I joined the Department of Sociology at LSU in the fall of 2015, after completing
an NICHD postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin that same year
and a PhD in Sociology at The Ohio State University in 2012.
My research combines interests in health, family demography, and quantitative methods, and primarily focuses on two overlapping areas. First, I study the social factors that shape the benefits and costs of intimate relationships for health and well-being. My research in this area addresses longstanding associations of intimate unions with health and draws attention to the substantial heterogeneity in the health effects of involvement in intimate relationships. Some of my recent contributions to this area have focused on whether intimate unions are more consequential for weight gain among those in less socially advantaged groups. I have also investigated the impact of childhood mental health conditions on shaping family relationships in adulthood and the effects of those relationships on adult mental health. Further, my recent research in this area has used dyadic data methods to examine gendered relationship and health dynamics in same-sex and different-sex couples. Second, I study family formation processes and characteristics of intimate unions across diverse family types, including same-sex and interracial couples. One recent project examined private health insurance coverage among same-sex couples before and after the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States. In addition, I am currently leading a study using vital statistics birth data and standardization and decomposition methods to describe and decompose trends in multiracial births from the early 1990s to the present. I employ rigorous quantitative methods in my research, including fixed-effects and between-within regression modeling, multilevel modeling, event history analysis, and dyadic data analysis. My work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Marriage and Family, Society and Mental Health, Population Research and Policy Review, Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Journal of Family Issues, Advances in Life Course Research, and LGBT Health.
Alongside my research, I enjoy teaching courses in my areas of expertise, and since joining the faculty at LSU have taught undergraduate courses related to family demography and the sociology of health and illness, graduate courses on quantitative methods (including event history and longitudinal data analysis), and a graduate seminar on family and health.
PhD: The Ohio State University (2012)