Skip to main content

Margaret Gatz

Professor of Psychology, Gerontology and Preventive Medicine

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2212
Office: SGM 520

SCRAP Lab Website
IGEMS Consortium
NAS-NRC Twin Registry

Biographical Sketch

Professor Gatz studies the mental health of older adults, particularly psychological well-being over the life-span, age-related change in depressive symptoms, risk and protective factors for Alzheimer disease, and evaluation of the effects of interventions. She directs the Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins, a large longitudinal investigation of genetic and environmental factors in Alzheimer disease, and is part of the iGEMS consortium on Interplay of Genes and Environment Across Multiple Studies, which focuses on determining how social context is related to physical functioning (health, functional ability), and psychological functioning (well-being, cognition) in mid-life and older ages.


Read Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease: Knowns and Unknowns.


Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor, University of Southern California, 01/01/1985-  

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Foreign Adjunct Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, 01/01/2000-  



Karel, M. J., Ogland-Hand, S., Gatz, M., Unützer, J. (2002). Assessing and treating late-life depression: A casebook and resource guide. New York: Basic Books, 2002. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Gatz, M., Messner, M. A., Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2002). Paradoxes of youth and sport. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
Gatz, M. (1995). Emerging issues in mental health and aging. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Journal Article

Russ, T. C., Gatz, M., Pedersen, N. L., Hannah, J., Wyper, G., Batty, G. D., Deary, I. J., Starr, J. M. (2015). Geographical variation in dementia: Examining the role of environmental factors in Sweden and Scotland. Epidemiology. Vol. 26, pp. 263-270. PubMed Web Address
Gatz, M., Harris, J. R., Kaprio, J., McGue, M., Smith, N. L., Snieder, H., Spiro III, A., Butler, D. A. (2014). Cohort profile: The National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council Twin Registry (NAS-NRC Twin Registry). International Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 10 article
Iacono, D., Volkman, I., Nennesmo, I., Pedersen, N. L., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Karlsson, D., Winblad, B., Gatz, M. (2014). Neuropathologic assessment of dementia markers in identical and fraternal twins. Brain Pathology. Vol. 4, pp. 317-333. article
Serrano, J. P., Latorre, J. M., Gatz, M. (2014). Spain: Promoting the welfare of older adults in the context of population aging. Gerontologist. Vol. 54, pp. 733-740. article
Gatz, M., Pedersen, N. L. (2013). Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins. Twin Research and Human Genetics. Vol. 16, pp. 313-316. article
Pedersen, N. L., Christensen, K., Dahl, A., Finkel, D., Franz, C. E., Gatz, M., Horwitz, B. N., Johansson, B., Johnson, W., Kremen, W. S., Lyons, M. J., Malmberg, B., McGue, M., Neiderhiser, J. M., Petersen, I., Reynolds, C. A. (2013). IGEMS: The Consortium on Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies. Twin Research and Human Genetics. Vol. 16, pp. 481-489. article
Karel, M. J., Gatz, M., Smyer, M. (2012). Aging and mental health in the decade ahead: What psychologists need to know. American Psychologist. Vol. 67, pp. 184-198. abstract
Gatz, M., Reynolds, C. A., Finkel, D., Pedersen, N. L. (2010). Dementia in Swedish twins: Predicting incident cases. Behavior Genetics. Vol. 40, pp. 768–775. article
Kendler, K. S., Fiske, A., Gardner, C. O., Gatz, M. (2009). Delineation of two genetic pathways to major depression. Biological Psychiatry. Vol. 65, pp. 808-811. article
Fiske, A., Wetherell, J. L., Gatz, M. (2009). Depression in older adults. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. Vol. 5, pp. 363-389. article
Gatz, M., Mortimer, J. A., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Berg, S., Andel, R., Crowe, M., Fiske, A., Reynolds, C. A., Pedersen, N. L. (2007). Accounting for the relationship between low education and dementia: A twin study. Physiology & Behavior. Vol. 92, pp. 232-237. article
Gatz, M., Reynolds, C. A., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Mortimer, J. A., Berg, S., Fiske, A. E., Pedersen, N. L. (2006). The role of genes and environments for explaining Alzheimer’s disease. Archives of General Psychiatry. Vol. 63, pp. 168-174. article

Honors and Awards

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, 11/2012  
Honorary degree (MDhc) from Karolinska Institutet, 5/2011  
Donald P. Kent Award, Gerontological Society of America, 11/2006  
Zenith Fellowship, Alzheimer's Association, 1/2003-12/2004  
USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, 2001  
Distinguished Mentorship Award, Gerontological Society of America, 1997  
Faculty may update their profile by visiting