American Sociological Association

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  1. Mechanisms Linking Social Ties and Support to Physical and Mental Health

    Over the past 30 years investigators have called repeatedly for research on the mechanisms through which social relationships and social support improve physical and psychological well-being, both directly and as stress buffers. I describe seven possible mechanisms: social influence/social comparison, social control, role-based purpose and meaning (mattering), self-esteem, sense of control, belonging and companionship, and perceived support availability. Stress-buffering processes also involve these mechanisms.

  2. Childhood Family Instability and Young Adult Health

    American children live in a variety of family structures throughout their childhoods. Such instability in family arrangements is common and has important demonstrated implications for short-term child outcomes. However, it is not known whether family instability experienced in childhood has enduring health consequences across the life course.
  3. Causal Inference with Networked Treatment Diffusion

    Treatment interference (i.e., one unit’s potential outcomes depend on other units’ treatment) is prevalent in social settings. Ignoring treatment interference can lead to biased estimates of treatment effects and incorrect statistical inferences. Some recent studies have started to incorporate treatment interference into causal inference. But treatment interference is often assumed to follow a simple structure (e.g., treatment interference exists only within groups) or measured in a simplistic way (e.g., only based on the number of treated friends).
  4. Gender Norms, Work-Family Policies, and Labor Force Participation among Immigrant and Native-born Women in Western Europe

    Though women’s labor force participation has increased over recent decades, it remains lower than men’s in nearly every advanced democracy. Some groups of migrant and ethnic minority women have especially low rates of labor force participation, which is often attributed to cultures of origin that are less normatively supportive of women’s paid work outside the home. I argue in this paper that the gender norms women have been exposed to in their families and countries of origin interact with work-family policies to shape patterns of labor force participation.
  5. Integrating Sociological Perspectives into Obesogenic Research: Associations between Air Pollution Exposure and Obesity Prevalence across U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas

    Obesogenic theories suggests that obesity risk can be influenced by exposure to toxic chemicals present in built and natural environments. Although physical scientists have been on the forefront of obesogenic research, social science perspectives have been absent in understanding the relationship between environmental pollution and obesity risk. To address such gaps, the author uses a sociological perspective to explore the way in which exposure to a specific class of obesogens, endocrine disruptors, influences adult obesity prevalence.
  6. BMI Trajectories in Adulthood: The Intersection of Skin Color, Gender, and Age among African Americans

    This study addresses three research questions critical to understanding if and how skin color shapes health among African Americans: (1) Does skin color predict trajectories of body mass index (BMI) among African Americans across ages 32 to 55? (2) To what extent is this relationship contingent on gender? (3) Do sociodemographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors explain the skin color–BMI relationship?
  7. Urban Hospitals as Anchor Institutions: Frameworks for Medical Sociology

    Recent policy developments are forcing many hospitals to supplement their traditional focus on the provision of direct patient care by using mechanisms to address the social determinants of health in local communities. Sociologists have studied hospital organizations for decades, to great effect, highlighting key processes of professional socialization and external influences that shape hospital-based care. New methods are needed, however, to capture more recent changes in hospital population health initiatives in their surrounding neighborhoods.
  8. Adolescent Socioeconomic Status and Parent-Child Emotional Bonds: Reexamining Gender Differences in Mental Well-being during Young Adulthood

    Links between elevated mental well-being in adulthood and higher social and economic resources growing up are well established. However, the role of gender remains unclear, especially whether gender influences how social and economic resources interact to produce disparities in mental well-being across young adulthood. Drawing on nationally representative longitudinal data, we illuminate gender differences in mental well-being, finding that young adult mental health advantages based in adolescent socioeconomic status pivot on parent-child emotional bonds for young men only.
  9. The Effect of Serious Offending on Health: A Marginal Structural Model

    In this study, we contribute to the emerging scholarship at the intersection of crime and health by estimating the effect of serious offending on offenders’ health. By building on sociological stress research, we identify and adjust for the key life course processes that may intervene on the pathway from offending to health using a rich set of measures available in the panel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.
  10. Inmate Mental Health and the Pains of Imprisonment

    We use national data on 5,552 inmates and the 214 state prisons in which they reside to examine how prison conditions are associated with mental health symptoms net of individual-level factors. Structural equation models indicate that prison overcrowding and punitiveness are positively related to both depression and hostility, while the availability of work assignments is negatively related to both mental health indicators. The proportion of inmates whose home is more than 50 miles from the prison was positively associated with depression.