American Sociological Association



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  1. Family Structure Transitions and Child Development: Instability, Selection, and Population Heterogeneity

    A growing literature documents the importance of family instability for child wellbeing. In this article, we use longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the impacts of family instability on children’s cognitive and socioemotional development in early and middle childhood.

  2. 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.

  3. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers’ Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.

  4. Cumulative Advantage in an Egalitarian Country? Socioeconomic Health Disparities over the Life Course in Sweden

    According to the cumulative advantage hypothesis, health gaps between socioeconomic groups widen with age. In the United States, studies have supported this hypothesis. Outside this context, evidence remains scarce. The present study tests the cumulative advantage hypothesis in Sweden, a society that contrasts sharply with the United States in terms of policies designed to reduce social disparities in health-related resources. I draw on longitudinal data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (N = 9,412 person-years), spanning the period between 1991 and 2010.

  5. Do Highly Paid, Highly Skilled Women Experience the Largest Motherhood Penalty?

    Motherhood reduces women’s wages. But does the size of this penalty differ between more and less advantaged women? To answer this, we use unconditional quantile regression models with person-fixed effects, and panel data from the 1979 to 2010 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). We find that among white women, the most privileged—women with high skills and high wages—experience the highest total penalties, estimated to include effects mediated through lost experience.

  6. Neighborhood Attainment over the Adult Life Course

    This study uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, in conjunction with neighborhood-level data from the U.S. decennial census and American Community Survey, to examine the trajectory of individuals’ neighborhood characteristics from initial household formation into mid-to-late adulthood. Multilevel growth curve models reveal both different starting points and different life course trajectories for blacks and whites in neighborhood economic status and neighborhood racial composition.

  7. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  8. Cumulative Effects of Growing Up in Separate and Unequal Neighborhoods on Racial Disparities in Self-rated Health in Early Adulthood

    Evidence suggests that living in a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood is associated with worse health. Yet most research relies on cross-sectional data, which implicitly ignore variation in longer-term exposure that may be more consequential for health.

  9. 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.

  10. Whats the Rush? Tort Laws and Elective Early-term Induction of Labor

    Tort laws aim to deter risky medical practices and increase accountability for harm. This research examines their effects on deterrence of a high-risk obstetric practice in the United States: elective early-term (37–38 weeks gestation) induction of labor. Using birth certificate data from the Natality Detail Files and state-level data from publicly available sources, this study analyzes the effects of tort laws on labor induction with multilevel models (MLM) of 665,491 early-term births nested in states.