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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Contextualizing Depressive Contagion: A Multilevel Network Approach

    The purpose of this study is to examine microsocial and macrosocial contextual moderators of adolescent depressive contagion. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), the authors find evidence supporting the depressive contagion thesis. This effect is observed above and beyond key social relationship and sociodemographic controls. To examine the role of social context in moderating the effect of depressive contagion, the authors utilize a longitudinal mixed effects model using Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the Add Health survey.

  4. Ties Received, Support Perceived: A Test of the Theorized Relationships among Workplace Networks, Social Support, and Mental Health in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

    Research on the association between social relationships and mental health tends to draw from either the social network or stress process tradition. In this study we review the central tenets of these theoretical perspectives and the key empirical work of each. Employing data from the Teamwork, Clinical Culture, and Change (T3C) in the NICU Study (N = 231), we use the case of mental health among medical staff members to test the relationships among workplace networks, social support, and mental health hypothesized by these traditions.

  5. Economic Hardship, Parents' Depression, and Relationship Distress among Couples With Young Children

    Using data from the FFCW (n = 1,492 couples), the authors assessed stress, health selection, and couple-crossover hypotheses by examining (1) the bidirectional association between economic hardship and depressive symptoms one, three, and five years after the birth of a child; (2) the association between economic hardship and depression on relationship distress for both parents; and (3) whether the associations vary by marital status. The results suggest a pernicious cycle for mothers after the birth of a child.

  6. Schooling, Skills, and Self-rated Health: A Test of Conventional Wisdom on the Relationship between Educational Attainment and Health

    Education is a key sociological variable in the explanation of health and health disparities. Conventional wisdom emphasizes a life course–human capital perspective with expectations of causal effects that are quasi-linear, large in magnitude for high levels of educational attainment, and reasonably robust in the face of measured and unmeasured explanatory factors.

  7. Who Are You? Squatters Can Actually Help a Neighborhood

    Squatters who illegally occupy vacant homes or buildings are not always contributing to apathy or social disorder, says a new University of Michigan study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

    It can actually be a good situation for a neighborhood to have these individuals move into abandoned homes, lessening the chance of them becoming sites for drug users or burned by arsonists, the study indicates.

  8. Being the Primary Breadwinner is Bad for Men’s Psychological Well-Being and Health

    Gendered expectations in marriage are not just bad for women, they are also bad for men, according to a new study by University of Connecticut (UConn) sociologists.

    The study, “Relative Income, Psychological Well-Being, and Health: Is Breadwinning Hazardous or Protective?” by Christin Munsch, an assistant professor of sociology at UConn, and graduate students Matthew Rogers and Jessica Yorks, was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  9. Does Owning a Well Foster Environmental Citizenship? A New Study Provides Evidence

    Kansans who own water wells show more awareness of state water policy issues than those who rely on municipal water supplies, according to a study that could have implications for groundwater management and environmental policies. 

    Brock Ternes, a University of Kansas doctoral student in sociology, found that well owners prioritized issues related to the depletion of the High Plains Aquifer — which is the underground reservoir of freshwater beneath much of the western half of the state. 

  10. Lousy Jobs Hurt Your Health by the Time You’re in Your 40s

    Job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s has a link to overall health in your early 40s, according to a new nationwide study. 

    While job satisfaction had some impact on physical health, its effect was particularly strong for mental health, researchers found. 

    Those less than happy with their work early in their careers said they were more depressed and worried and had more trouble sleeping. 

    And the direction of your job satisfaction — whether it is getting better or worse in your early career — has an influence on your later health, the study showed.