Health & Society Program Publications (2010 and earlier)


Boardman, J.D., C.L. Blalock, R.P. Corley, M.C. Stallings, B.W. Domingue, M.B. McQueen, Y. Lu, T. Crowley, J.K. Hewitt, and S.H. Field. 2010. "Ethnicity, Body Mass, and Genome Wide Data." Biodemography & Social Biology 56:123-136.

Online Article

Abstract: This article combines social and genetic epidemiology to examine the influence of self-reported ethnicity on body mass index (BMI) among a sample of adolescents and young adults. We use genetic information from more than 5,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms in combination with principal components analysis to characterize population ancestry of individuals in this study. We show that non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American respondents differ significantly with respect to BMI and differ on the first principal component from the genetic data. This first component is positively associated with BMI and accounts for roughly 3% of the genetic variance in our sample. However, after controlling for this genetic measure, the observed ethnic differences in BMI remain large and statistically significant. This study demonstrates a parsimonious method to adjust for genetic differences among individual respondents that may contribute to observed differences in outcomes. In this case, adjusting for genetic background has no bearing on the influence of self-identified ethnicity.

Mollborn, Stefanie, Paula Fomby and Jeff A. Dennis. "Who Matters for Children's Early Development? Race/Ethnicity and Extended Household Structures in the United States." Child Indicators Research. Published online Oct 30, 2010.

Online Article

Abstract: Taking advantage of recent data that permit an assessment of the importance of extended household members in operationalizing the relationship between family structure and children's early development, this study incorporated coresident grandparents, other kin, and nonkin to investigate the associations between extended household structure and U.S. children's cognitive and behavioral outcomes at age 2. Analyses assessed whether these relationships differed for Latino, African American, and White children and tested four potential explanations for such differences. Nationally representative data came from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort of 2001 (N???8,450). Extended household structures were much more prevalent in households of young African American and Latino children than among Whites. Nuclear households were beneficial for White children, but living with a grandparent was associated with the highest cognitive scores for African American children. Nuclear, vertically extended, and laterally extended households had similar associations with Latino children's cognitive and behavior scores. Results suggest that expanded indicators of household structure that include grandparents, other kin, and nonkin are useful for understanding children's early development.

Sakai, Joseph T., Jason D. Boardman, Heather Gelhorn, Andrew Smolen, Robin P. Corley, Scott Menard, David Huizinga, Del Elliott, and Mike C. Stallings. 2010. "Utilizing trajectory analyses to refine phenotype for genetic associations: conduct problems and 5HTTLPR." Psychiatric Genetics, 20(5):199-206.

Online Article

Abstract: Background: Conduct disorder is a serious, relatively common disorder of childhood and adolescence. Findings from genetic association studies searching for genetic determinants of the liability toward such behaviors have been inconsistent. One possible explanation for differential results is that most studies define phenotype from a single assessment; for many adolescents conduct problems decrease in severity over time, whereas for others such behaviors persist. Therefore, longitudinal datasets offer the opportunity to refine phenotype. Methods: We used Caucasians that were first assessed during adolescence from the National Youth Survey Family Study. Nine waves of data were used to create latent growth trajectories and test for associations between trajectory class and 5HTTLPR genotype. Results: For the full sample, 5HTTLPR was not associated with conduct problem phenotypes. However, the short (s) allele was associated with chronic conduct problems in females; a nominally significant sex by 5HTTLPR genotype interaction was noted. Conclusion: Longitudinal studies provide unique opportunities for phenotypic refinement and such techniques, with large samples, may be useful for phenotypic definition with other study designs, such as whole genome association studies.

Haberstick, Brett C., Jeffery M. Lessem, Matthew McQueen, Jason D. Boardman, Christian J. Hopfer, Andrew Smolen, and John K Hewitt. 2010. "Stable Genes and Changing Environments: Body Mass Index Across Adolescence and Young Adulthood." Behavior Genetics, 40:495-504.

Online Article

Abstract: The transition between adolescence and young adulthood is a developmentally sensitive time where children are at an increased risk for becoming overweight and developing obesity. Twin studies have reported that body mass index [BMI] is highly heritable, however, it remains unclear whether the genetic influences are sex-limited and whether non-additive genetic influences contribute to body mass index [BMI] during these ages. In the current report, we examined self-reported data on BMI in same [n = 2,744] and opposite-sex [n = 1,178] siblings participating in the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health [Add Health]. To investigate whether the same or different genes contributed to BMI for both sexes, we fit quantitative sex-limited genetic models to three waves of data collection. At each of the three Waves of assessment, models that included additive genetic, individual-specific environment, and no sex-limited genetic influences fit the data most parsimoniously. Heritable effects on BMI at each of the three Waves were large for both sexes and ranged between .75 and .86. While genetic contributions across the ages were highly correlated, longitudinal analyses indicated that the relevant individual-specific environmental influences on BMI in adolescence and young adulthood change sizably. These results underscore the importance of understanding early genetic influences on BMI and highlight the role environmental experiences have at later ages when new genetic influences appear to make a small contribution to individual variation in BMI.

