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  1. A Global Perspective on Religious Participation and Suicide

    Although sociological research in the Durkheimian tradition has generally accepted that religious involvement protects against suicide, few studies have examined this theoretical proposition outside Western industrialized settings. Using multilevel models to analyze data from the World Health Organization Mortality Database and the World Values Survey (1981–2007) across 42 countries in seven geographical-cultural regions, this study explores whether religious participation is more protective against suicide in some regions than others and, if so, why.
  2. Unintended Birth and Children’s Long-term Mental Health

    Research has examined the proximate effects of unintended birth on infants and young children, but we know relatively little about the longer-term effects. Given that unintended birth is associated with several childhood risk factors, it might set the stage for poor mental health in adulthood. Drawing on rich intergenerational survey data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 (N = 3,742), this study used a variety of statistical techniques to examine whether maternal pregnancy intentions are associated with children’s depressive symptoms during early adulthood.
  3. Stress Buffer or Identity Threat? Negative Media Portrayal, Public and Private Religious Involvement, and Mental Health in a National Sample of U.S. Adults

    Guided by the stress process tradition, complex links between religion and mental health have received growing attention from researchers. This study gauges individuals’ public and private religiosity, uses a novel measure of environmental stress—negative media portrayal of religion—and presents two divergent hypotheses: (1) religiosity as stress-exacerbating attachment to valued identities producing mental health vulnerability to threat and (2) religiosity as stress-buffering social psychological resource.
  4. The Problem with Square Pegs: Sexual Orientation Concordance as a Predictor of Depressive Symptoms

    The author uses a nationally representative sample of cisgender young adults to examine the relationship between sexual orientation concordance and the prevalence of depressive symptoms. In these analyses, the author differentiates between those with an exclusive identity (100 percent gay or 100 percent straight) and those with a nonexclusive identity (“mostly gay,” “mostly straight,” or bisexual).
  5. Black Deaths Matter: Race, Relationship Loss, and Effects on Survivors

    Close relationships are a resource for mental and physical health that, like other social resources, is unequally distributed in the population. This article focuses on racial disparities in the loss of relationships across the life course. Racial disparities in life expectancy in the United States mean that black Americans experience the deaths of more friends and family members than do white Americans from childhood through later life.
  6. Couple-level Minority Stress: An Examination of Same-sex Couples’ Unique Experiences

    Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 455-472, December 2017.
  7. Cultural Guides, Cultural Critics: Distrust of Doctors and Social Support during Mental Health Treatment

    Research on relationships and health often interprets culture as the passively transmitted “content” of social ties, an approach that overlooks the influence of cultural resources on relationships themselves. I propose that mental health patients seek social support partly based on cultural resources held by their network members, including members’ medical knowledge and beliefs. I test hypotheses using data from the Indianapolis Network Mental Health Study, an egocentric network survey of new mental health patients (N = 152) and their personal relationships (N = 1,868).
  8. Depression, Work and Family Roles, and the Gendered Life Course

    Despite the importance of employment for shaping mental health over the life course, little is known about how the mental health benefits of employment change as individuals age through their prime employment and child-rearing years. This study examines the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 Cohort (N = 8,931), following respondents from their late 20s to mid-50s. Results suggest that among women, the aging of children is especially salient for shaping the mental health consequences of employment.
  9. I’ve Got My Family and My Faith: Black Women and the Suicide Paradox

    Although existing suicide literature proposes black women’s strong religious ties and social networks protect them against suicide, few studies offer black women’s perceptions. The present study examines the factors black women perceive of as protective against suicide by conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with 33 U.S.-born black women. Results support current suicide literature on the role of social networks and religion in black women’s lives. The results also identify two important factors researchers continue to overlook.