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  1. A Multilevel Test of Constrained Choices Theory: The Case of Tobacco Clean Air Restrictions

    According to Bird and Rieker’s sociology of constrained choices, decisions and priorities concerning health are shaped by the contexts—including policy, community, and work/family—in which they are formulated. While each level received attention in the original and subsequent research, we contend their constrained choices theory provides a powerful multilevel framework for modeling health outcomes. We apply this framework to tobacco clean air restrictions, combining a comprehensive database of tobacco policies with the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 from ages 19 to 31.

  2. Socioeconomic and Racial-ethnic Disparities in Prosocial Health Attitudes: The Case of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination for Adolescent Males

    Research on prosocial attitudes, social networks, social capital, and social stratification suggest that lower–socioeconomic status (SES), Hispanic, and nonwhite individuals will be more likely than their higher-SES and non-Hispanic white counterparts to engage in health behaviors that serve a social good.

  3. Life Course Pathways of Economic Hardship and Mobility and Midlife Trajectories of Health

    We utilize over 40 years of prospective data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 1,229) and repeated-measures latent class analysis to examine how long-term patterns of stability and change in economic hardship from childhood to adulthood are related to subsequent trajectories of midlife health.

  4. Home, Heart, and Being Latina: Housing and Intimate Relationship Power among Low-income Mexican Mothers

    The authors examine an emergent association between low-income Mexican mothers’ control of housing and power relations in their romantic unions.

  5. Sizing up Peers Adolescent Girls’ Weight Control and Social Comparison in the School Context

    Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and multi-level modeling, we examine the role of social comparison with schoolmates in adolescent girls’ weight control. Specifically, we focus on how girls’ own weight control is influenced by the body sizes and weight-control behaviors of their schoolmates. Our findings suggest that comparisons with similar others (in this case, girls of a similar body size) appear to have the strongest association with individual girls’ reports of trying to lose weight.

  6. Tradition and Innovation in Scientists’ Research Strategies

    What factors affect a scientist’s choice of research problem? Qualitative research in the history and sociology of science suggests that this choice is patterned by an “essential tension” between productive tradition and risky innovation. We examine this tension through Bourdieu’s field theory of science, and we explore it empirically by analyzing millions of biomedical abstracts from MEDLINE. We represent the evolving state of chemical knowledge with networks extracted from these abstracts. We then develop a typology of research strategies on these networks.

  7. Health Insurance Status and Symptoms of Psychological Distress among Low-income Urban Women

    Although numerous studies have considered the effects of having health insurance on access to health care, physical health, and mortality risk, the association between insurance coverage and mental health has been surprisingly understudied. Building on previous work, we use data collected from a two-year follow-up of low-income women living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to estimate a series of latent fixed-effects regression models assessing the association between insurance status and symptoms of psychological distress.

  8. Lies, Damned Lies, and Survey Self-Reports? Identity as a Cause of Measurement Bias

    Explanations of error in survey self-reports have focused on social desirability: that respondents answer questions about normative behavior to appear prosocial to interviewers. However, this paradigm fails to explain why bias occurs even in self-administered modes like mail and web surveys. We offer an alternative explanation rooted in identity theory that focuses on measurement directiveness as a cause of bias.

  9. Book Review: Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort

    With questions of racial justice at the forefront of public discourse, especially in relation to police violence, this book presents a timely investigation.

  10. Environmental Contaminants and Reproductive Bodies: Provider Perspectives on Risk, Gender, and Responsibility

    Increasingly, leading health organizations recommend that women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy avoid certain toxic chemicals found in our products, homes, and communities in order to protect fetuses from developmental and future harm. In the contemporary United States, women’s maternal bodies have been treated as sites of exceptional risk and individual responsibility. Many studies have examined this phenomenon through the lens of lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking, and exercise.