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  1. Sociological Inquiry into Mental Health: The Legacy of Leonard I. Pearlin

    As a tribute to the body of work created by our late colleague Leonard I. Pearlin, this essay assesses how the evolution of the Stress Process Model, the centerpiece of his work, repeatedly reinvented sociological research on stress and mental health and explains why this model, therefore, possesses the potential to renew itself well into the future.

  2. Private Journals versus Public Blogs: The Impact of Peer Readership on Low-stakes Reflective Writing

    This article isolates and observes the impact of peer readership on low-stakes reflective writing assignments in two large Introduction to Sociology classes. Through a comparative content analysis of over 2,000 private reflective journal entries and semipublic reflective blog posts, I find that both practices produce distinct forms of reflection. I argue that these differences can be understood in terms of the risks that students take in their writing.

  3. Racial Identity and Well-Being among African Americans

    How racial identity influences self-esteem and psychological well-being among African Americans remains unresolved due to unexplained inconsistencies in theoretical predictions and empirical findings. Using data from the National Survey of American Life (N = 3,570), we tested hypotheses derived from social identity theory and the internalized racism perspective. Findings support social identity theory in showing that African Americans strongly identify with their group and view it very positively.

  4. Suicidal Disclosures among Friends: Using Social Network Data to Understand Suicide Contagion

    A robust literature suggests that suicide is socially contagious; however, we know little about how and why suicide spreads. Using network data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we examine the effects of alter’s (1) disclosed and (2) undisclosed suicide attempts, (3) suicide ideation, and (4) emotional distress on ego’s mental health one year later to gain insights into the emotional and cultural mechanisms that underlie suicide contagion.

  5. Gendered Contexts: Variation in Suicidal Ideation by Female and Male Youth across U.S. States

    We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (13,186 respondents in 30 states) to develop a unique state-level measure of the gendered context in order to examine the influence of gender normative attitudes and behaviors on state rates of suicidal ideation and individual-level suicidal ideation for female and male youth (ages 13 to 22). The findings demonstrate the negative consequences for youth, especially females who report feminine-typical traits, who live in contexts defined by restrictive gender norms at both the ecological and individual levels.

  6. Children’s Cognitive Performance and Selective Attention Following Recent Community Violence

    Research has shown robust relationships between community violence and psychopathology, yet relatively little is known about the ways in which community violence may affect cognitive performance and attention. The present study estimates the effects of police-reported community violence on 359 urban children’s performance on a computerized neuropsychological task using a quasi-experimental fixed-effects design.

  7. Where Does Debt Fit in the Stress Process Model?

    This paper contrasts two money-related stressors—debt and economic hardship—and clarifies where debt fits into the stress process model. Debt may be a direct or indirect stressor, as something mediated by psychosocial resources, and may be a potential buffer, interacting with economic hardship. The analyses use data from a two-wave panel study of 1,463 adults. One way debt is distinct from economic hardship is that debt is more common among economically advantaged groups.

  8. The Link between Functional Limitations and Depressive Symptoms: The Explanatory Role of Self-conceptions

    Having more physical limitations predicts greater depressive symptoms. However, relatively few studies examine self-conceptions as potential explanations for this association. Using ordinary least squares regression on panel data collected in Miami-Dade County, Florida (2001 and 2004, N = 1,362), we examine the effect of functional limitations on five dimensions of the self: self-esteem, mastery, mattering, introspection, and emotional reliance.

  9. 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.

  10. Racial Differences in Depression Trajectories among Older Women: Socioeconomic, Family, and Health Influences

    Despite recent increases in life course research on mental illness, important questions remain about the social patterning of, and explanations for, depression trajectories among women in later life. The authors investigate competing theoretical frameworks for the age patterning of depressive symptoms and the physical health, socioeconomic, and family mechanisms differentiating black and white women.