American Sociological Association

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  1. Film Review: Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory

    Population aging and its common health dynamics have become immensely important topics for student learning in the social and clinical sciences alike. Societies around the globe are shifting over to a more balanced distribution of older and younger members due to numerous shifts in health care, family planning, infrastructure development, and other phenomena. On average, populations around the world have gotten older as people have lived longer and reproduced less. Consequently, responding to aging both socially and clinically has been a top priority.
  2. Race-Ethnicity, Poverty, Urban Stressors, and Telomere Length in a Detroit Community-based Sample

    Residents of distressed urban areas suffer early aging-related disease and excess mortality. Using a community-based participatory research approach in a collaboration between social researchers and cellular biologists, we collected a unique data set of 239 black, white, or Mexican adults from a stratified, multistage probability sample of three Detroit neighborhoods. We drew venous blood and measured telomere length (TL), an indicator of stress-mediated biological aging, linking respondents’ TL to their community survey responses.

  3. What Do We Rate When We Rate Our Health? Decomposing Age-related Contributions to Self-rated Health

    Self-ratings of health (SRH) indicate current health-related quality of life and independently predict mortality. Studies show the SRH of older adults appears less influenced by physical health than the SRH of younger adults. But if physical health accounts less for the SRH of older adults, what factors take its place? To understand the relative contributions of social, emotional, and physical states to SRH by age, we analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey 2006 to 2011 (N = 153,341).
  4. Histories of Perceived Job Insecurity and Psychological Distress among Older U.S. Adults

    Changes in the labor market and employment contracts over the past several decades and a recent global recession have increased the salience of perceived job insecurity as a risk factor for poor mental health. We use 25 years of prospective data from the Americans’ Changing Lives study to examine long-term histories of perceived job insecurity and their link to psychological distress. We build on the prior literature by using a much longer window of exposure and accounting for involuntary job losses over the lengthy observation period.
  5. Healthy Eating among Mexican Immigrants: Migration in Childhood and Time in the United States

    Past research on immigrant health frequently finds that the duration of time lived in the United States is associated with the erosion of immigrants’ health advantages. However, the timing of U.S. migration during the life course is rarely explored. We draw from developmental and sociological perspectives to theorize how migration during childhood may be related to healthy eating among adult immigrants from Mexico. We test these ideas with a mechanism-based age-period-cohort model to disentangle age, age at arrival, and duration of residence.
  6. Social Disconnectedness, Perceived Isolation, and Health among Older Adults

    Previous research has identified a wide range of indicators of social isolation that pose health risks, including living alone, having a small social network, infrequent participation in social activities, and feelings of loneliness. However, multiple forms of isolation are rarely studied together, making it difficult to determine which aspects of isolation are most deleterious for health.

  7. Childhood Family Instability and Young Adult Health

    American children live in a variety of family structures throughout their childhoods. Such instability in family arrangements is common and has important demonstrated implications for short-term child outcomes. However, it is not known whether family instability experienced in childhood has enduring health consequences across the life course.
  8. BMI Trajectories in Adulthood: The Intersection of Skin Color, Gender, and Age among African Americans

    This study addresses three research questions critical to understanding if and how skin color shapes health among African Americans: (1) Does skin color predict trajectories of body mass index (BMI) among African Americans across ages 32 to 55? (2) To what extent is this relationship contingent on gender? (3) Do sociodemographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors explain the skin color–BMI relationship?
  9. Perceived Unfair Treatment by Police, Race, and Telomere Length: A Nashville Community-based Sample of Black and White Men

    Police maltreatment, whether experienced personally or indirectly through one’s family or friends, represents a structurally rooted public health problem that disproportionately affects minorities. Researchers, however, know little about the physiological mechanisms connecting unfair treatment by police (UTBP) to poor health. Shortened telomeres due to exposure to this stressor represent one plausible mechanism.
  10. Sociology, Demography, and Economics Presidential Ages and Sex over Time

    I provide a visualization of presidential ages and gender over time for three academic associations: the American Sociological Association (ASA), the Population Association of America (PAA), and the American Economic Association (AEA). The figure reveals important trends in the twentieth century concerning (1) the continued aging of association presidents, (2) the relatively recent increasing gender parity in association presidents of ASA and PAA but not AEA, and (3) the sharp increase in PAA presidential ages beginning near the turn of the twenty-first century.