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Selected Faculty Research Projects

Shawn Bauldry

Project: Advancing measurement models in social science

Other Investigators: n/a

Data Sources: simulation methods

Methods: Monte Carlo simulation methods, measurement models, multiple-groups analysis, Bayesian estimators


This project seeks to advance measurement models in two domains. First, the project will examine the extent of trade-offs between bias and efficiency across different model-implied instrumental variable estimators for Structural Equation Model-based measurement models. Second, the project will examine the utility of Bayesian estimators and regions of practical equivalence for evaluating meaurement invariance for Structural Equation Model-based measurement models. Both components of the project are oriented towards providing practical guidance for applied researchers using measurement models in social science analyses.

Joshua Doyle

Project: Political Partisan Views on Declining Social Trust: Investigating How Democrats and Republicans Makes Sense of Declining Trust in the U.S. and The Consequences for Cooperation

Other Investigators: Marcus Mann (Assistant Professor, Purdue University)

Data Sources: NLSY79s

Methods: original data collection


Social trust—a belief that people in general are trustworthy, fair, and helpful—has long been recognized across the social sciences as essential to a flourishing society. Without social trust, collectives will struggle to sustain the level of cooperation necessary to build public goods and resolve collective problems. This makes declining social trust in the United States concerning. Unlike most social issues, there does not appear to be a difference in concern over declining social trust by political partisanship. While Democrats and Republicans both appear to be equally concerned over this trend, preliminary work suggests that they differ in ways that reflect their differing worldviews on the reasons why this decline is taking place. In this project, we have fielded a survey to solicit narrative data on why partisans believe trust is declining for textual analyses, and will field an experimental study on the effects of differing causal accounts on cooperative behavior.

Rachel Einwohner

Project: Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust

Other Investigators: n/a

Data Sources: archived Holocaust survivor testimonies

Methods:  qualitative coding using NVivo


Examination of participation in various types of resistance by Jews living under Nazioccupation in the ghettos of Warsaw, Vilna, and Lodz during World War II.

Graduate Student Collaborative Projects:

Einwohner, Rachel L., Kaitlin Kelly-Thompson, Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, Fernando Tormos, S. Laurel Weldon, Jared M. Wright, and Kuan-Sheng (Charles) Wu. 2021. “Active Solidarity: Intersectional Solidarity in Action.” Social Politics 48(3). Online first:

Raridon, Andrew, Tamara L. Mix, and Rachel L. Einwohner. 2021. “‘Workarounds and Roadblocks’: Co-existence, Challenge, and Resistance among Sustainable Food Activists.” Social Currents 8(2): 182-198.

Einwohner, Rachel L., and Elle Rochford. 2019. “After the March: Using Instagram to Perform and Sustain the Women’s March.” Sociological Forum 34(S1): 1090-1111.

Park, Soon Seok, and Rachel L. Einwohner. 2019. “Becoming a Movement Society? Patterns in the Public Acceptance of Protest, 1985-2006.” Sociological Focus 52(3): 186-200.

Leamaster, Reid J., and Rachel L. Einwohner. 2018. “‘I’m Not Your Stereotypical Mormon Girl’: Mormon Women’s Gendered Resistance.” Review of Religious Research 60(2): 161-181.

Kenneth Ferraro

Project:  Early Origins of Adult Health

Funding: National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Other Investigators:  Patti Thomas (Purdue) and Lisa Barnes (Rush University Medical College)

Former Purdue University graduate student collaborators on the project (past 10 years): Blakelee R. Kemp (Post-doctoral Fellow, Aging Studies Institute and Department of Sociology, Syracuse University); Patricia M. Morton (Assistant Professor of Sociology, Wayne State University); Markus H. Schafer (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto); Tetyana P. Shippee (Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota); Lindsay R. Wilkinson (Assistant Professor of Sociology, Baylor University)

Current Purdue University graduate student collaborator: Madison Sauerteig,“Life Course Stressors and Functional Limitations in Later Life among White, Black, and Hispanic Adults: Deleterious, Hardening, or Benign?” that is coauthored with Kenneth F. Ferraro and Shawn Bauldry and is forthcoming in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

Data Sources: Health and Retirement Study

Methods:  OLS regression, event history analysis, trajectory analysis


This project examines whether early-life experiences such as poverty and child maltreatment influence later-life health and contribute to racial-ethnic differences in health inequality. Although many scholars focus on proximal risks of health problems in later life, we take the long view—and have uncovered multiple instances where early-life experiences influence physical and cognitive health during later life. This project uses longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine pathways between childhood exposures and health in later life, identifying the constellation of risks and resources across the life course. We prioritize the role of social resources and health behaviors across the life course to counteract the influence of early-life risks.

