American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  2. The Transition to Adulthood: Life Course Structures and Subjective Perceptions

    We examine the relationships between objective life-course structures and the subjective sense of timing of adult roles and acquisition of adult identity. Hierarchical latent class analysis is applied to longitudinal data from the Youth Development Study in order to describe roles related to school, work, family formation, and living arrangements from age 17 to 30. The transition to adulthood in this cohort is well represented by five pathways probabilistically mapping the timing and sequencing of these roles and their configurations.

  3. Can We Finish the Revolution? Gender, Work-Family Ideals, and Institutional Constraint

    Why has progress toward gender equality in the workplace and at home stalled in recent decades? A growing body of scholarship suggests that persistently gendered workplace norms and policies limit men’s and women’s ability to create gender egalitarian relationships at home. In this article, we build on and extend prior research by examining the extent to which institutional constraints, including workplace policies, affect young, unmarried men’s and women’s preferences for their future work-family arrangements. We also examine how these effects vary across education levels.

  4. Dignity and Dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Means to Low-Income Families

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.

  5. Study Finds Couples’ Division of Paid and Unpaid Labor Linked to Risk of Divorce

    A new study suggests that financial factors, including couples’ overall resources and wives’ ability to support themselves in the event of a divorce, are not predictive of whether marriages last. Rather, it is couples’ division of labor — paid and unpaid — that is associated with the risk of divorce.     

  6. Ideals as Anchors for Relationship Experiences

    Research on young-adult sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa typically conceptualizes sex as an individual-level risk behavior. We introduce a new approach that connects the conditions surrounding the initiation of sex with subsequent relationship well-being, examines relationships as sequences of interdependent events, and indexes relationship experiences to individually held ideals. New card-sort data from southern Malawi capture young women’s relationship experiences and their ideals in a sequential framework.

  7. Family Structure Transitions and Child Development: Instability, Selection, and Population Heterogeneity

    A growing literature documents the importance of family instability for child wellbeing. In this article, we use longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the impacts of family instability on children’s cognitive and socioemotional development in early and middle childhood.

  8. 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.

  9. Cumulative Advantage in an Egalitarian Country? Socioeconomic Health Disparities over the Life Course in Sweden

    According to the cumulative advantage hypothesis, health gaps between socioeconomic groups widen with age. In the United States, studies have supported this hypothesis. Outside this context, evidence remains scarce. The present study tests the cumulative advantage hypothesis in Sweden, a society that contrasts sharply with the United States in terms of policies designed to reduce social disparities in health-related resources. I draw on longitudinal data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (N = 9,412 person-years), spanning the period between 1991 and 2010.

  10. Taking Time-Off Work to Raise Children is Damaging to the Careers of Highly Skilled, High Earning Women

    Mothers who leave work to raise children often sacrifice more than the pay for their time off; when they come back their wages reflect lost raises, according to a new study by Paula England, Professor of Sociology at New York University.