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Elizabeth Midlarsky

Professional Background

Educational Background

 B.A., Brooklyn College, CUNY; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University

Scholarly Interests

Altruism and religiousness through the life span. Rescue during the Holocaust and responses by survivors and their progeny. Aging and gender issues. Development and consequences of altruism, violence, and religious faith.

Selected Publications

"Personality correlates of heroic rescue during the Holocaust (Journal of Personality).

"Helping by siblings of children with mental retardation" (American Journal of Mental Retardation).

Altruism in Later Life (Sage Publications).

"Anorexia Nervosa in post-menopausal women"  (Journal of Mental Health  and Aging).

"Altruism and the Vietnam War veteran" (Journal  of Traumatic Stress).

"Eating disorders in middle-aged women" (Journal of General Psychology)

Violence in schools: Cross-national and cross-sectional  perspectives  (Springer Publications).

Heroic rescue during the Holocaust:  Empirical and methodological perspectives  (in Bootzin and McKnight; American Psychological Association Publications).

"Perceptions of responsibility and mental health help-seeking" (Journal of Clinical Geropsychology).

biographical information

Professor Elizabeth Midlarsky has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her clinical training was in both psychodynamic and social learning approaches, across the lifespan, and in both individuals and in family groups. She has research and scholarly interests in altruism and aggression through the life-span, gender and racial differences in mental health health-seeking,  eating disorders, gender roles, and helping behavior as a means for coping with stress.  Current applications of her interest in helping include investigations of the effects on mental health of helping during the Holocaust, among older adults, and in families in which a child or an adult has an illness or  disability.

principal publications


Denmark, F., Krauss, H., Wesner, R., Midlarsky, E., & Gielen, U. (Editors) (2005).  Violence in schools: Cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives. Springer Publications.

Midlarsky, E., & Kahana, E. (1994).  Altruism in later life.  Newbury Park, CA:  Sage Publications.


McGowan, J., & Midlarsky, E. (2012).  Religiousness, authoritarianism, and attitudes toward psychotherapy in later life. Aging and Mental Health.

Midlarsky, E., Mullin, A. J., & Barkin, S. H.  (2012). Religion, altruism, and prosocial behavior: Conceptual and empirical approaches.  In L. J. Miller (Ed.), Handbook of religion and spirituality.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Midlarsky, E., Pirutinsky, S., & Cohen, F. (2012).  Religion, ethnicity, and attitudes toward psychotherapy.  Journal of Religion and Health, 51 (2), 485-506.

Pirutinsky, S., Rosmarin, D. H., Pargament, K. I., & Midlarsky. (2011).  Does negative religious coping accompany precede, or follow depression among Orthodox Jews?  Journal of Affective Disorders, 132, 401-405.

Pirutinsky, S. Rosmarin, D. H., Holt, C. L., Feldman, R. H., Caplan, L., Midlarsky, E., & Pargament, K. I. (2011).  Intrinsic religiosity as a buffer of the relationship between physical illness and depressive symptoms among Jews: Moderators and mediators. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 34, 489-496.

Midlarsky, E.  (2012, July 2).  Psychotherapy utilization by Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Jews. (Editorial).  Journal for Psychotherapy and Psychological Disorders.

Nemeroff, R., Midlarsky, E., & Meyer, J. (2010).  Relationships among social support, perceived control, and psychological distress in later life. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 7 (1), 69-82.

Nitzburg, G., & Midlarsky E. (2009).  Suicide. The Encyclopedia of cross-cultural school psychology.  New York: Springer.

Midlarsky, E., & Nitzburg, G. (2008).  Eating disorders in middle-aged women. Journal of General Psychology, 135(4), 393-408.

Midlarsky, E., Hannah, M. E., Shvil, E., & Johnson, A.  (2008).  Siblings of children with mental retardation: The role of helping.  International Review of Research in Mental Retardation, 35, 291-317.

Lin, P., Chang, J. Zemon, V., & Midlarsky, E.  (2008).  Silent illumination: A study on Chan (Zen) meditation, anxiety and musical performance quality. Psychology of Music, 36 (3), 139-155.

Fagin Jones, S., & Midlarsky, E. (2007).  Courageous rescue during the Holocaust:  Personal and situational correlates.  Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(2), 136-147.