Boardman, Jason D., Casey L. Blalock, and Fred C. Pampel. 2010. "Trends in the genetic influences on smoking." Journal of Health & Social Behavior, 51(1):108-123.

Online Article

Abstract: Using twin pairs from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, we estimate that 35 percent of the variance in regular smoking is due to additive genetic influences. When we disaggregate the sample by birth cohort we witness strong genetic influences on smoking for those born in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1950s, but negligible influences for those born in the 1940s and 1960s. We show that the timing of the first Surgeon General's Report coincides with an increase in the genetic influences on regular smoking, but subsequent legislation prohibiting smoking in public places has significantly reduced these influences. These results are in line with existing gene-environment interaction theory, and we argue that variation in genetic influences across cohorts makes it difficult and potentially misleading to estimate genetic effects on health behaviors from data obtained from a single point in time.

Jessor, Richard, Mark S. Turbin, and Frances M. Costa. 2010. "Predicting Developmental Change in Healthy Eating and Regular Exercise Among Adolescents in China and the United States: The Role of Psychosocial and Behavioral Protection and Risk." Journal of Research on Adolescence. Published Online: May 28 2010 12:07PM. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00656.x

Online Article

Abstract: This article reports a cross-national study of developmental change in health-enhancing behavior-healthy eating and regular exercise-among adolescents in China and the United States. The application of a conceptual framework comprising psychosocial and behavioral protective and risk factors-both proximal and distal and at both the individual and social contextual level-is shown to provide a substantial account of variation in change in those behaviors over a 2-year interval. The explanatory account has generality across gender, the 3 grade cohorts, and most importantly, across the 2 markedly diverse societies.

Ndugwa, Robert P., Caroline W. Kabiru, John Cleland, Donatien Beguy, Thaddeus Egondi, Eliya M. Zulu, and Richard Jessor. 2010. "Adolescent Problem Behavior in Nairobi's Informal Settlements: Applying Problem Behavior Theory in Sub-Saharan Africa." Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine doi:10.1007/s11524-010-9462-4

Online Article

Abstract: Adolescent involvement in problem behaviors can compromise health, development, and successful transition to adulthood. The present study explores the appropriateness of a particular theoretical framework, Problem Behavior Theory, to account for variation in problem behavior among adolescents in informal settlements around a large, rapidly urbanizing city in sub-Saharan Africa. Data were collected from samples of never married adolescents of both sexes, aged 12-19, living in two Nairobi slum settlements (N = 1,722). Measures of the theoretical psychosocial protective and risk factor concepts provided a substantial, multi-variate, and explanatory account of adolescent problem behavior variation and demonstrated that protection can also moderate the impact of exposure to risk. Key protective and risk factors constitute targets for policies and programs to enhance the health and well-being of poor urban adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mollborn, Stefanie. 2010. "Exploring Variation in Teenage Mothers' and Fathers' Educational Attainment." Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, online ahead of print.

Online Article

Abstract: A substantial body of research has compared educational outcomes of teenage parents with those of their childless peers, but less attention has gone to variations among teenage parents. Additionally, gender differences in teenage parents' educational outcomes have rarely been studied. Characteristics associated with high school graduation by age 26 were assessed among 317 teenage mothers and fathers who participated in the 1988-2000 National Education Longitudinal Study. Logistic regression models included socioeconomic and educational characteristics, gender, parenting responsibilities and resources, and gender interactions. Married or cohabiting teenage parents living with no or one parent had 73% lower odds of graduation than single respondents living with two parents. Gender moderated the relationships between two parenting responsibilities and the likelihood of graduation: Fathers working at least half-time were less likely than nonworking fathers to graduate, and fathers who were primary caregivers had substantially elevated odds of graduating, but no similar relationships were seen among mothers. Sixty-one percent of fathers who worked but were not primary caregivers were predicted to graduate by age 26, compared with 97% of those who were nonworking primary caregivers. Traditional parenting norms, according to which mothers are primary caregivers and fathers are breadwinners, do not appear to be associated with improved odds of graduating. Policies and interventions aimed at helping teenage parents graduate may be most eff ective if they target both genders, but some are likely to be more beneficial for one gender than the other.