Jacqui Frost

Project:  Atheist Utopias: Sacralizing Science in Secular Congregations 

Funding: Templeton Religion Trust 

Data Sources: Original Data Collection 

Methods: Ethnography and Interviews 


We are currently seeing an unprecedented growth in the number of people who identify as nonreligious in the United States. However, our sociological understandings of this growing demographic have been limited by a widely accepted social scientific narrative that presumes the loss of religion comes with a detrimental loss of meaning, morality, and community. This project pushes back against that narrative and examines how nonreligious Americans are constructing new rituals, new meaning systems, and new communities in a growing secular congregation movement. In particular, this project focuses on how nonreligious people in these secular congregations are cultivating a shared faith in science and collectively constructing moral identities around the belief that rational thinking and scientific progress are necessary for promoting individual wellbeing, building enriching communities, and creating a better world. Rather than rejecting rituals and spiritual practices, secular congregants are not only trying to secularize religious rituals in ways that are consistent with their scientific worldviews, but they are finding spiritual meaning in science itself.  

Spencer Headworth

Project: The Repo Pandemic: Cars, Collections, and the Socioeconomic Fallout of COVID-19

Funding Source: Russell Sage Foundation

Other investigators: n/a

Data Sources: original data collection

Methods:  ethnography, interviews


This project focuses on vehicle repossession in the Midwestern United States. Drawing on ethnographic observations and semi-structured interviews with both repossession agents and repossession targets, it will answer three primary research questions: (1) How are new technologies shaping repossession? (2) How does repossession affect present and future socioeconomic disadvantage? (3) What can vehicle repossession teach us about the socioeconomic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how can those findings inform our preparations for and responses to future crises?

Graduate Student Collaborative Projects:

Headworth, Spencer and Callie Zaborenko. 2021. “Legal Reactivity: Correctional Health Care Certifications as Responses to Litigation.” Law & Social Inquiry. Online first:

 Headworth, Spencer, and Nicholas Tucker Reyes. Forthcoming. “Welfare Fraud.” Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.

Elizabeth A. Hoffmann

Project:  Lactation at Work: Expressed Milk, Expressing Beliefs, and the Expressive Value of Law

Funding Source: National Science Foundation

Other investigators: n/a

Data Sources: original data collection

Methods:  qualitative analysis of in-depth interviewees


In 2010, the Lactation at Work Law (an amendment to the US Fair Labor Standards Act) mandated accommodations for lactating women. This book examines the federal law and its state-level equivalent in Indiana, drawing on two waves of interviews with human resource personnel, supervising managers, and lactating workers. In many ways, this simple law – requiring break time and privacy for pumping – is a success story. Through advocacy by allies, education of managers, and employee initiative, many organizations created compliant accommodations. This book shows legal scholars how a successful civil rights law creates effective change; helps labor activists and management personnel understand how to approach new accommodations; and enables workers to understand the possibilities for amelioration of workplace problems through internal negotiations and legal reforms.


Danielle Kane

Project: Coming of Age in Southwest China

Funding Source: ASA

Other investigators:  Ke Li (CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice)

Data Sources: Original data collection

Methods: Interviews


This project examines the role of gender and parental involvement in the Chinese
transition to adulthood. We argue that identifying the cultural and ethical assumptions of young
people making this transition is key to understanding how they experience this stage of the life
course and make major life decisions. In this project we sought to elicit the kind of first-hand
accounts of transition experiences of the kind that have been collected for the West. Based on 100
interviews with young women and men in two cities in southwest China, we find that parents play an
important role in transition decision-making, and that gender deeply shapes the experience of this
stage of the life course. As distinct from previous research, we find that certain markers of
adulthood, like establishing an independent residence (or home-buying), become more associated
with one gender.


