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  1. 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.

  2. Study Reveals Incarceration’s Hidden Wounds for African American Men

    There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found.

  3. Young Women with Eating Disorders or Disordered Eating Behaviors: Delinquency, Risky Sexual Behaviors, and Number of Children in Early Adulthood

    Despite the well-documented link between eating disorders (EDs) and female infertility, it is unknown how EDs or disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) influence overall parity in early adulthood. Using longitudinal data, we examine whether EDs or DEBs during adolescence are linked to the number of children born to young women in early adulthood. We find that EDs or DEBs are associated with increased odds of having three or more children compared to no children in adulthood, even when we account for delinquency and sexual behaviors.

  4. Gaps in White, Black, and Hispanic Violence

    Despite significant public, political, and media attention to the issue of criminal violence in the United States, we know surprisingly little about the trends in violent crime for different racial/ethnic groups in recent decades. For example, what are the disparities in homicide between whites, African Americans, and Hispanics? Have these disparities changed over the past 20 years? If so, why? This lack of knowledge is largely due to data limitations, as ethnic identifiers are rarely collected in many official crime statistics.

  5. Physical Disability and Increased Loneliness among Married Older Adults: The Role of Changing Social Relations

    Examining the social context of disablement, we investigated how changes in social relations affect loneliness among married older men and women. With longitudinal data on 914 married persons from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), we found that changes in the quality of marital and nonmarital relations moderate the effect of disability on loneliness in unexpected ways. Increases in negative marital quality buffer the effect of physical disability, while increases in nonmarital support exacerbate it.

  6. The Social Connectedness of Older Adults: A National Profile

    For decades, scholars have wrestled with the assumption that old age is characterized by social isolation. However, there has been no systematic, nationally representative evaluation of this possibility in terms of social network connectedness. In this article, we develop a profile of older adults' social integration with respect to nine dimensions of interpersonal networks and voluntary associations. We use new data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a population-based study of noninstitutionalized older Americans ages 57 to 85, conducted in 2005 to 2006.

  7. Older People Benefit from Giving Advice

    A new study reveals that individuals in their 60s who give advice to a broad range of people tend to see their lives as especially meaningful. At the same time, this happens to be the age when opportunities for dispensing advice become increasingly scarce.

  8. Contextualizing Depressive Contagion: A Multilevel Network Approach

    The purpose of this study is to examine microsocial and macrosocial contextual moderators of adolescent depressive contagion. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), the authors find evidence supporting the depressive contagion thesis. This effect is observed above and beyond key social relationship and sociodemographic controls. To examine the role of social context in moderating the effect of depressive contagion, the authors utilize a longitudinal mixed effects model using Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the Add Health survey.

  9. Researchers Behind Landmark Adolescent Health Study Received Golden Goose Award

    Nearly blocked by political concerns, the Adolescent Health Study has had a major impact on understanding of social factors affecting adolescent health and the effect of adolescent health on long-term adult well-being. Five social scientists whose determined pursuit of knowledge about the factors that influence adolescent health led to one of the most influential longitudinal studies of human health received the first Golden Goose Award of 2016.

  10. Income Inequality Leads Millennials to Start Families Before Marriage

    Rising income inequality, and the resulting scarcity of certain types of jobs, is a key reason a growing number of young Americans are having babies before getting married.