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  1. Planning for Future Care and the End of Life: A Qualitative Analysis of Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples

    Two key components of end-of-life planning are (1) informal discussions about future care and other end-of-life preferences and (2) formal planning via living wills and other legal documents. We leverage previous work on the institutional aspects of marriage and on sexual-minority discrimination to theorize why and how heterosexual, gay, and lesbian married couples engage in informal and formal end-of-life planning. We analyze qualitative dyadic in-depth interviews with 45 midlife gay, lesbian, and heterosexual married couples (N = 90 spouses).
  2. Multiple Dimensions of Peer Effects and Deviance: The Case of Prescription Drug Misuse among Young Adults

    Sociological research has demonstrated that peers play a role in patterns of deviance. Yet, examinations of competing mechanisms in continued patterns of deviance are less well developed. We simultaneously examine multiple peer mechanisms of action on prescription drug misuse. Results identify drug sources, peer group norms, and a desire to enhance social experiences as important factors in the frequency of misuse, non-oral administration, and dependence, whereas peer pressure had no effect net of other peer factors.
  3. Race, Class, and the Framing of Drug Epidemics

    by Rebecca Tiger in the Fall 2017 Contexts

    As America’s opiate epidemic rages on, calls for “treatment not punishment” dominate the national media. The hypocrisy of this response is not lost on a range of commentators: the reported move away from criminalization, they argue, is yet another example of racist drug policy. White people get treatment and poor people of color get punishment. Again.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. 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).
  7. U.S. has 5 percent of world's population, but had 31 percent of its public mass shooters from 1966-2012

    Despite having only about 5 percent of the world's population, the United States was the attack site for a disproportionate 31 percent of public mass shooters globally from 1966-2012, according to research presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.