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  1. Variation in the Protective Effect of Higher Education against Depression

    Numerous studies document that higher education is associated with a reduced likelihood of depression. The protective effects of higher education, however, are known to vary across population subgroups. This study tests competing theories for who is likely to obtain a greater protective benefit from a college degree against depression through an analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and recently developed methods for analyzing heterogeneous treatment effects involving the use of propensity scores.

  2. Where Does Debt Fit in the Stress Process Model?

    This paper contrasts two money-related stressors—debt and economic hardship—and clarifies where debt fits into the stress process model. Debt may be a direct or indirect stressor, as something mediated by psychosocial resources, and may be a potential buffer, interacting with economic hardship. The analyses use data from a two-wave panel study of 1,463 adults. One way debt is distinct from economic hardship is that debt is more common among economically advantaged groups.

  3. The Link between Functional Limitations and Depressive Symptoms: The Explanatory Role of Self-conceptions

    Having more physical limitations predicts greater depressive symptoms. However, relatively few studies examine self-conceptions as potential explanations for this association. Using ordinary least squares regression on panel data collected in Miami-Dade County, Florida (2001 and 2004, N = 1,362), we examine the effect of functional limitations on five dimensions of the self: self-esteem, mastery, mattering, introspection, and emotional reliance.

  4. The Effect of Labeling and Numbering of Response Scales on the Likelihood of Response Bias

    Extreme response style (ERS) and acquiescence response style (ARS) are among the most encountered problems in attitudinal research. The authors investigate whether the response bias caused by these response styles varies with following three aspects of question format: full versus end labeling, numbering answer categories, and bipolar versus agreement response scales. A questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of 5,351 respondents from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences household panel, of which a subsample was assigned to one of five conditions.

  5. Good, Bad, and Extraordinary Mothers: Infant Feeding and Mothering in African American Mothers' Breastfeeding Narratives

    Dominant discourses promote breastfeeding as essential to "good mothering," shown in research to set a difficult standard that many white mothers internalize. Little is known about African American mothers’ perceptions of the connection between breastfeeding and mothering ideals. We analyzed perceptions of the relationship between breastfeeding and formula feeding and mothering through in-depth semistructured interviews with 22 predominantly middle-class African American mothers in the southeastern United States who breastfeed.

  6. Should We Talk about the Pain? Personalizing Sociology in the Medical Sociology Classroom

    This article discusses the potential of personalizing sociology curriculum, specifically in Medical Sociology courses, to increase student engagement and sociological awareness. Based on our experiences offering separate Medical Sociology courses at a large public research university and a small private teaching university, respectively, we outline emotional techniques we have each employed—separately and together—in our classes to facilitate student engagement, critical awareness, and medical coming out processes in our classrooms.

  7. Why Do Young, Unmarried Women Who Do Not Want to Get Pregnant Contracept Inconsistently? Mixed-method Evidence for the Role of Efficacy

    Many sexually active single women do not want to get pregnant but use contraception inconsistently. To explore why, the authors conducted in-depth interviews with 99 unmarried women in their 20s, asking about contraception with each of their sexual partners. The authors present quantitative and qualitative evidence that contraceptive inconsistency sometimes results from having too little efficacy, a concept that includes the subconcepts of planfulness, self-regulation, assertiveness, and believing that one can affect one’s goals.
  8. Children’s Cognitive Performance and Selective Attention Following Recent Community Violence

    Research has shown robust relationships between community violence and psychopathology, yet relatively little is known about the ways in which community violence may affect cognitive performance and attention. The present study estimates the effects of police-reported community violence on 359 urban children’s performance on a computerized neuropsychological task using a quasi-experimental fixed-effects design.

  9. Healthy Time Use in the Encore Years: Do Work, Resources, Relations, and Gender Matter?

    Social engagement is theorized to promote health, with ages 55 to 75—what some call “encore” adulthood—potentially being a time for ongoing engagement or social isolation. We use the American Time Use Survey (N = 11,952) and a life course perspective to examine associations between paid work, resources, relations, and healthy time use for men and women in the first (55–64) and second (65–74) halves of the encore years. Work limits sufficient sleep (full-time working men) and television watching (all workers) but also time spent in physical activity (full-time workers).

  10. Different Contexts, Different Effects?: Work Time and Mental Health in the United States and Germany

    We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (13,186 respondents in 30 states) to develop a unique state-level measure of the gendered context in order to examine the influence of gender normative attitudes and behaviors on state rates of suicidal ideation and individual-level suicidal ideation for female and male youth (ages 13 to 22). The findings demonstrate the negative consequences for youth, especially females who report feminine-typical traits, who live in contexts defined by restrictive gender norms at both the ecological and individual levels.