News & Events


Families Try Making Up After Pandemic Fights Over Vaccines, Masks and Tests

Wall Street Journal
February 25, 2022

Research Shows Possible Paths from Estrangement

The Conversation
January 2, 2022

Family Estrangement: Why Adults Are Cutting Off Their Parents

December 3, 2021

One in Four Adults is Estranged from Family and Paying a Psychological Price

Los Angeles Times
November 30, 2021

How to Grieve Estranged Family and Friends During the Holidays

Washington Post
November 24, 2021


What Elder Wisdom Can Teach Us: Insights from the Cornell Legacy Project

March 15, 2022

Karl Pillemer will be giving the 24th Distinguished Wilson Abernethy Lecture at the University of Toronto. This is a virtual event only.

Event Description:

Can our elders serve as “experts” on how to live our lives? To answer this question, Dr. Karl Pillemer, gerontologist and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, decided to seek advice on how to live from the oldest Americans. In the Cornell Legacy Project, he surveyed over 2000 elders, asking them for their most important lessons for living –  on topics like marriage, career, parenting, aging, regrets, happiness, and overcoming loss. In this talk, he highlights some of the key findings from the 15-year project, focusing on practical advice from our elders for living a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.   

Join Zoom Meeting, Mar 15, 2022 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 823 9911 5215

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How the Wisest Families Can Preserve What Matters Most

August 19, 2021

Bank of America Private Bank invites you to join us on August 19 at 2 p.m. Eastern for a discussion that explores family, legacy and happiness, and poses the question – how might our actions today impact generations to come? Our conversation will feature Dr. Karl Pillemer  – Cornell University professor, family sociologist and author. The panel will offer actionable strategies that help family members avoid communication pitfalls and identify shared goals that bring them together.

Estrangement, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation: How Fractured Families Mend

May 26, 2021

This virtual event examines broad themes of forgiveness and reconciliation in the context of Dr. Pillemer’s research on family estrangement. Registration information will be posted at


Mending Family Rifts, March 9, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

March 9, 2021

Dr. Karl Pillemer discovered that family rifts are surprisingly pervasive and often result in long-lasting emotional and physical distress. He will discuss the first national survey on estrangement, including in-depth interviews with hundreds of people who have achieved a reconciliation. He will address such questions as: How do rifts begin? What makes estrangement so painful? Why is it so often triggered by a single event? Are you ready to reconcile? How can you overcome past hurts to build a new future with a relative? Sponsored by Washington Metro OASIS.

To register:


Family Rifts and How to Mend Them: Findings from the Cornell Estrangement and Reconciliation Project

March 25, 2021

Using in-depth interviews with family members, including individuals who successfully reconciled after years or decades of estrangement, plus interviews with family therapists, and data from a national survey, Human Ecology professor, Dr. Karl Pillemer brings his research to bear on how to mend family rifts and estrangement in his new book, Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them. Sponsored by University of Missouri – Kansas City. Register in advance for this event:


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