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  1. Trajectories of Unsecured Debt across the Life Course and Mental Health at Midlife

    In this paper, we contribute to a growing literature on debt and mental health and ask whether patterns of unsecured debt accumulation and repayment over two decades are associated with depressive symptoms at age 50. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979 Cohort and group trajectory models, we have three key findings. First, we find substantial heterogeneity in debt trajectories across the life course.
  2. Encultured Biases: The Role of Products in Pathways to Inequality

    Recent sociological work shows that culture is an important causal variable in labor market outcomes. Does the same hold for product markets? To answer this question, we study a product market in which selection decisions occur absent face-to-face interaction between intermediaries and short-term contract workers. We find evidence of “product-based” cultural matching operating as a pathway to inequality.
  3. Stress and the Mental Health of Populations of Color: Advancing Our Understanding of Race-related Stressors

    This article provides an overview of research on race-related stressors that can affect the mental health of socially disadvantaged racial and ethnic populations. It begins by reviewing the research on self-reported discrimination and mental health. Although discrimination is the most studied aspect of racism, racism can also affect mental health through structural/institutional mechanisms and racism that is deeply embedded in the larger culture.
  4. Psychological Distress Transmission in Same-sex and Different-sex Marriages

    Ample work stresses the interdependence of spouses’ psychological distress and that women are more influenced by their spouse’s distress than men. Yet previous studies have focused primarily on heterosexual couples, raising questions about whether and how this gendered pattern might unfold for men and women in same-sex marriages.
  5. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.

  6. Healthcare Work in Marriage: How Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Spouses Encourage and Coerce Medical Care

    Marriage benefits health in part because spouses promote one another’s well-being, yet how spouses facilitate formal healthcare (e.g., doctor’s visits, emergency care) via what we call healthcare work is unknown. Moreover, like other aspects of the marital-health link, healthcare work dynamics likely vary by gender and couple type. To explore this possibility, we use in-depth interviews with 90 midlife gay, lesbian, and heterosexual spouses to examine how spouses perform healthcare work.
  7. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.
  8. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Religious (Dis)Affiliation and Depressive Symptomatology

    Religious affiliation is generally associated with better mental health. The nonreligious, however, currently constitute one of the fastest-growing religious categories in the United States. Since most of the nonreligious were raised in religious homes, their growth raises important questions about the mental health of those who consider dropping out of religion. In this article, I use longitudinal data from the Portraits of American Life Study to examine the impact of religious affiliation on mental health.
  9. Gender, Couples’ Fertility Intentions, and Parents’ Depressive Symptoms

    Unintended childbearing is associated with poorer parental well-being, but most scholarship in this area takes an individual-level approach to unintended childbearing. Drawing on couple data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), I treat unintended childbearing as a couple-level construct to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how individuals’ intentions, partners’ intentions, and gender are linked with psychological distress in the transition to parenthood. I make two chief contributions to prior research.
  10. Pathways to Mental Health Services and Perceptions about the Effectiveness of Treatment

    The gap between need and effective treatment for mental health problems continues to be a challenge for researchers and policymakers. Much of the attention has been on differences in treatment rates, with insufficient attention to variation in pathways that people take into treatment. Individuals may choose to seek help but may also be substantially influenced by others or coerced into care. The chances of each type of pathway are influenced by social characteristics and may shape perceptions of effectiveness of care.