Midlarsky, Elizabeth (em142)

Elizabeth Midlarsky


Office Location:

328 HMann

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

"Helping as Coping" (Sage 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).

"Religiousness and Psychological Distress in Jewish and Christian Older Adults" (Clinical Gerontologist).

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.



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. C., Midlarsky, E., Morin, R. T., & Graber, L. S. (2016). Religiousness and Psychological Distress in Jewish and Christian Older Adults. Clinical Gerontologist. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2016.1187696

Morin, R. T., & Midlarsky, E. (2016). Social support, mastery, and psychological distress in Black and White older adults. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development82(2-3), 209-228.

Ferrer, E., Marks, R., Midlarsky, E., & Hutz-Midgett, A. (2015). Substance abuse and pain in a cohort of college students. Research Journal of Drug Abuse2(1),1.

Midlarsky, E., Kahana, E., & Belser, A. (2015). Prosocial Behavior in Late Life (pp. 415-432). In D. Schroeder & W. Graziano (Eds.), Handbook of Prosocial Behavior, New York: Oxford University Press.

Pirutinsky, S., Midlarsky, E., Kor, A., & Pelcovitz, D. (2014). The impact of religious conflict within orthodox Jewish families in Israel. Mental Health, Religion & Culture17(7), 665-679.

Midlarsky, M. I., & Midlarsky, E. R. (2013). When the Weak Roar: Understanding Protracted Intrastate Conflict. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy19(3), 321-331.

Kahana, E., Bhatta, T., Lovegreen, L. D., Kahana, B., & Midlarsky, E. (2013). Altruism, helping, and volunteering pathways to well-being in late life.Journal of aging and health25(1), 159-187.

Shvil, E., Krauss, H., & Midlarsky, E. (2013). The Experienced Self and Other Scale: A technique for assaying the experience of one’s self in relation to the other. Journal of methods and measurement in the social sciences,4(2), 1-20.

Midlarsky, E. (2012). Psychotherapy utilization by Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews. Journal for Psychotherapy and Psychological Disorders, 1 (1).

McGowan, J. C., & Midlarsky, E. (2012). Religiosity, authoritarianism, and attitudes toward psychotherapy in later life. Aging & mental health16(5), 659-665.

Midlarsky, E., Mullin, A. S., & 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 health51(2), 498-506.

Pirutinsky, S., Rosmarin, D. H., Pargament, K. I., & Midlarsky, E. (2011). Does negative religious coping accompany, precede, or follow depression among Orthodox Jews?. Journal of affective disorders132(3), 401-405.

Pirutinsky, S., Rosmarin, D. H., Holt, C. L., Feldman, R. H., Caplan, L. S., Midlarsky, E., & Pargament, K. I. (2011). Does social support mediate the moderating effect of intrinsic religiosity on the relationship between physical health and depressive symptoms among Jews?. Journal of behavioral medicine34(6), 489-496.

Nemeroff, R., Midlarsky, E., & Meyer, J. F. (2010). Relationships among social support, perceived control, and psychological distress in late life. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development71(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. The Journal of general psychology135(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 Retardation35, 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 music36(2), 139-155.

Fagin Jones, S., & Midlarsky, E. (2007). Courageous Rescue during the Holocaust: Personal and Situational Correlates. Journal of Positive Psychology2(2), 136-147.

Goldfein, J. A., Walsh, B. T., & Midlarsky, E. (2000). Influence of shape and weight on self-evaluation in bulimia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders27(4), 435-445.

Hadas, A., & Midlarsky, E. (2000). Perceptions of responsibility and mental health help-seeking among psychologically distressed older adults. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology6(3), 175-185.

Milstein, G., Midlarsky, E., Link, B. G., Raue, P. (2000).Categorical Distinctions made by rabbis and psychologists in response to diverse presenting problems with religious content Journal of nervous and mental disease188(9), 608-615.

Related Articles

TC's Midlarsky Confirms Increased Altruism among the Elderly

Do we become more altruistic as we get older and have less of our own life to protect? TC's Elizabeth Midlarsky, Professor of Psychology and Education, recently responded to that question on the Website "Science and Religion Today", which each day poses an issue for an academic researcher.

Couch Potatoes

A study of elderly New Yorkers, led by Elizabeth Midlarsky, TC Professor of Psychology and Education, finds that among various ethnic groups, Jews are the most receptive to psychotherapy.

What Is Altruism, and Why Is It Important?

Commentary by faculty member Elizabeth Midlarsky

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