Specialty and Approach

I specialize in understanding the health and development of US children and youth in today’s rapidly changing society. I use both statistical analyses of longitudinal national surveys and in-depth qualitative studies of local samples in my work.

Combining these different methods allows me to achieve my primary research aims: identifying demographic trends related to social inequalities among children and youth in the United States, then seeking to understand the processes underlying these trends by engaging with and developing theory rooted in sociological social psychology and the life course perspective. Current and recent funders include the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

“My research is influenced by the life course perspective, focusing on the reverberations of early life inequalities for human development, cultural influences on human lives, and the social embeddedness of human behaviors.”

My recent and ongoing research engages with three main areas: the implications of social inequalities for the health and development of children and youth, fertility inequalities and social norms, and health lifestyles among children and youth. Each of these research areas is influenced by the life course perspective, focusing on the reverberations of early life inequalities for human development, cultural influences on human lives, and the social embeddedness of human behaviors.