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  1. Uncertain Expertise and the Limitations of Clinical Guidelines in Transgender Healthcare

    To alleviate uncertainty in the specialized field of transgender medicine, mental and physical healthcare providers have introduced the rhetoric of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in clinical guidelines to help inform medical decision making. However there are no diagnostic tests to assess the effectiveness of transgender medical interventions and no scientific evidence to support the guidelines. Using in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 23 healthcare providers, I found that providers invoked two strategies for negotiating the guidelines.

  2. A Multilevel Test of Constrained Choices Theory: The Case of Tobacco Clean Air Restrictions

    According to Bird and Rieker’s sociology of constrained choices, decisions and priorities concerning health are shaped by the contexts—including policy, community, and work/family—in which they are formulated. While each level received attention in the original and subsequent research, we contend their constrained choices theory provides a powerful multilevel framework for modeling health outcomes. We apply this framework to tobacco clean air restrictions, combining a comprehensive database of tobacco policies with the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 from ages 19 to 31.

  3. Socioeconomic and Racial-ethnic Disparities in Prosocial Health Attitudes: The Case of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination for Adolescent Males

    Research on prosocial attitudes, social networks, social capital, and social stratification suggest that lower–socioeconomic status (SES), Hispanic, and nonwhite individuals will be more likely than their higher-SES and non-Hispanic white counterparts to engage in health behaviors that serve a social good.

  4. Life Course Pathways of Economic Hardship and Mobility and Midlife Trajectories of Health

    We utilize over 40 years of prospective data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 1,229) and repeated-measures latent class analysis to examine how long-term patterns of stability and change in economic hardship from childhood to adulthood are related to subsequent trajectories of midlife health.

  5. Sizing up Peers Adolescent Girls’ Weight Control and Social Comparison in the School Context

    Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and multi-level modeling, we examine the role of social comparison with schoolmates in adolescent girls’ weight control. Specifically, we focus on how girls’ own weight control is influenced by the body sizes and weight-control behaviors of their schoolmates. Our findings suggest that comparisons with similar others (in this case, girls of a similar body size) appear to have the strongest association with individual girls’ reports of trying to lose weight.

  6. Health Insurance Status and Symptoms of Psychological Distress among Low-income Urban Women

    Although numerous studies have considered the effects of having health insurance on access to health care, physical health, and mortality risk, the association between insurance coverage and mental health has been surprisingly understudied. Building on previous work, we use data collected from a two-year follow-up of low-income women living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to estimate a series of latent fixed-effects regression models assessing the association between insurance status and symptoms of psychological distress.

  7. Environmental Contaminants and Reproductive Bodies: Provider Perspectives on Risk, Gender, and Responsibility

    Increasingly, leading health organizations recommend that women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy avoid certain toxic chemicals found in our products, homes, and communities in order to protect fetuses from developmental and future harm. In the contemporary United States, women’s maternal bodies have been treated as sites of exceptional risk and individual responsibility. Many studies have examined this phenomenon through the lens of lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking, and exercise.

  8. Access to health care strengthens communities: JHSB study

    A new Journal of Health and Social Behavior study shows that access to health insurance can help hold a community together socially, and lack of it can contribute to the fraying of neighborhood cohesion.

    The study, Beyond Health Effects? Examining the Social Consequences of Community Levels of Uninsurance Pre-ACA, published by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, is an effort by researchers Tara McKay and Stefan Timmermans to “broaden the conversation” about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  9. The Micropolitics of Legitimacy: Political Positioning and Journalistic Scrutiny at the Boundary of the Mainstream

    When journalists elicit opinion and policy pronouncements from politicians, this engages a two-dimensional struggle over (1) where the politician stands on the issue in question and (2) the legitimacy of that position. Using data drawn from broadcast news interviews and news conferences, this paper anatomizes the key features of political positioning questions and their responses, and documents a tension surrounding relatively marginal or extreme views that tend to be treated cautiously by politicians but are pursued vigorously by journalists.

  10. Immigrant-based Disparities in Mental Health Care Utilization

    Immigrant-based Disparities in Mental Health Care Utilization