American Sociological Association

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  1. Parents, Partners, Plans, and Promises: The Relational Work of Student Loan Borrowing

    When does student loan borrowing prompt relational work between borrowers and family members? Research on student loans has focused on quantitative estimation of the effects of borrowing on educational attainment, economic well-being, health, and life-course milestones. Drawing on 60 interviews with lawyers in the northeastern United States, the authors argue that student loans also have underappreciated relational effects, even for relatively privileged borrowers.

  2. Avoiding Us versus Them: How Schools’ Dependence on Privileged “Helicopter” Parents Influences Enforcement of Rules

    As privilege-dependent organizations, U.S. public schools have an interest in catering to higher-SES White families. But, what happens when privileged families’ interests conflict with schools’ stated goals? Focusing on the case of homework, and drawing insights from organizational theory, cultural capital theory, and research on parent involvement in schools, I examine how schools’ dependence on higher-SES White families influences their enforcement of rules.
  3. Grandparenting and Mortality: How Does Race-Ethnicity Matter?

    Little is known about whether and how intergenerational relationships influence older adult mortality. This study examines the association between caring for grandchildren (i.e., grandparenting) and mortality and how the link differs by race-ethnicity. Drawing from the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2014, N = 13,705), I found different racial-ethnic patterns in the effects of grandparenting on mortality risk.
  4. 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.
  5. Educational Expansion, Skills Diffusion, and the Economic Value of Credentials and Skills

    Examining the economic value of education has been a central research agenda of social scientists for decades. However, prior research inadequately accounts for the discrepancy between educational credentials and skills at both the individual and societal levels. In this article, I investigate the link between credentials, skills, and labor market outcomes against a background of societal-level educational expansion and skills diffusion.
  6. Pushed or Pulled Out? The Racialization of School Choice in Black and White Mothers’ (Home) Schooling Decisions for Their Children

    Homeschooling is an increasingly common schooling option for middle-class black families yet is often overlooked in research on race and education. Drawing on interviews with 67 middle-class black and white mothers living in one northeastern metropolitan area—half of whom homeschool, while the other half enroll their children in conventional school—the author examines how race influences mothers’ decisions to homeschool or conventional school. The findings show that mothers’ schooling explanations reflect their experiences as shaped by the racial hierarchy constituted in schools.
  7. Black Mothering in Action: The Racial-Class Socialization Practices of Low-Income Black Single Mothers

    African Americans have long dealt with racism, discrimination, and racialized state and vigilante violence. As such, African American parents must educate their children about the realities of racism in the United States and how to cope with racism and discrimination. This practice, known as racial socialization, is a key aspect of Black parents’ parenting practices. Much of this labor tends to fall on the shoulders of Black mothers. To date, most of the scholarship on Black mothers’ racial socialization practices focuses on Black middle-class mothers.
  8. Linked Lives in Double Jeopardy: Child Incarceration and Maternal Health at Midlife

    Parents’ relationships with their adult children play an important role in shaping mid and later life health. While these relationships are often sources of support, stressors in the lives of children can compromise parents’ health as they age. I consider that a child’s incarceration is also a stressor that could imperil parents’ health through social, emotional, and economic strains that parents may experience as a result.
  9. Linked Lives in Double Jeopardy: Child Incarceration and Maternal Health at Midlife

    How does a child’s incarceration influence their mother’s health at midlife? Prior research shows that adverse circumstances in the lives of children can harm parental health, yet we know little about how a child’s incarceration shapes parental well-being.
  10. Even Supermoms Get the Blues: Employment, Gender Attitudes, and Depression

    This study examines how gender attitudes moderate the relationship between employment and depressive symptoms using data from the 1987 to 2006 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort. Results indicate that at age 40, the association of employment with reduced symptoms of depression is greatest for mothers who had previously expressed support for traditional gender roles. This finding was robust to controls for prior depressive symptoms.