American Sociological Association


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  1. Racial Disparities in Emotional Well-Being during Pregnancy

    In light of persistent racial disparities in maternal and child health, it is important to understand the dynamics shaping outcomes for black mothers. We examine racial patterns in women’s emotional well-being regarding pregnancy (i.e., women’s reported happiness to be pregnant), which has been shown to have health consequences. Using the 2002–2017 National Survey of Family Growth (N = 6,163 pregnancies ending in birth), we find that black women are less happy about their pregnancies than white women both for intended and mistimed pregnancies.

  2. Emotions and Medical Decision-Making

    Sociologists have written surprisingly little about the role emotions play in medical decision-making, largely ceding this terrain to psychologists who conceptualize emotional influences on decision-making in primarily cognitive and individualistic terms. In this article, I use ethnographic data gathered from parents and physicians caring for children with life-threatening conditions to illustrate how emotions enter the medical decision-making process in fundamentally interactional ways.
  3. Social Class, Diagnoses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Child Well-Being

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder among U.S. children. Diagnosis can bring positives, like proper treatment, extra testing time, and social support, but may also trigger negatives, like stigmatization. Although rates of diagnosis are high across socioeconomic status (SES) groups, the balance of positive and negative consequences of diagnosis may differ by SES.

  4. Scientific Hegemony and the Field of Autism

    Autism is one of the twenty-first century’s most contested illnesses. Early controversies around vaccine harm have irrevocably structured the field of autism science. Despite incredible investment in genetic research on autism over the past 30 years, scientists have failed to identify a set of “genes for” autism, and genomic causality has become more complex.
  5. Medical Authority under Siege: How Clinicians Transform Patient Resistance into Acceptance

    Over the past decades, professional medical authority has been transformed due to internal and external pressures, including weakened institutional support and patient-centered care. Today’s patients are more likely to resist treatment recommendations. We examine how patient resistance to treatment recommendations indexes the strength of contemporary professional authority. Using conversation analytic methods, we analyze 39 video recordings of patient-clinician encounters involving pediatric epilepsy patients in which parents resist recommended treatments.
  6. Race-Ethnicity, Social Roles, and Mental Health: A Research Update

    Social role involvement engenders sense of purpose and meaning to life, which sustains positive mental health. Racism within American society, however, results in experiences that disadvantage ethnoracial minorities, thus making it likely that social roles do not have universal remunerations. Using the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (N = 12,526), this study explores the association between role participation and psychological distress across nine ethnoracial groups. Results indicate that engaging in many roles is associated with better mental health for all ethnoracial groups.
  7. Comparing Internet Experiences and Prosociality in Amazon Mechanical Turk and Population-Based Survey Samples

    Given the high cost of traditional survey administration (postal mail, phone) and the limits of convenience samples such as university students, online samples offer a much welcomed alternative. Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) has been especially popular among academics for conducting surveys and experiments. Prior research has shown that AMT samples are not representative of the general population along some dimensions, but evidence suggests that these differences may not undermine the validity of AMT research.
  8. Pharmaceutical Side Effects and Mental Health Paradoxes among Racial-Ethnic Minorities

    Sociologists have long struggled to explain the minority mental health paradox: that racial-ethnic minorities often report better mental health than non-Hispanic whites despite social environments that seem less conducive to well-being. Using data from the 2008–2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), this study provides a partial explanation for the paradox rooted in a very different disparity. Evidence from MEPS indicates that non-Hispanic whites consume more pharmaceuticals than racial-ethnic minorities for a wide variety of medical conditions.
  9. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  10. Vaccine Refusal and Pharmaceutical Acquiescence: Parental Control and Ambivalence in Managing Children’s Health

    Parents who confidently reject vaccines and other forms of medical intervention often seek out pediatric care, medical treatments, and prescription medications for their children in ways that seem to contradict these views. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 34 parents who rejected some or all vaccines for their children, this article examines the strategies they use to pharmaceutically manage their children’s health, even when espousing a larger rejection of pharmaceutical interventions like childhood vaccines.