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Dr. Catherine Elliott O'Dare
Assistant Professor, Social Studies


Dr Catherine Elliott O'Dare is Assistant Professor in Social Policy at the School of Social Work and Social Policy. Catherine earned her doctorate at Trinity College Dublin, awarded in 2019. As a social scientist, Catherine's research interests include intergenerational solidarity, friendship, the social aspects of ageing - work, society and ageism (with an overarching emphasis on equality and social inclusion) and qualitative research methods. Catherine's recent research on intergenerational friendship and ageism have generated high impact publications including lead-authored articles in Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue Canadienne du vieillissement, Journal of Aging Studies, Ageing and Society, Social Inclusion and two co-authored methodological papers published in Qualitative Health Research, and International Journal of Qualitative Methods. Catherine's current research focus is on older workers. In addition to publications, Catherine has participated in international conferences [including in Finland, Germany, UK, and Norway] and nationally. Catherine has also engaged with enterprise and interest organisations on the topics of ageism and intergenerational relations in the work place and society.

Prospective students interested in pursuing a PhD in the areas of intergenerational relations, friendship, social aspects of ageing/ageism, are invited to contact Catherine by email at

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Catherine Elliott O'Dare and Ernesto Vasquez De Aguila , Older Men's Intergenerational Friendships , Book Launch -Masculinities and social connections in later life, Online, 15082023, 2023 Oral Presentation, 2023

Micheál Collins and Catherine Elliott ODare, A Quantitative and Qualitative profile of Low Pay among Workers Aged 50 and Over ay, Geary Institute Lunchtime Seminar , Geary Institute for Public Policy UCD, 07/02/2023, 2023 Conference Paper, 2023

Exploring Older Men"s Intergenerational Friendships: Masculinities, Ageing and Ageism in, editor(s)Paul Willis Ilkka Pietila Marjaana Seppanen , Ageing, Men and Social Relations, Bristol, UK, Policy Press, 2023, pp19 - 34, [Catherine Elliott ODare and Ernesto Vasquez del Aguila] Book Chapter, 2023 URL

Stapleton T, Elliott O'Dare C., Use of the UAB Life Space Assessment to address community participation among older adults , World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Congress 2022, Paris, 28-31 August 2022, 2022 Oral Presentation, 2022 URL

Collins, M.L and Elliott ODare, C. , Low Paid Older Workers: a quantitative and qualitative profile of low pay among workers aged over 50, UCD Geary Institute/ Low Pay Commission , November , 2022, p1 - 70, 1-70 Report, 2022

Catherine Elliott O'Dare, Struggling to make friends as an adult? Why you should try looking to older generations, 2022, - Miscellaneous, 2022

Foley, G., Timonen, V, Conlon, C & Elliott O'Dare, C, Interviewing as a vehicle for theoretical sampling in grounded theory studies, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20, 2021, p1 - 10 Journal Article, 2021

Intergenerational Friendship: Navigating transitions in later life as an intergenerational 'older' friend in, editor(s)Andresen, S, Oswald, F, Schmidt-Hertha, B , Reflexive Übergangs¬forschung: Übergänge in der Lebensspanne. Opladen, Opladen, Germany, Barbara Budrich, 2021, [Catherine Elliott O'Dare] Book Chapter, 2021

Korkiamäki, R. & Elliott O'Dare, C., Intergenerational Friendship as a Conduit for Social Inclusion? Insights from the "Book‐Ends", Social Inclusion , 9, (4), 2021, p304 - 314 Journal Article, 2021 URL

Elliott O'Dare, C., Timonen, V. and Conlon, C., Doing intergenerational friendship: Challenging the dominance of age homophily in friendship, Canadian Journal of Aging - La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text

Elliott O'Dare, C, Timonen, V, and Conlon, C., Doing' intergenerational friendship: challenging the dominance of age homophily in friendship, Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue canadienne du vieillissement , 40, (1), 2020, p68 - 81 Journal Article, 2020

Conlon C, Timonen V, Elliott O'Dare C, O'Keeffe S, Foley G., Confused about theoretical sampling? Engaging theoretical sampling in diverse grounded theory studies, Qualitative Health Research, 30, (6), 2020, p947 - 959 Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text DOI

Elliott O'Dare, C., Timonen, V., & Conlon, C. , Intergenerational friendships of older adults: Why do we know so little about them?, Ageing and Society, 39, (1), 2019, p1 - 16 Journal Article, 2019

Elliott O'Dare, C., Timonen, V. and Conlon, C., Escaping "the old fogey": Doing old age through intergenerational friendship, Journal of Aging Studies, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 URL

Elliott O'Dare, C. , It Was Obvious We Were Friends, Because We Were Friends in Action: , Age and Ageing, (46), 2017, piii1-iii12 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

O'Dare, C. , Words Open Windows: Older Women's Experiences of Adult Literacy Services, Irish Journal of Medical Science , (183 (Supplement 7)), 2014, pS305 Journal Article, 2014

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Catherine Elliott O'Dare, Ageism and intergenerational Relationships in the Workplace and Society, Institute of Bankers Event, Online, 6 September , 2022, Institute of Bankers Invited Talk, 2022

