Carolyn Aldwin has been privy to countless untold secrets, heartbreaking stories from war zones, hospital wards and prisoner-of-war camps. People from all walks of life have confided their everyday problems and their worst nightmares to her.
“I talked to someone who was a lawyer at the Nuremberg Trials,” she says. “I’ve talked to people who’ve committed murder. I’ve talked to people who’ve lost children to cancer. I’m very humbled by the things people tell me.”
Aldwin, a professor in OSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, has interviewed thousands of people across the United States, many of them combat veterans, for longitudinal studies of aging. Her findings have shaken up conventional notions about stress and trauma across the lifespan.