Marcus Mann

Project: Finding Significance Through Unsorting: Online Pathways to Fringe Beliefs

Funding Source: n/a

Other investigators: Diana Zulli and Jeremy Foote

Data Sources: Interviews and digital trace data

Methods: Interviews, web scraping, and text analysis


Political radicalization is a threat to democracy, and toxic online political environments are believed to exacerbate this problem. Yet, most existing radicalization models do not fully consider online contexts, and many online studies of radicalization focus on how radicalized individuals use technological tools or whether algorithms present people with radicalizing content. This has led to a gap in understanding the early-stage socio-technical mechanisms that lead people to radical beliefs. In this project, we are addressing this gap in two papers. First, we interview politically active Reddit users about their media consumption, online behaviors, and political beliefs, asking: 1) What are the pathways to political participation in online communities? and 2) What are the perceptions of radicalization in online communities? Guided by grounded theory, we have identified three motivations for engagement with fringe political content and communities: political unsorting of the self, political exceptionalism, and virtuous participation. We argue that these motivations are important seeds of political radicalization, and relevant to supporting healthy political discourse online. Second, we use these insights to inform a second paper where we scrape data directly from political sub-Reddits and use text analysis methods to examine how these themes emerge from accounts that have displayed increasing engagement with politically radical communities over time.

David McElhattan

Project: Criminal records and occupational governance in the United States

Data Sources: Census, National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction, original data collection

Methods: Panel data techniques


This project examines the extent and consequences of using criminal background checks to regulate legal eligibility for employment and occupational licenses in the United States. While mandates for employers and license boards to check criminal records have grown dramatically in recent decades, systematic research is lacking on the scope of these requirements and their effects on the composition of the labor force in regulated industries. By linking background check mandates to Census occupation codes, the project seeks to quantify the degree to which the U.S. workforce is governed by formal background checks and examines their effects on racial disparities in employment.

Trenton Mize

Project: The Role of Masculinity and Femininity in Gender and Sexual Minority Inequality

Other investigators: Bing Han (grad student)

Data Sources: original data collection—national survey experiments. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.

Methods:  experimental design, latent variable modeling (scaling), nonlinear effect modeling, data visualization


Both gender and sexuality identity pattern inequalities across labor markets, health care, and health outcomes. The role of masculinity and femininity remains unclear—partially because measuring how masculine or feminine a given person proves difficult. This project examines the role that masculinity and femininity play in these inequalities. First, masculinity and femininity could play a mechanistic role in explaining group differences: for example, heterosexual men’s labor market advantage over gay and bisexual men may be due to a preference for masculinity in the workplace and stereotypes that link sexual identity and masculinity. Second, assessing the effect of masculinity and femininity can help explain within-group differences: for example, heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women vary greatly in their masculinity and femininity and treating them as a homogenous group defined solely by their sexual identity ignores important differences within each group. This project uses both original survey experiments on national samples of hiring managers and also nationally representative survey data. In the latter, we use novel scaling techniques to precisely identify how masculine and feminine workers are along with their gender and sexual identity. We examine how these factors influence both labor market and health outcomes.

Dan Olson

Project: The Influence of Your Neighbors’ Religions on You, Your Attitudes and Behaviors, and Your Community.

Data Sources: Survey data (GSS and the National Study of Youth and Religion, World Values Survey) merged with data on the counties and countries (census data, religious group memberships, crime rates, economic data, etc.) in which survey respondents live.

Methods:  regression methods including multi-level regression models

Current graduate students: Charissa Mikoski, Nic Frame, Tyler Anderson

Former graduate students: Joey Marshall (U.S. Census Bureau), Jong Hyun Jung (Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea), Becka Alper (Pew Research Center); Fanhao Nie (Valdosta State University), RJ Leamaster (Glendale Community College), Miao Li (Clemson University); other colleagues David Voas (University College London), Jonathan Hill (Calvin College)


My current and future work takes it inspiration from Weber. It focuses on ways that the religious composition of people living in an area (e.g., the percent Catholic) influences the behavior and attitudes of everyone else living in the same area, even people with no religion and people whose religion is different from the majority religion. The hypothesis is that religions create strong religious subcultures. These influence local secular subcultures, and local subcultures, in turn, influence the behavior and attitudes of individuals living in the area (over and above the characteristics of individual survey respondents). My recently published work (see my CV) shows how the religious composition of cities, counties, and countries affects dependent variables as different as the willingness of survey respondents to trust others, approval of spouse beating, and the frequency of underage drinking. In this newly developing area of research others have found that religious composition variables influence divorce and teen pregnancy rates, county-level mortality and infant mortality rates, and rates for certain kinds of crimes. Not all of these influences are positive. Another strand of my research continues to focus on how the religious composition of geographic areas affects the growth or decline of religion, especially young people leaving religion. 

Dr. Dan Olson is planning to retire following the Spring 2023 semester.

