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  1. Relationships With Family Members, But Not Friends, Decrease Likelihood of Death

    For older adults, having more or closer family members in one’s social network decreases his or her likelihood of death, but having a larger or closer group of friends does not, finds a new study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  2. Why Prisons Continue to Grow, Even When Crime Declines

    The U.S. prison population continued to rise even after the crime rate began declining in the mid-1990s because judges were faced with more repeat offenders, a new study suggests.

    Using data from Minnesota, an Ohio State University sociologist found that the U.S. criminal justice system felt the reverberations from the increase in violent crime and imprisonment that occurred from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

  3. Ramen Noodles Supplanting Cigarettes as Currency Among Prisoners

    Ramen noodles are supplanting the once popular cigarettes as a form of currency among state prisoners, but not in response to bans on tobacco products within prison systems, finds a new study. 

    Instead, study author Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, found that inmates are trying to figure out ways to better feed themselves as certain prison services are being defunded. 

  4. Private Detention of Immigrants Deters Family Visits, Study Finds

    Immigrants detained in a privately run detention facility while awaiting deportation decisions are far less likely than those held in county or city jails to receive visits from their children, a new study finds. 

  5. Study Suggests Sex in Later Years Harmful to Men’s Heart Health, But Not Women’s

    Having sex frequently — and enjoying it — puts older men at higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. For older women, however, good sex may actually lower the risk of hypertension.

    That’s according to the first large-scale study of how sex affects heart health in later life. The federally funded research, led by a Michigan State University (MSU) scholar, appears in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

  6. Journeys in Sociology: From First Encounters to Fulfilling Retirements

    The editors and twenty contributors to the essential anthology Journeys in Sociology use a life-course perspective to address the role of sociology in their lives. The power of their personal experiences—during the Great Depression, World War II, or the student protests and social movements in the 1960s and '70s—magnify how and why social change prompted these men and women to study sociology. Moreover, all of the contributors include a discussion of their activities in retirement. 

  7. Contexts Collection: On Aging

    A special electronic collection of articles from the Fall 2009 and Winter 2010 issues of Contexts on the topic of aging. Featuring Vincent J. Roscigno, Phyllis Moen, Eric Utne, Deborah Carr, Stacy Torres and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society. 28 pages, March 2010.