Her work aims to address health disparities and advance social justice through investigation of the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and immigration, which constitute the social contexts of inequality over the life course and have profound impacts on the well-being and engagement with life in old age.

Research Interests

  • Productive and social engagement in later life
  • Well-being of caregivers for older adults
  • Individual and environmental impacts on aging experiences among older immigrants

Selected Funded Grants

  • Co-investigator, Adherence & HRQOL: Translation of Interventions. National Institutes of Health & National Institutes of Nursing Research.
  • Principal Investigator, Retirement Transition, Volunteer Engagement, and Physical Health. The Steven Manners Faculty Development Award, University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research.
  • Principal Investigator, Productive Engagement and Health during the Transition to Retirement. The Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund.
  • Principal Investigator, Aging in Place: Awareness, Accessibility, and Utilization of Community Based Long-Term Care and Supportive Services. University of Pittsburgh, Small Grants Program of the Central Research Development Fund.
  • Principal Investigator, The Longitudinal Effects of Elder Service Programs on Older Volunteers Health: The Role of Individual Experience and Institutional Factors. The John A. Hartford Foundation.
  • Principal Investigator, Racial Disparities in Volunteer Experience and Health. University of Pittsburgh Center for Racial and Social Problems.

Representative Publications

Tang, F. (in press). Senior centers in the lives of older Americans: Implications for Chinese older adults. China Journal of Social Work.

Choi, E., Tang, F., & Copeland V. (2016). Racial/ethnic inequality among older workers: Focusing on Whites, Blacks, and Latinos within the cumulative advantage/disadvantage framework. Journal of Social Service Research.  doi/full/10.1080/01488376.2016.1235068.

Tang, F., Chi, I., & Dong, X. (in press). The relationship of social engagement and social support with sense of community. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Xu, L., Tang, F., Li, L., & Dong, X. (in press). Grandparent caregiving and psychological well-being among Chinese American older adults: The roles of caregiving burden and pressure. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Tang, F., Chi, I., Xu, L., & Dong, X. (2016). Health in the neighborhood and household contexts among older Chinese Americans. Journal of Aging and Health.DOI: 10.1177/0898264316661829

Jang, H. & Tang, F. (2016). The Effects of social support and volunteering on depression among grandparents raising grandchildren. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development83, 491-507.  DOI: 10.1177/0091415016657561


Areas of Expertise