Linda Renzulli

Project: Parent-Teacher Organizations and Stratification Within and Across Schools

Funding: National Science Foundation

Other Investigators: Alma Garza (post-doctoral researcher), Thurston Domina (UNC Chapel Hill faculty), Brittany Murray (Davidson College faculty)

Data Sources: IRS data, NCES data, North Carolina School data,  original survey data collection

Methods:  HLM, regression techniques, content analysis, NIVO coding interview data


Our project investigates how two crucial institutions in the lives of young people -- the family and the school – are adapting in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. We document interactions between schools and families amid the COVID-19 crisis, analyzing the processes through which schools facilitate the construction of social capital among families even as they have closed school buildings and moved instruction online. We then trace links between these family/school interactions and students learning experiences. This will shed light on social capital’s role in the production of racial and socioeconomic inequalities during the pandemic period, as well as the potential role that enhanced social capital could play in building more resilient and inclusive environments for youth development. We expect that schools and the nexus between families and schools will forever be altered by this pandemic.

  1. How does school/family collaboration vary with family race and socioeconomic status?
  2. To what extent are these racial and socioeconomic inequalities attributable to differences in practices used during the remote learning period across and within schools? What school characteristics and practices facilitate resilient and equitable collaborations among educators and families?
  3. To what extent does school/family collaboration facilitate equitable access to critical material, health, and academic resources for students and their families during the COVID-19 crisis?
  4. To what extent does school/family collaboration mitigate learning losses associated with the COVID-19 crisis, particularly among students of color and students from socioeconomically disadvantaged families?

Selected Collaborations with Graduate Students (in bold):

Domina, T., Renzulli, L., Murray, B., Garza, A. N., Perez, L. (2021). “Remote but Resilient: Predicting Successful Engagement with Online Learning During COVID-19.” Socius.

Boylan, R., Renzulli, L., Petts, A., Murray, B., & Domina, T. (2021). “Practicing Parental Involvement: Heterogeneity in Parent Involvement Structures in Charter and Traditional Public Schools.” Educational Administration Quarterly

Petts, Amy, Rebecca Perdomo, Rebecca Boylan, Linda Renzulli.  2020. Racial Heterogeneity: The Effects of School Relationships on Bachelor's Degree

Jeremy Reynolds

Project:  Work Schedules, the Gig Economy, and COVID-19

Other Investigators: Reilly Kincaid, graduate student

Data Sources: 4 waves of data from MTurk workers gathered shortly before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Methods: regression (OLS, logistic, fixed-effects), sequence analysis


Until recently, relatively few American workers had control over their weekly work schedules. Their employers dictated where, when, and how long they worked. For workers and their families, these constraints have substantial costs. Both rigid and unstable schedules make it difficult for workers to accommodate the demands of their personal lives.

The growth of the “gig economy” has offered a more flexible alternative, but the flexibility comes at a cost. Platforms like Uber, DoorDash, and Amazon Mechanical Turk allow workers to set their own schedules, at least theoretically. Gig jobs, however, do not usually offer high wages, long-term employment contracts, retirement accounts, health insurance, paid vacation, workplace protections, or other benefits. Perhaps this explains why most people doing gig work also have wage-salary jobs.

To learn more about the costs and benefits of gig work and how it is combined with other jobs, Reilly Kincaid and I are analyzing panel data from over 1,000 people who were earning money by doing microtasks through Amazon’s MTurk platform in early 2020. Using data gathered in February 2020, we are studying the pre-pandemic costs and benefits of that work. Using three additional waves of data gathered during the pandemic, we are also examining the extent to which the MTurk platform was a useful resource when wage-salary work became unsafe or unavailable.

Our research questions include:

  • How do people combine microtask work with other forms of employment? 
  • To what extent does microtask work help people get the schedules they prefer?
  • When is microtask work associated with increased worker well-being?
  • To what extent did MTurk help our respondents cope with the pandemic?
  • To what extent did platform reduce or exacerbate inequalities?

The first paper from this project is:
Reynolds, Jeremy and Reilly Kincaid. Forthcoming. “Gig Work and the Pandemic: Looking for Good Pay from Bad Jobs During the COVID-19 Crisis.” Work & Occupations.

