American Sociological Association


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  1. Education, Health, and the Default American Lifestyle

    Education has a large and increasing impact on health in America. This paper examines one reason why. Education gives individuals the ability to override the default American lifestyle. The default lifestyle has three elements: displacing human energy with mechanical energy, displacing household food production with industrial food production, and displacing health maintenance with medical dependency. Too little physical activity and too much food produce imperceptibly accumulating pathologies.

  2. The Contribution of Smoking to Educational Gradients in U.S. Life Expectancy

    Researchers have documented widening educational gradients in mortality in the United States since the 1970s. While smoking has been proposed as a key explanation for this trend, no prior study has quantified the contribution of smoking to increasing education gaps in longevity.

  3. Educational Inequalities in Health Behaviors at Midlife: Is There a Role for Early-life Cognition?

    Education is a fundamental cause of social inequalities in health because it influences the distribution of resources, including money, knowledge, power, prestige, and beneficial social connections, that can be used in situ to influence health. Recent studies have highlighted early-life cognition as commonly indicating the propensity for educational attainment and determining health and age of mortality. Health behaviors provide a plausible mechanism linking both education and cognition to later-life health and mortality.

  4. The Sequencing of a College Degree during the Transition to Adulthood: Implications for Obesity

    In this study we consider the health implications of the sequencing of a college degree vis-à-vis familial roles during the transition to adulthood. We hypothesize that people who earned a college degree before assuming familial roles will have better health than people who earned a college degree afterwards. To test this hypothesis, we focus on obesity and use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

  5. The Dynamics of Neighborhood Structural Conditions: The Effects of Concentrated Disadvantage on Homicide over Time and Space

    Several recent spatial analyses conclude the strong positive association typically found between neighborhood concentrated disadvantage and crime in cross-sectional studies significantly differs across neighborhoods. It is possible this spatial variation is due to within-neighborhood dynamics of continuity and change, as suggested by ecological theories of neighborhood crime.

  6. Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Neighborhood Age Composition and Age Discrimination

    Age discrimination is pervasive in the United States, yet little is known about the social contexts in which it occurs. Older persons spend much of their time in their neighborhoods, where a density of other older persons may protect against age discrimination. Extending group density theory to age, we analyze data from 1,561 older adults from the second wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, using neighborhood-level data from the 2010 U.S. census.

  7. Stopping the Drama: Gendered Influence in a Network Field Experiment

    Drawing on theories of social norms, we study the relative influence of female and male students using a year-long, network-based field experiment of an anti-harassment intervention program in a high school. A randomly selected subset of highly connected students participated in the intervention. We test whether these highly connected females and males influenced other students equally when students and teachers considered the problem of "drama"—peer conflict and harassment—to be associated with girls more than with boys.

  8. Variation in the Protective Effect of Higher Education against Depression

    Numerous studies document that higher education is associated with a reduced likelihood of depression. The protective effects of higher education, however, are known to vary across population subgroups. This study tests competing theories for who is likely to obtain a greater protective benefit from a college degree against depression through an analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and recently developed methods for analyzing heterogeneous treatment effects involving the use of propensity scores.

  9. The Link between Functional Limitations and Depressive Symptoms: The Explanatory Role of Self-conceptions

    Having more physical limitations predicts greater depressive symptoms. However, relatively few studies examine self-conceptions as potential explanations for this association. Using ordinary least squares regression on panel data collected in Miami-Dade County, Florida (2001 and 2004, N = 1,362), we examine the effect of functional limitations on five dimensions of the self: self-esteem, mastery, mattering, introspection, and emotional reliance.

  10. New Horizontal Inequalities in German Higher Education? Social Selectivity of Studying Abroad between 1991 and 2012

    On the basis of theories of cultural reproduction and rational choice, we examine whether access to study-abroad opportunities is socially selective and whether this pattern changed during educational expansion. We test our hypotheses for Germany by combining student survey data and administrative data on higher education entry rates. We find that studying abroad was socially selective during the entire observation period. Selectivity increased between 1991 and 2003 and hardly changed thereafter. Unexpectedly, the expansion of higher education does not explain this development.