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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Do Highly Paid, Highly Skilled Women Experience the Largest Motherhood Penalty?

    Motherhood reduces women’s wages. But does the size of this penalty differ between more and less advantaged women? To answer this, we use unconditional quantile regression models with person-fixed effects, and panel data from the 1979 to 2010 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). We find that among white women, the most privileged—women with high skills and high wages—experience the highest total penalties, estimated to include effects mediated through lost experience.

  5. Neighborhood Attainment over the Adult Life Course

    This study uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, in conjunction with neighborhood-level data from the U.S. decennial census and American Community Survey, to examine the trajectory of individuals’ neighborhood characteristics from initial household formation into mid-to-late adulthood. Multilevel growth curve models reveal both different starting points and different life course trajectories for blacks and whites in neighborhood economic status and neighborhood racial composition.

  6. Cumulative Effects of Growing Up in Separate and Unequal Neighborhoods on Racial Disparities in Self-rated Health in Early Adulthood

    Evidence suggests that living in a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood is associated with worse health. Yet most research relies on cross-sectional data, which implicitly ignore variation in longer-term exposure that may be more consequential for health.

  7. Environmental Contaminants and Reproductive Bodies: Provider Perspectives on Risk, Gender, and Responsibility

    Increasingly, leading health organizations recommend that women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy avoid certain toxic chemicals found in our products, homes, and communities in order to protect fetuses from developmental and future harm. In the contemporary United States, women’s maternal bodies have been treated as sites of exceptional risk and individual responsibility. Many studies have examined this phenomenon through the lens of lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking, and exercise.

  8. Whats the Rush? Tort Laws and Elective Early-term Induction of Labor

    Tort laws aim to deter risky medical practices and increase accountability for harm. This research examines their effects on deterrence of a high-risk obstetric practice in the United States: elective early-term (37–38 weeks gestation) induction of labor. Using birth certificate data from the Natality Detail Files and state-level data from publicly available sources, this study analyzes the effects of tort laws on labor induction with multilevel models (MLM) of 665,491 early-term births nested in states.

  9. Physical Illness in Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Marriages: Gendered Dyadic Experiences

    The inclusion of same-sex married couples can illuminate and challenge assumptions about gender that are routinely taken for granted in studies of physical illness. We analyze gender dynamics in gay, lesbian, and heterosexual marriages with in-depth interview data from 90 spouses (45 couples) to consider how spouses co-construct illness experiences in ways that shape relationship dynamics.

  10. One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America

    In One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America, Melanie Heath contributes to the growing literature on the politics of marriage and family. Her book is a welcome addition to this body of work. Not only does it document the growth of the marriage movement in the United States, which until now has been woefully underexamined, but also offers a sharp and penetrating analysis of marriage promotion programs under welfare reform in the United States.