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  1. Samuel Stouffer and Relative Deprivation

    This paper first offers a tribute to Samuel Stouffer (1900–1960), a major contributor to social psychology. He helped to establish probability surveys as a useful method for social science, led three major studies at midcentury, and introduced important new concepts and statistical methods. Thus, both conceptually and methodologically, he shaped modern social psychology. Second, the paper revitalizes Stouffer’s most famous concept—relative deprivation.

  2. Don’t Tell Me Who I Can’t Love: A Multimethod Investigation of Social Network and Reactance Effects on Romantic Relationships

    In three studies, we examined the influence of social network reactions on feelings toward a romantic partner. Study 1 was a large survey (N = 858), Study 2 was a vignette design in which social network reactions were manipulated, and Study 3 was a laboratory-based, dating game experiment. We found extensive support for the social network effect, whereby relationship approval from family and friends leads individuals to feel more love, more committed, and more positive about a partner. We also examined whether psychological reactance moderated social network influence.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 2014 Presidential Address: Cultural Knowledge and Social Inequality

    Using both qualitative longitudinal data collected 20 years after the original Unequal Childhoodsstudy and interview data from a study of upwardly mobile adults, this address demonstrates how cultural knowledge matters when white and African American young adults of differing class backgrounds navigate key institutions. I find that middle-class young adults had more knowledge than their working-class or poor counterparts of the “rules of the game” regarding how institutions worked. They also displayed more of a sense of entitlement to ask for help.

  6. 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.