Christie Sennott

Project: The Influence of Risk Perception, Social Norms, and Partner Dynamics on Young Women’s Contraceptive Use

Other Investigations: Laurie James-Hawkins (University of Essex)

Data Sources: Original data collection

Methods: Analysis of in-depth interviews


This project analyzes in-depth contraceptive and sexual life history interviews with 57 college students to better understand the factors that influence women’s contraceptive use during high school and college. For example, a recently published paper from this project examined how college women’s use of withdrawal as a pregnancy avoidance method varied depending on partnership type (Sennott and James-Hawkins, Journal of Sex Research, 2022). The findings showed that women with casual partners were more likely to advocate for their own sexual and contraceptive preferences, whereas women in committed romantic relationships often prioritized their partner’s desire for condomless sex, but also linked withdrawal with love and trust. Although condomless sex may enhance intimacy between partners, these dynamics also put women in relationships at heightened risk of unintended sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including pregnancy. Other ongoing papers stemming from this project analyze: (a) how contraceptive learning and communication with parents, partners, and peers influence contraceptive use and women’s reproductive health outcomes; (b) women’s emotion management surrounding pregnancy scares and gender inequality among college students; and (c) gendered power and women’s use of Plan B.

Kevin Stainback

Project: What Promotes Gender Equity and Diversity in the Workplace?

Data Sources: Organization-level datasets from several different countries. Current projects include studies of organizations in Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and the US.

Methods: Stainback uses various quantitative methods to analyze longitudinal data with nested structures (establishments nested in their parent firms, nested in industries, etc.)


Stainback’s current research explores gender workplace inequality across avariety of dimensions (e.g., wages, hiring and turnover, managerial attainment, executive and board of director gender composition) in several different national contexts. At the heart of this research is the question: what works in reducing gender inequality in work organizations? Stainback centers on two broad types of general explanations: (1) those linked to gender representation (e.g., women in corporate governance) and (2) those linked to organizational policies and practices (e.g., diversity statements and committees, monitoring practices). Beyond these specific foci, Stainback is also interested in diffusion processes of representation and policies and practices across organizations, including the role of industrial context and interlocking board positions. Stainback’s research agenda draws on general organizational theory, gender theory, and social psychology to generate and test theoretical expectations. The goal of using various datasets across studies is to better understand the factors that are general across national contexts and those that are unique to a country’s history. For example, some countries have legislated gender quotas for corporate boards (Norway), some have set non-binding gender targets (Australia, United Kingdom), and others have taken a more laissez-faire approach (United States). The primary motivation for this research is to generate knowledge that can be used to create more equitable and inclusive workplaces.

Robin Stryker

Project One:  Political Incivility, Media and Political Polarization

Funding Source: University of Arizona (home of the National Institute for Civil Discourse)

Other Investigators: Bethany A. Conway (Cal-Poly), Shawn Bauldry. Graduate students: Vasundhara Kaul, Morgan Leever

Data Sources:  Organization-level datasets from several different countries. Current projects include studies of organizations in Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and the US.

Methods:  experiments, survey, quantitative measurement and modeling


Project investigates Americans’ perceptions of political incivility and how those perceptions are shaped by various respondent characteristics, and characteristics pertaining to incivility’s source and context; project combines theories of partisan-based motivated reasoning, social identity theory (SIT) and identity theory (IT) to explain patterns found. Project has graduate student and former graduate student co-authors, multiple manuscripts in process, and publications in such journals as Communication Monographs and Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

Project Two: Employment Discrimination Law, Politics and Inequality

Funding Source: National Science Foundation

Other Investigators: Nicholas Pedriana (University of Wisconsin), Heidi Reynolds-Stenson (University of Colorado-Pueblo), Krista Frederico (Catalyst), Olivia Neff, graduate student

Data Sources: Original in-depth interviews, various secondary sources, human resource journals, and various public and non-public primary documents.  The latter include federal judicial opinions, legislative history documents for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and Executive Order 11246, reports and memoranda from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance, and the Civil Rights Commission.

Methods: historical-comparative, case-oriented narrative and comparative methods, content/discourse analysis, analysis of political-cultural framing


Project investigates how the social and behavioral sciences are used in federal employment discrimination law in the United States, how politics (including the politics of science) shapes employment discrimination law, and consequences for social inequalities, including those of race and gender. Project has graduate student and former graduate student co-authors; has led to publications in such journals as the American Journal of Sociology, Law & Social Inquiry, Sociological Methods and Research, L’Année Sociologique, and the Annual Review of Law & Social Science, and to scholarly awards from various sections of the American Sociological Association.

J. Jill Suitor

Project: Within-Family Differences Study

Funding: National Institute on Aging (2001-2005, 2007-2014, & 2019-2021)

Other Investigators:  Megan Gilligan, HDFS, Iowa State University

Data Sources: Original quantitative and qualitative data have been collected from grandparents, adult children, and adult grandchildren in 550 families using a combination of in-person and telephone interviews with grandparents and adult children, and telephone interviews and online surveys with adult grandchildren.

