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  1. Sacred Alters: The Effects of Ego Network Structure on Religious and Political Beliefs

    Does who we know impact how strongly we believe? The claim seems reasonable, but research linking social network composition to political beliefs has produced conflicting results. We argue that methodological differences in measuring close ties can explain these inconsistencies and that work on the sacred umbrella provides a useful framework for moving forward. The sacred umbrella argues that when people close to you share your religious beliefs, you are shielded from doubt and uncertainty; perhaps the same mechanism also operates for political views.
  2. Social Networks, Support, and Depressive Symptoms: Gender Differences among Clergy

    This study extends social-psychological research on social networks and mental health by examining cross-gender differences in social integration and depression among United Methodist clergy in North Carolina. Using data from the fifth wave of the Clergy Health Initiative panel survey, we used cross-group models to examine the association of depressive symptoms and network in-degree, out-degree, and perceived social isolation among men (N = 1,145) and women (N = 535) clergy. The analysis reveals gendered differences in this association.
  3. Challenging Evolution in Public Schools: Race, Religion, and Attitudes toward Teaching Creationism

    Researchers argue that white evangelical Christians are likely to support teaching creationism in public schools. Yet, less is known about the role religion may play in shaping attitudes toward evolution and teaching creationism among blacks and Latinos, who are overrepresented in U.S. conservative Protestant traditions. This study fills a gap in the literature by examining whether religious factors (e.g., religious affiliation and Biblical literalism) relate to differences in support for teaching creationism between blacks and Latinos compared to whites and other racial groups.
  4. ‘‘I Just Need a Job!’’ Behavioral Solutions, Structural Problems, and the Hidden Curriculum of Parenting Education

    Parenting education programs aim to teach parents, often low-income mothers, a set of skills, behaviors, and attitudes believed to promote improved opportunities for their children. Parenting programs are often offered in schools, with instructors teaching pregnant or parenting teens about child development, attachment, and discipline strategies. Despite the large numbers of participants and significant public and private funding going to parenting education, sociologists of education in the United States have paid little attention to the topic.
  5. Is Daily Parental Help with Homework Helpful? Reanalyzing National Data Using a Propensity Score–Based Approach

    Previous analyses of large national datasets have tended to report a negative relationship between parental homework help and student achievement. Yet these studies have not examined heterogeneity in this relationship based on the propensity for a parent to provide homework help. By using a propensity score–based approach, this study investigates the relationship between daily parental homework help in first grade and student achievement in third grade with nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class.
  6. “Diversity Is Important to Me”: White Parents and Exposure-to-Diversity Parenting Practices

    Drawing upon interviews with 40 parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, the author explores how “exposure to diversity,” an implicit racial socialization practice, has become a defining feature of how some middle-class white parents teach their children about race and reflect on what it means to be a good white parent. Exposure to diversity involves white parents’ active efforts to expose their children to people of color via trips to multiracial parks, enrollment in multiracial schools, or residence in multiracial neighborhoods.
  7. Certainty, Uncertainty, or Indifference? Examining Variation in the Identity Narratives of Nonreligious Americans

    Much research in social science concludes that uncertainty surrounding individual beliefs and identities is negative and anxiety-inducing, and that people are continuously searching for certainty. In the context of rising rates of religious disaffiliation in the United States, and the rise of social and political organizations created to promote nonreligious beliefs and values, the nonreligious offer a strategic case to explore the meaning and lived experience of certainty and uncertainty surrounding belief and identity formation.
  8. What Should Children Learn? Americans’ Changing Socialization Values, 1986–2018

    Assessing changes in socialization values for children provides a unique window into how Americans perceive the landscape of their society. We examine whether, since the mid-1980s, Americans (1) emphasized survival values, like hard work, for children, as economic precarity rose or (2) prioritized self-expression values, like autonomy and compassion, as expected in postindustrial society.
  9. Time Deficits with Children: The Link to Parents’ Mental and Physical Health

    Time spent with children has become a central concern in North American parenting culture. Using the 2011 Canadian Work, Stress, and Health Study (n = 2,007), the authors examine employed parents’ perceptions about having too little time with children and whether these relate to parents’ mental and physical health. The “pernicious stressor” hypothesis posits that the demands of paid work combined with intensive mothering or involved fathering create unique time tensions that act as chronic stressors and that these are associated with poorer health and well-being.
  10. The Costs and Benefits of Parenthood for Mental and Physical Health in the United States: The Importance of Parenting Stage

    Although research finds that parents report greater depression than nonparents, we do not know whether the costs and benefits of parenthood for mental and physical health vary across parenting stages. Using the first wave of data from National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS; N = 2,730), we examine disparities in eight measures of mental and physical health between nonparents and parents whose youngest child is: (1) under 13, (2) 13 to 17, (3) 18 to 29, and (4) 30 years and older.