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  1. Study Reveals Incarceration’s Hidden Wounds for African American Men

    There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found.

  2. Review Essays: Finding Meaning in a Rough Country

    Michael P. Young reviews Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, by Robert Wuthnow.

  3. "Sorry, Im Not Accepting New Patients": An Audit Study of Access to Mental Health Care

    Through a phone-based field experiment, I investigated the effect of mental help seekers’ race, class, and gender on the accessibility of psychotherapists. Three hundred and twenty psychotherapists each received voicemail messages from one black middle-class and one white middle-class help seeker, or from one black working-class and one white working-class help seeker, requesting an appointment. The results revealed an otherwise invisible form of discrimination. Middle-class help seekers had appointment offer rates almost three times higher than their working-class counterparts.

  4. Young Women with Eating Disorders or Disordered Eating Behaviors: Delinquency, Risky Sexual Behaviors, and Number of Children in Early Adulthood

    Despite the well-documented link between eating disorders (EDs) and female infertility, it is unknown how EDs or disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) influence overall parity in early adulthood. Using longitudinal data, we examine whether EDs or DEBs during adolescence are linked to the number of children born to young women in early adulthood. We find that EDs or DEBs are associated with increased odds of having three or more children compared to no children in adulthood, even when we account for delinquency and sexual behaviors.

  5. A Nation Divided: Science, Religion, and Public Opinion in the United States

    Elites often mobilize science and religion to support opposing positions on issues ranging from abortion to families to criminal justice. However, there is little research on the extent to which public preferences for scientific and religious understandings relate to public opinion about these and other controversies. The authors analyze how perspectives on science and religion map onto public attitudes about a wide range of social, political, and economic issues.

  6. Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools

    Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries.

  7. Physical Disability and Increased Loneliness among Married Older Adults: The Role of Changing Social Relations

    Examining the social context of disablement, we investigated how changes in social relations affect loneliness among married older men and women. With longitudinal data on 914 married persons from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), we found that changes in the quality of marital and nonmarital relations moderate the effect of disability on loneliness in unexpected ways. Increases in negative marital quality buffer the effect of physical disability, while increases in nonmarital support exacerbate it.

  8. The Social Connectedness of Older Adults: A National Profile

    For decades, scholars have wrestled with the assumption that old age is characterized by social isolation. However, there has been no systematic, nationally representative evaluation of this possibility in terms of social network connectedness. In this article, we develop a profile of older adults' social integration with respect to nine dimensions of interpersonal networks and voluntary associations. We use new data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a population-based study of noninstitutionalized older Americans ages 57 to 85, conducted in 2005 to 2006.

  9. Older People Benefit from Giving Advice

    A new study reveals that individuals in their 60s who give advice to a broad range of people tend to see their lives as especially meaningful. At the same time, this happens to be the age when opportunities for dispensing advice become increasingly scarce.

  10. The Contingent Effects of Mental Well-being and Education on Volunteering

    Mental health or well-being provides individuals with an enhanced agentic capacity for formal volunteering. However, this capacity may be realized more effectively through the structural resources for volunteering provided by education. Analyzing white respondents from the 1995-2005 National Survey of Midlife Development Panel Study (N = 1,431), we examine the contingent effects of mental well-being and education on the probability of formal volunteering.