Rogers, Richard G., Patrick M. Krueger, and Robert A. Hummer. 2010. "Religious Attendance and Cause-Specific Mortality in the United States." Pp. 292-320 in Religion, Families, and Health: Population-Based Research in the United States, edited by Christopher G. Ellison and Robert A. Hummer. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Online Information

Hummer, Robert A., Maureen R. Benjamins, Christopher G. Ellison, and Richard G. Rogers. 2010. "Religious Involvement and Mortality Risk among Pre-Retirement Aged U.S. Adults." Pp. 273-291 in Religion, Families, and Health: Population-Based Research in the United States, edited by Christopher G. Ellison and Robert A. Hummer. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Online Information

Fomby, Paula, Stefanie Mollborn, and Christie Sennott. "Race/Ethnic Differences in Effects of Family Instability on Adolescents' Risk Behavior." Journal of Marriage and Family 72, no. 2 (2010):234-253.

Online Article

Abstract: We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 7,686) to determine whether racial and ethnic differences in socioeconomic stress and social protection explained group differences in the association between family structure instability and three risk behaviors for White, Black, and Mexican American adolescents: delinquent behavior, age at first nonmarital sex, and age at first nonmarital birth. The positive association between mothers' union transitions and each outcome for White adolescents was attenuated by social protection. The association of instability with age at first sex and first nonmarital birth was weaker for Black adolescents but not for Mexican American adolescents. The weaker association was explained by Black adolescents' more frequent exposure to socioeconomic stress in the context of union instability.

Mollborn, Stefanie and Angel Hoekstra. ""A Meeting of Minds": Using Clickers for Critical Thinking and Discussion in Large Sociology Classes." Teaching Sociology 38, no. 1 (2010):18-27.

Online Article

Abstract: Because lecture-based teaching limits student learning, many instructors are interested in pedagogical strategies that support critical thinking, student participation, and group discussion in large classrooms. Audience response systems, or "clickers," are an emerging tool for addressing this problem, but predominant pedagogical models for clicker use developed in the natural sciences often do not encourage the "inquiry-guided learning" that is useful in sociology. This article introduces readers to clicker technology and outlines a new pedagogical model for clicker use designed to address sociological learning goals, including critical thinking, applications of concepts to real-life experiences, and critiques of sociological methods. The authors discuss the effects of clickers for classroom interaction and students' experiences in three undergraduate sociology courses, using quantitative and qualitative data about students' perceptions of the effects of this pedagogical model on learning. The results suggest that the model positively affects participation, critical thinking, and classroom interaction dynamics. The authors conclude with practical suggestions for instructors considering implementing clickers in sociology courses.


Mollborn, Stefanie and Elizabeth Morningstar. "Investigating the Relationship between Depression and Teenage Childbearing Using Longitudinal Evidence." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 50, no. 3 (2009):310-326.

Online Article

Abstract: The high levels of depression among teenage mothers have received considerable research attention in smaller targeted samples, but a large-scale examination of the complex relationship between adolescent childbearing and psychological distress that explores bidirectional causality is needed. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, we found that teenage mothers had higher levels of distress than their childless adolescent peers and adult mothers, but the experience of teenage childbearing did not appear to be the cause. Rather, teenage mothers' distress levels were already higher than their peers before they became pregnant, and they remained higher after childbearing and into early and middle adulthood. We also found that distress did not increase the likelihood of adolescent childbearing except among poor teenagers. In this group, experiencing high levels of distress markedly increased the probability of becoming a teenage mother. Among nonpoor teenage girls, the relationship between distress and subsequent teenage childbearing was spurious.

Mollborn, Stefanie and Bethany Everett. "Correlates and Consequences of Parent-Teen Incongruence in Reports of Teens' Sexual Experience." Journal of Sex Research 46, no. 6 (2009).

Online Article

Abstract: Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, factors associated with incongruence between parents' and adolescents' reports of teens' sexual experience were investigated, and the consequences of inaccurate parental knowledge for adolescents' subsequent sexual behaviors were explored. Most parents of virgins accurately reported teens' lack of experience, but most parents of teens who had had sex provided inaccurate reports. Binary logistic regression analyses showed that many adolescent-, parent-, and family-level factors predicted the accuracy of parents' reports. Parents' accurate knowledge of their teens' sexual experience was not found to be consistently beneficial for teens' subsequent sexual outcomes. Rather, parents' expectations about teens' sexual experience created a self-fulfilling prophecy, with teens' subsequent sexual outcomes conforming to parents' expectations. These findings suggest that research on parent-teen communication about sex needs to consider the expectations being expressed, as well as the information being exchanged.

Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick and Stefanie Mollborn. "Growing up Faster, Feeling Older: Hardship in Childhood and Adolescence." Social Psychology Quarterly 72, no. 1 (2009):39-60.