Catherine Elliott ODare , Recognising and Tackling Ageism in the workplace and society , Amadeus Women"s Network #BreakTheBias, Online , 13 Sept 2022, 2022, Amadeus Women"s Network Invited Talk, 2022

Catherine Elliott ODare and Micheál Collins , `Older workers in low pay: exploring the `who" and `why" questions in COVID times", British Society of Gerontology, 50th Annual Webinar Conference , Online , 7-9 July 2021, 2021 Conference Paper, 2021

Catherine Elliott ODare , `I'd rather be with younger people, you don"t moan"; Ageism; a conduit for adult intergenerational friendship formation? , European Sociological Association's Research Network on Ageing in Europe (RN01) , Online , 20 -22 January 2021 , 2021 Conference Paper, 2021

Research Expertise


  • Title
    • Ageism and intergenerational relations in the workplace in Sweden and Ireland " a scoping review of extant literature and trade union policy
  • Summary
    • 1. Project Aim Populations are ageing, many older workers choose or are mandated to extend their working lives to support pension shortfalls, for life satisfaction or to comply with government policy " the result is that older and younger adults share their working lives for longer periods than ever anticipated. The aim of this project is to perform a scoping review to identify and synthesise extant national and international literature, and the policy landscape in Irish and Swedish main trade union organisations, on the topic of ageism and intergenerational relations in the workplace. What does the empirical evidence/policy tell us about ageism and intergenerational relations in the workplace? What is not known (knowledge gaps) that could inform understanding and policy? 2. Project Objectives " The overall objectives are, firstly to use this scoping review of literature to provide in-depth understanding of the topic to guide the development of honed research questions, a research agenda, and a detailed proposal to inform/ seek funding for a mixed methods research project, to be conducted in Sweden and Ireland. Secondly, the policy landscape review will raise awareness as we will liaise with policy officers in trade unions in relation to ageism and intergenerational relations in the workplace. " The `follow on" research has a working title `Ageism and intergenerational relations in the workplace in Sweden and Ireland". Gatekeepers in both countries have been identified, a mixed methods methodological approach has been sketched i.e., online quantitative surveys ( Jing), one-to-one interviews with employees aged 18 - 30 and 50-upwards, and a small number of interviews with HR executives.
  • Funding Agency
    • TRISS Trinity College Dublin
  • Date From
    • 7 June 2023
  • Date To
    • 30th June 2024
  • Title
    • Intergenerational solidarity among LGBT+ communities in Ireland
  • Summary
    • Intergenerational solidarity refers to the connectedness and support between people of different generations. This study considers intergenerational to be an age-gap of 15 years or more between cohorts. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant disadvantages for LGBT+ older people. Studies have shown that older LGBT+ are significantly more likely to live alone and lack family support network than their non-LGBT+ peers, and much less likely to have children. Support networks are often formed, instead, through membership of LGBT+ communities. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of care practices within LGBT+ communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which members of varying generations have worked to provide support to more vulnerable individuals in their communities. This project will investigate the role of such intergenerational solidarity and care among LGBT+ individuals in Ireland
  • Funding Agency
    • UCD College of Social Sciences and Law Research Funding Scheme 2022
  • Date From
    • March 2022
  • Date To
    • September 2023
  • Title
    • Bounce Back
  • Summary
    • PI's are Christine McGarrigle (Tilda), Virpi Timonen and Catherine Conlon. My role comprises of managing qualitative fieldwork component comprising managing ethics and line management of post-doctoral fellow. This project aims to investigate why some people appear to "bounce back" in their well-being when faced with adversities in old age and which factors at micro-, meso- and macro-levels are protective and associated with higher resilience. The funding/ my role relates to the Irish strand of the study only. The overall project is an EEA multi-national mixed methods study on resilience exploring contextual meanings and mechanisms involved in resilience processes and the variations across subgroups, birth cohorts and societal contexts (Sweden, Ireland, Poland, and Spain, compared with other European countries).
  • Funding Agency
    • Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
  • Date From
    • 17/04/2023
  • Date To
    • 30/09/2023



Consultant: Unifying Generations: Building the Pathway to Intergenerational Solidarity Report 2021 -2022

Invited Advisory Board member: Internal Volkswagen Funding (Germany) Application on Age-Diverse Friendships 2023

Age Action(NGO) Round Table Event - Reframing Ageing - The State of Ageing in Ireland 2022. 7 Dec 2022

Board Member for Carnew Community Village and Care Ongoing

Peer Reviewer Canadian Journal of Aging Ongoing

Peer Reviewer Ageing and Society Ongoing

Peer Reviewer The International Journal of Aging and Human Development Ongoing

Peer Reviewer Journal of Aging Studies Ongoing

Peer Reviewer Journal of Population Ageing. Ongoing

Knowledge exchange: Fully funded visit by the University of Tampere for academic and outreach activities on intergenerational friendship as support for activities advancing the functions of the University Consortium. 7-12 June 2019

Awards and Honours

Irish Research Council PhD Scholarship 2016-2018

School of Social Work and Social Policy TCD PhD Scholarship 2014-2016

Dr John Fleetwood Medal, Irish Gerontological Society 2014


Professional Womens Network 2021 – Ongoing

Irish Gerontological Society 2014 – Ongoing

British Society of Gerontology 2014 – Ongoing