Midlarsky, E., & Kahana, E. (2007).  Life course perspectives on altruism, health and mental health.  In Stephen G. Post, Ed., Altruism and health outcomes: Perspectives from empirical research (pp. 56-69).  New York: Oxford University Press.

Midlarsky, E., Fagin Jones, S., & Nemeroff, R. (2006).  Heroic rescue during the Holocaust:  Empirical and methodological perspectives.  In R. Bootzin  & P. McKnight (Eds.), Strengthening research methodology:  Psychological measurement and evaluation (pp.  29-45). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Midlarsky, E., Venkatarami-Kothari, A., & Plante, M. (2006).  Domestic violence in the Chinese and South Asian immigrant communities.  In F. Denmark, H. Krauss, E. Halpern, & J. Sechzer (Eds.). Violence and exploitation against women and girls (pp. xx-xx).  New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Hannah, M. E., & Midlarsky, E.  (2005).  Helping by siblings of children with mental retardation.  American Journal of Mental Retardation, 110 (2), 87-99.

Midlarsky, E., & Klain, H. (2005).  A history of violence in the schools (pp. 37-58).  In F.  Denmark, H. Krauss, R. Wesner, E. Midlarsky, & U. Gielen, Editors,Violence in schools: Cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives.  New York: Springer Publications.

Denmark, F., Krauss, H., Wesner, R. Midlarsky, E., & Gielen, U. (2005).  Violence in the schools: An introduction (pp. 1-10). In F.  Denmark, H. Krauss, R. Wesner, E. Midlarsky, & U. Gielen, Editors, Violence in schools: Cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives.  New York: Springer Publications.

Midlarsky, E., Fagin Jones, S., & Corley, R.  (2005).  Personality correlates of heroic rescue during the Holocaust.  Journal of Personality. 73, 907-934.

Midlarsky, E. (2004).  Altruism and well-being among elderly Righteous Gentiles.  Massuah (Beacon), 32, 31-39.

Midlarsky, E., & Midlarsky, M. (2004).  Echoes of genocide: Trauma and ethnic identity among European immigrants.  Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, 28 (2). 39-54.

Keith, J., & Midlarsky, E. (2004).  Anorexia Nervosa in postmenopausal women: Clinical and empirical perspectives, Journal of Mental Health and Aging, 10 (4).

Chang, J., Midlarsky, E., & Lin, P. (2003).  Effects of meditation on music performance anxiety.  Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 18(3), 126-130.

Nemeroff, R., & Midlarsky, E. (2000).  Gender and racial correlates of personal control among emotionally disturbed older adults.  International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 50, 1-15.

Goldfein, J., Walsh, B. T., & Midlarsky, E. (2000).  Importance of shape and weight, dissatisfaction with shape and weight, and global shape and weight concerns in bulimia nervosa.  International Journal of Eating Disorders, 27,435-445.

Hadas, A., & Midlarsky, E. (2000).  Perceptions of responsibility and mental health help-seeking in late life.    Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, 6, 175-185.

Milstein, G., Midlarsky, E., Link, B., & Raue, P. (2000).  Categorical distinctions made by rabbis and psychologists in response to diverse presenting problems with religious content.  Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 188, 608-615.


CCPX 4010: Social problems for clinical psychologists

Psychological perspectives on social problems such as eating disorders, domestic violence, AIDS and HIV infection, and mental health in late life.

CCPX 4230: Fieldwork in applied psychology

Supervised practice in field placements for M.A. students in applied or general psychology.

CCPX 4900: Research and independent study

Permission required.

CCPX 5032: Adult psychopathology

Major clinical disorders of adulthood viewed from clinical and research perspectives; current issues in diagnosis and treatment.

CCPX 5230: Fieldwork in clinical psychology

Limited to doctoral candidates in clinical psychology. Supervised practice in field placements.

CCPX 5546: Research perspectives on critical social problems

Open to masters and doctoral students. Exploration of research based upon the interface of social and clinical psychology and development projects. Topics include eating disorders across the lifespan, altruism and mental health, coping with the aftermath of genocide, terror, personal growth in the wake of trauma, and effects of disability on the individual and family.

CCPX 6900: Advanced research and independent study

Permission required.

CCPX 8900: Dissertation advisement

Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate of each term.