I am a professor at the Minnesota Population Center and in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. You can also read more about me in this Faculty Spotlight from the Department of Sociology.
I received my undergrad in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and my masters and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University’s Institute for Social Sciences. I spent 13 years rising from Assistant Professor to Professor in Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University. I have been trained across several social science disciplines. My primary mentors were psychologist Joe Pleck at Illinois, clinical psychologist Cathy Cohan and sociologist Paul Amato at Penn State, and economist Liz Peters at Cornell.
I am a member of the Council on Contemporary Families, International Association for Relationship Research, National Council on Family Relations, the American Sociological Association, and the Population Association of America. I review for journals in family studies, sociology, psychology, and demography.
Because I am an interdisciplinary relationship scientist and family demographer, I have a variety of datasets and projects I am working on. Further, my students’ research interests also dictate what I am currently working on. Overall, my main research areas include: 1) understanding romantic relationship quality and stability longitudinally, and 2) examining how romantic relationship experiences and transitions shape individual development, including both adult and child development.
In September 2018, I was awarded as principal investigator a grant titled Mechanisms Underlying Sexual Minority Health Disparities in the United States from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (1R01HD094081-01A1).
The grant is for the first population-representative, multi-method, fully-powered study of cohabiting and married couples in both different and same-gender couples called the National Couples’ Health and Time Study. My team, working with Gallup, will recruit 2690 US adults aged 18 to 60 who are cohabiting or married to same- and different-gender partners, along with their partners. The sample will include an oversample of respondents of color. We will collect survey data, and using a mobile phone application platform, we will also collect time-diary and experience sampling method data. Data to be collected include data on family functioning, emotion regulation, stigma, discrimination, physical and psychological health, and health behaviors. The data, which will take about two years to collect, will eventually be available to scholars around the world. Learn more here.
Work and Family Life Study (WAFLS)
In August 2019, I was awarded a grant titled The All-or-Nothing Marriage? Marital Functioning and Health Among Individuals in Same and Different-Gender Marriages (1R01AG060944-01A1) by theNational Institutes on Aging. This grant will generate a third repeated cross-section (i.e. a third wave) of the Work and Family Life Study (WAFLS) data, complementing and extending cross-sectional data collected in 1980 and 2000. The original data, from 2034 married individuals who were population representative of the US, was collected in 1980 by Drs. Alan Booth, David Johnson, Lynn Rogers, and John Edwards of the University of Nebraska, and was called Marital Instability Across the Life Course. In 2000, Drs. Alan Booth, David Johnson, Paul Amato, and Stacy Rogers, all now of the Pennsylvania State University, collected a second cohort called the Work and Family Life Study. The data included 2100 married individuals who were asked the survey from 1980. With this project, we propose to collect a population-representative 2020 cohort of 2000 married individuals in different-gender marriages and 600 married individuals in same-gender marriages. We will administer both the 1980/2000 phone survey, and we will administer an online supplement that will harmonize with the National Couples’ Health and Time Study. With these data, my colleagues and I will examine age, period, and cohort trends in marital functioning, and it’s association with health, over the past 40 years among different gender spouses. We will also examine the association be-tween marital functioning and adult physical and mental health in individuals in same-gender marriages and compare the magnitude of these associations with individuals in different-gender marriages. These data will also be available to scholars around the world; the first two waves are currently available here.
Large, secondary datasets:
- Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study
- National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979
- National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997
- National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Children and Young Adults
- National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
- Marital Instability Over the Life Course
- National Survey of Families and Households
- The New Parents Project : The New Parents Project is a study of dual-earner families in Central Ohio experiencing their initial transition to parenthood. This longitudinal study of 182 couples includes six waves. Data was collected in the form of self-report questionnaires, video-taped couple and parent-child interactions, and time-diaries. This study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This project is co-led by Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan and myself.
On a personal note, my husband Aaron and I have four sons and enjoy camping around Minnesota and at the National Parks with our family. Between my husband and me, we have degrees from three Big Ten universities!
I am an avid reader and am on Goodreads. Some of my favorite books by year:
Circe by Madeline Miller, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller, Educated (audio) by Tara Westover, We’re Going to Need More Wine (audio) by Gabrielle Union
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (audio), Hunger by Roxanne Gay (audio), You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie (audio), The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.
Find me on the web: