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  1. Using Multiple-hierarchy Stratification and Life Course Approaches to Understand Health Inequalities: The Intersecting Consequences of Race, Gender, SES, and Age

    This study examines how the intersecting consequences of race-ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics status (SES), and age influence health inequality. We draw on multiple-hierarchy stratification and life course perspectives to address two main research questions. First, does racial-ethnic stratification of health vary by gender and/or SES? More specifically, are the joint health consequences of racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic stratification additive or multiplicative? Second, does this combined inequality in health decrease, remain stable, or increase between middle and late life?

  2. Pathways from Early Childhood Adversity to Later Adult Drug Use and Psychological Distress: A Prospective Study of a Cohort of African Americans

    Drawing on the life course perspective, this research addresses the direct and indirect pathways between childhood adversity and midlife psychological distress and drug use across a majority of the life span in an African American cohort (N = 1,242) followed from age 6 to 42 (1966 to 2002). Results from structural equation models highlight the impact of low childhood socioeconomic status (SES), poor maternal mental health, and the role of first-grade maladaptation in launching a trajectory of social maladaptation from age 6 to 42.

  3. Imprisoned by Empathy: Familial Incarceration and Psychological Distress among African American Men in the National Survey of American Life

    The stress process model predicts that current incarceration of a family member should damage the health status of the inmate’s relatives. We address this prediction with data from the National Survey of American Life, focusing exclusively on African American men (n = 1,168). In survey-adjusted generalized linear models, we find that familial incarceration increases psychological distress, but its effect attenuates ostensibly after controlling for other chronic strains.

  4. Peer Influence on Aggressive Behavior, Smoking, and Sexual Behavior: A Study of Randomly-assigned College Roommates

    Identifying casual peer influence is a long-standing challenge to social scientists. Using data from a natural experiment of randomly-assigned college roommates (N = 2,059), which removes the threat of friend selection, we investigate peer effects on aggressive behavior, smoking, and concurrent sexual partnering. The findings suggest that the magnitude and direction of peer influence depend on predisposition, gender, and the nature of the behavior.

  5. Uncertain Expertise and the Limitations of Clinical Guidelines in Transgender Healthcare

    To alleviate uncertainty in the specialized field of transgender medicine, mental and physical healthcare providers have introduced the rhetoric of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in clinical guidelines to help inform medical decision making. However there are no diagnostic tests to assess the effectiveness of transgender medical interventions and no scientific evidence to support the guidelines. Using in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 23 healthcare providers, I found that providers invoked two strategies for negotiating the guidelines.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Adolescent Mental Health and Dating in Young Adulthood

    Adolescence is a period of tremendous socioemotional change, when youth develop important relationship skills that they carry with them into adulthood. The mental health of individuals during this period might act as resources or impediments that impact their ability to cultivate such skills as well as outcomes in their later romantic relationships.

  10. Study Reveals Incarceration’s Hidden Wounds for African American Men

    There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found.