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  1. Modeling Dynamic Identities and Uncertainty in Social Interactions: Bayesian Affect Control Theory

    Drawing on Bayesian probability theory, we propose a generalization of affect control theory (BayesACT) that better accounts for the dynamic fluctuation of identity meanings for self and other during interactions, elucidates how people infer and adjust meanings through social experience, and shows how stable patterns of interaction can emerge from individuals’ uncertain perceptions of identities.

  2. Adolescents under Pressure: A New Durkheimian Framework for Understanding Adolescent Suicide in a Cohesive Community

    Despite the profound impact Durkheim’s Suicide has had on the social sciences, several enduring issues limit the utility of his insights. With this study, we offer a new Durkheimian framework for understanding suicide that addresses these problems. We seek to understand how high levels of integration and regulation may shape suicide in modern societies. We draw on an in-depth, qualitative case study (N = 110) of a cohesive community with a serious adolescent suicide problem to demonstrate the utility of our approach.

  3. "Im Not Mentally Ill": Identity Deflection as a Form of Stigma Resistance

    Mental illness identity deflection refers to rebuffing the idea that one is mentally ill. Predictors of identity deflection and its consequences for well-being were examined for individuals with mental disorders in the National Comorbidity Study–Replication (N = 1,368). Respondents more often deflected a mental illness identity if they had a nonsevere disorder, had low impairment in functioning, had no treatment experience, viewed possible treatment as undesirable, and held multiple social roles, consistent with theory about stigma resistance.

  4. Life Course Pathways to Racial Disparities in Cognitive Impairment among Older Americans

    Blacks are especially hard hit by cognitive impairment at older ages compared to whites. Here, we take advantage of the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2010) to assess how this racial divide in cognitive impairment is associated with the racial stratification of life course exposures and resources over a 12-year period among 8,946 non-Hispanic whites and blacks ages 65 and older in 1998. We find that blacks suffer from a higher risk of moderate/severe cognitive impairment at baseline and during the follow-up.

  5. Pathways from Early Childhood Adversity to Later Adult Drug Use and Psychological Distress: A Prospective Study of a Cohort of African Americans

    Drawing on the life course perspective, this research addresses the direct and indirect pathways between childhood adversity and midlife psychological distress and drug use across a majority of the life span in an African American cohort (N = 1,242) followed from age 6 to 42 (1966 to 2002). Results from structural equation models highlight the impact of low childhood socioeconomic status (SES), poor maternal mental health, and the role of first-grade maladaptation in launching a trajectory of social maladaptation from age 6 to 42.

  6. Imprisoned by Empathy: Familial Incarceration and Psychological Distress among African American Men in the National Survey of American Life

    The stress process model predicts that current incarceration of a family member should damage the health status of the inmate’s relatives. We address this prediction with data from the National Survey of American Life, focusing exclusively on African American men (n = 1,168). In survey-adjusted generalized linear models, we find that familial incarceration increases psychological distress, but its effect attenuates ostensibly after controlling for other chronic strains.

  7. Peer Influence on Aggressive Behavior, Smoking, and Sexual Behavior: A Study of Randomly-assigned College Roommates

    Identifying casual peer influence is a long-standing challenge to social scientists. Using data from a natural experiment of randomly-assigned college roommates (N = 2,059), which removes the threat of friend selection, we investigate peer effects on aggressive behavior, smoking, and concurrent sexual partnering. The findings suggest that the magnitude and direction of peer influence depend on predisposition, gender, and the nature of the behavior.

  8. "Red, White, Yellow, Blue, All Out but You": Status Effects on Team Formation, an Expectation States Theory

    Teams are ubiquitous in contemporary business, government, health care, and education settings; hence, the process of team formation is worth close examination. We propose models based in expectation states theory for the probability that a particular candidate (or subset of candidates) is selected from a pool of potential team members who are differentiated along diffuse status characteristics. The candidates may be equally qualified in other respects, but the ways in which they differ will be activated under specified conditions and influence their chances of selection.

  9. Identities, Goals, and Emotions

    In this study, I examine how expectations affect the emotions experienced when people verify or fail to verify their identities. Identity theory points to identity verification (i.e., thinking others view us as we see ourselves) as a source of emotions. The control model of affect provides an alternative explanation, emphasizing one’s expected rate of progress toward goal accomplishment (or verification) as a source of emotions.

  10. Probing the Links Between Trustworthiness, Trust, and Emotion: Evidence From Four Survey Experiments

    An outstanding puzzle in the social sciences remains about the forms of perceived trustworthiness sufficient to produce trust. Survey experiments adjudicated between four models of the trustworthiness-trust link—social constraints, encapsulated interests, goodwill, and virtuous dispositions—and tested novel hypotheses about other-praising emotions (admiration and gratitude) as mediating effects.