Methods:  Convergent mixed-methods, multilevel regression modeling, contextual qualitative analyses


The Within Family Differences Study (WFDS) began in 2001 as a mixed-method longitudinal project focused on understanding the relationships between parents and their adult children and adult grandchildren, and the ways in which these ties affect the well-being of all three generations. Currently, we are also studying the role of long-term family relations in psychological well-being, physical health, and health behaviors following the death of parents and grandparents. Our goals are to contribute to the scientific study of intergenerational relationships and provide a basis for the development of strategies for practitioners to employ when working with later-life families. Thus far, the WFDS has generated more than 60 published journal articles and chapters in edited volumes; graduate students have been coauthors on more than 85% of these publications.

Project web page:

Patricia Thomas

Project:  Early Origins of Adult Health and the Risks and Resources of Social Relationships

Funding: National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Other Investigators: Ken Ferraro

Data Sources: Health and Retirement Study

Methods: OLS regression, event history analysis, growth curve models, multilevel models


 How do positive and negative dimensions of social relationships in early life and/or in adulthood impact health trajectories later in life? How might these social relationships exacerbate or mitigate the ways in which early-life disadvantages affect later-life health? And how might these factors contribute to racial-ethnic health inequalities? Although many scholars focus on proximal risks of health problems in later life, we take the long view—and have uncovered multiple instances where early-life experiences influence physical and cognitive health during later life. We identify social relationships as part of the constellation of risks and resources across the life course that may influence these health trajectories.

Graduate student collaborative publications (*denotes graduate student coauthor):

*Kemp, Blakelee R., Kenneth F. Ferraro, Patricia M. Morton, Patricia A. Thomas, Sarah A. Mustillo, and Eileen Crimmins. (forthcoming) “Do Early-Life Social, Behavioral, and Health Exposures Increase Later-Life Arthritis Incidence?” Research on Aging.

*Kim, Seoyoun and Patricia A. Thomas. 2019. “Direct and Indirect Pathways from Social Support to Health?” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, vol. 74 (6):1072–1080. [Recipient of The Innovative Research on Aging Bronze Award, Mather Institute]

Richards, Elizabeth A., Patricia A. Thomas, *Anna K. Forster, Zachary Hass. 2019. “A Longitudinal Examination of the Impact of Major Life Events on Physical Activity.” Health Education & Behavior, vol. 46(3): 398-405.

*Xu, Minle, Patricia A. Thomas, and Debra Umberson. 2016. “Marital Quality and Cognitive Limitations in Late Life.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, vol. 71(1): 165-176. Umberson, Debra, Kristi Williams, Patricia A. Thomas, Hui Lui, and *Mieke Thomeer. 2014.

“Race, Gender, and Chains of Disadvantage: Childhood Adversity, Social Relationships, and Health.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, vol. 55(1): 20-38. *McFarland, Michael J., *Cheryl A. Smith, Loren L. Toussaint, and Patricia A. Thomas. 2012.

“The Relationship between Forgiveness of Others and Health: Do Race and Neighborhood Matter?” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, vol. 67B(1): 66-75.

Fenggang Yang

Project: Global East Religiosity and Changing Religious Landscapes

Funding: John Templeton Foundation

Other Investigators:  Jonathan E.E. Pettit, University of Hawaii; Charles Chang, Duke Kunshan University; postdoctoral research associates Jungsun Kim, Natsuko Godo, and Yuanfei Li; and several graduate students.

Data Sources:  New and existing surveys of religion in East Asia; new data of religious sites in the Global East; new data compilation of historical data of religion and society in East Asia

Methods: ArcGIS, content analysis, comparative historical studies, spatial statistics, regressions


This project includes three components: (1) measuring individual religiosity with a new set of survey instruments in East Asian societies such as Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, (2) mapping religious sites of multiple religions in the Global East, and (3) a comparative historical examination of the varied Christian growth in East Asian societies. We plan to carry out surveys using our pre-tested survey questionnaire, which includes many new questions specially designed to capture religiosity in East Asian cultural traditions; we will acquire data of religious sites in East Asian societies and map them online, which can be used as a platform for the visualization of religious distribution, for comparative spatial study of religious competition and interaction with other social factors, and for comparisons of religious change in East Asia; we will conduct studies of Protestant and Catholic Christianities in East Asia since 1900. We will offer research and writing workshops for young scholars of East Asian religion so that this field of inquiry can be better sustained and developed.