American Sociological Association

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  1. Revisiting the Cost of Skin Color: Discrimination, Mastery, and Mental Health among Black Adolescents

    This article investigates the association between skin tone and mental health in a nationally representative sample of black adolescents. The mediating influences of discrimination and mastery in the skin tone–mental health relationship also are considered. Findings indicate that black adolescents with the darkest skin tone have higher levels of depressive symptoms than their lighter skin tone peers. This is not the case for mental disorder. For disorder, a skin tone difference appeared only between black adolescents with very dark skin tone and black adolescents with medium brown skin tone.
  2. Visualizing Stochastic Actor-based Model Microsteps

    This visualization provides a dynamic representation of the microsteps involved in modeling network and behavior change with a stochastic actor-based model. This video illustrates how (1) observed time is broken up into a series of simulated microsteps and (2) these microsteps serve as the opportunity for actors to change their network ties or behavior. The example model comes from a widely used tutorial, and we provide code to allow for adapting the visualization to one’s own model.

  3. Scars: The Long-term Effects of Combat Exposure on Health

    Although the effects of combat exposure on mental health receive a good deal of attention, less attention has been directed to the long-term effects of combat exposure on physical health, apart from combat injuries. Using the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, the author evaluates the long-term effects of combat generally, as well as more specific dimensions of combat experience, including exposure to the dead and wounded.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.