American Sociological Association

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  1. Cancer-Related Debt and Mental-Health-Related Quality of Life among Rural Cancer Survivors: Do Family/Friend Informal Caregiver Networks Moderate the Relationship?

    Social connectedness generally buffers the effects of stressors on quality of life. Is this the case for cancer-related debt among rural cancer survivors? Drawing on a sample of 135 rural cancer survivors, we leverage family/friend informal caregiver network data to determine if informal cancer caregivers buffer or exacerbate the effect of cancer-related debt on mental-health-related quality of life (MHQOL).
  2. Does Intra-household Contagion Cause an Increase in Prescription Opioid Use?

    Opioid use claims many thousands of lives each year. This article considers the diffusion of prescription opioid (PO) use within family households as one potential culprit of the proliferation of these medications. In an analysis of hundreds of millions of medical claims and almost 14 million opioid prescriptions in one state between 2010 and 2015, we show that the use of POs spreads within family households.

  3. Mental Illness as a Stigmatized Identity

    In this study, we examine the relationships among reflected appraisals, self-views, and well-being for individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. We also test a perceptual control model of identity to determine whether discrepancies between stigmatized reflected appraisals and stigmatized self-views are associated with self-evaluation (self-esteem and self-efficacy) and psychological distress (depressive symptoms). We find that stigmatized self-views are significantly associated with lower self-esteem and self-efficacy and higher levels of depressive symptoms.

  4. Influence and Social Distance Consequences across Categories of Race and Mental Illness

    This paper describes an experimental study (N = 184) that investigated influence and social distance consequences of a number of attributes in interpersonal interactions. The attributes included race, education, panic disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. Participants interacted with fictitious partners whom they believed were real and who represented the attributes studied. Participants had opportunities to be influenced by and seek distance from their interaction partners. Results showed that low educational attainment and schizophrenia significantly reduced the influence of partners.

  5. Weathering, Drugs, and Whack-a-Mole: Fundamental and Proximate Causes of Widening Educational Inequity in U.S. Life Expectancy by Sex and Race, 1990–2015

    Discussion of growing inequity in U.S. life expectancy increasingly focuses on the popularized narrative that it is driven by a surge of “deaths of despair.” Does this narrative fit the empirical evidence? Using census and Vital Statistics data, we apply life-table methods to calculate cause-specific years of life lost between ages 25 and 84 by sex and educational rank for non-Hispanic blacks and whites in 1990 and 2015. Drug overdoses do contribute importantly to widening inequity for whites, especially men, but trivially for blacks.

  6. Immigrant Generation, Stress Exposure, and Substance Abuse among a South Florida Sample of Hispanic Young Adults

    Existing research finds that succeeding immigrant generations are at greater risk for mental health problems as well as higher levels of substance use. Previous studies have attempted to unpack the role of acculturation stress, discrimination, and other factors in these outcomes. Using data from a community-based sample of Miami-Dade County young adults, we use an empirically and theoretically precise measurement of generational status, allowing us to better understand the process of acculturation and adaptation experienced by each generation.

  7. Where’s the Beef? How Masculinity Exacerbates Gender Disparities in Health Behaviors

    Men in the United States have higher rates of life-threatening diseases than do women, in part due to behavioral differences in health practices. We argue that men’s enactment of masculinity in their daily lives contributes to health behavior differences. We focus on meat consumption, a masculine-stereotyped dietary practice that epidemiological studies have linked to negative health outcomes. In study 1, nationally representative survey data indicate men report less healthy lifestyle preferences than do women, including less willingness to reduce meat consumption.
  8. Structured Variation in Parental Beliefs about Autism

    We used data from the 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (N = 1,420) to evaluate a conceptual model linking social background (race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status [SES]) to parental distress through children’s clinical profiles and parental beliefs about the nature and causes of their child’s autism. Children’s clinical profiles varied by social background; white children and children of more highly educated and affluent parents were less likely to experience comorbid conditions and were more likely to be diagnosed with Asperger’s.
  9. Extending the Minority Stress Model to Understand Mental Health Problems Experienced by the Autistic Population

    Research into autism and mental health has traditionally associated poor mental health and autism as inevitably linked. Other possible explanations for mental health problems among autistic populations have received little attention. As evidenced by the minority disability movement, autism is increasingly being considered part of the identities of autistic people. Autistic individuals thus constitute an identity-based minority and may be exposed to excess social stress as a result of disadvantaged and stigmatized social status.
  10. Stigma of a Label Educational Expectations for High School Students Labeled with Learning Disabilities

    Poorer outcomes for youth labeled with learning disabilities (LDs) are often attributed to the student’s own deficiencies or cumulative disadvantage; but the more troubling possibility is that special education placement limits rather than expands these students’ opportunities. Labeling theory partially attributes the poorer outcomes of labeled persons to stigma related to labels.