Online Article

Abstract: We examine whether hardship while growing up shapes subjective age identity, as well as three types of experiences through which it may occur. Drawing on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that hardship in several domains during childhood and adolescence is associated with feeling relatively older and self-identifying as an adult in the late teens and twenties. Specifically, young people who as adolescents felt unsafe in their schools or neighborhoods, witnessed or were victims of violence, had fewer economic resources in the household, and lived in certain family structures, reported older subjective ages (by one or both measures). We find no evidence that hardship's association with subjective age is mediated by work responsibilities in adolescence or by anticipating a very curtailed life span, but entering adult roles earlier mediates or partially mediates many of these relationships.

Mollborn, Stefanie. "Norms About Nonmarital Pregnancy and Willingness to Provide Resources to Unwed Parents." Journal of Marriage and Family 71, no. 1 (2009):122-134.

Online Article

Abstract: Contested social norms underlie public concern about adults' and teenagers' nonmarital pregnancy. The original, vignette-based National Pregnancy Norms Survey (N = 812) measures these norms and related sanctions. Descriptive analyses report embarrassment at the prospect of a nonmarital pregnancy by age and gender of hypothetical prospective parents and age, race or ethnicity, and socioeconomic status of respondents. Multivariate analyses show that embarrassment about nonmarital pregnancy is frequently weak but much stronger when prospective parents are teenagers. Embarrassment predicts respondents' hypothetical sanctions of a new parent in their family by withholding several types of needed material resources. Because research has shown that such resources affect education and income, this study helps explain how violating norms might lead to negative outcomes among unmarried parents.

Trinitapoli, Jenny, Christopher G. Ellison, and Jason D. Boardman. 2009. "US religious congregations and the sponsorship of health-related programs." Social Science & Medicine, 68(12):2231-2239.

Online Article

Abstract: Despite consistent evidence that religious congregations provide health-related programs for their members and residents of the local community, little is known about the distribution of congregationbased health programs across the United States. Using a nationally representative sample of US congregations (n ¼ 1230) we employ bivariate analysis and logistic regression to identify patterns in the sponsorship of health-related programs by religious congregations; we then propose and test various explanations for these observed patterns. Our findings contradict the impressions given by case studies and the program evaluation literature and suggest: a) that congregation-based health programs may not be serving the neediest communities; and b) that congregations are not taking advantage of mechanisms intended to facilitate the provision of health-related services by religious congregations.

Boardman, Jason D. "State-level moderation of genetic tendencies to smoke". 2009. American Journal of Public Health 99(3):480-486.

Online Article

Abstract: Objectives. I examined genetic influences on smoking among adolescents and differences in the heritability of smoking across states in the United States. Methods. With data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (participants aged 12-21 years), I used a multilevel twin- and sibling-pair (N = 2060 pairs) regression model. Results. Daily smoking (hereditability estimate [h2] = 0.54) and smoking onset (h2 = 0.42) were both highly heritable. Whereas the genetic influences on smoking onset were consistent across states, there was significant variation in these influences on daily smoking. Genetic influences on daily smoking were lower in states with relatively high taxes on cigarettes and in those with greater controls on the vending machines and cigarette advertising. Genetic influences were also negatively associated with rates of smoking among youths. Conclusions. At the state level, gene-environment interaction models are best characterized by the model of social control. State policies may influence genetic tendencies to smoke regularly, but they have not affected the genetic contributions to cigarette onset or experimentation. Future tobacco-control policies may emphasize the heritable endophenotypes that increase the likelihood that adolescents will initiate smoking.

Button, Tanya M.M., Michael C. Stallings, Soo Hyun Rhee, Robin P. Corley, Jason D. Boardman, and John K. Hewitt. 2009. "Perceived peer delinquency and the genetic predisposition for polysubstance dependence vulnerability." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 100:1-8.

Online Article

Abstract: Like many behavioral phenotypes, generalized vulnerability to substance dependence in adolescence has a complex etiology; it is influenced by both genetic and environmental risks, with a heritability of approximately 0.40 [Button, T.M., Hewitt, J.K., Rhee, S.H., Young, S.E., Corley, R.P., Stallings, M.C., 2006. Examination of the causes of covariation between conduct disorder symptoms and vulnerability to drug dependence. Twin Res. Hum. Genet. 9, 38-45]. However, the extent to which the magnitudes of genetic and environmental risk for substance dependence are contextually moderated is unclear. The aim of the current study was to determine whether the etiology of substance dependence vulnerability (DV; total lifetime symptom count of dependence criteria endorsed across numerous substances divided by the number of substances used) varies depending on the extent of affiliation with delinquent peers as perceived by the adolescent. Results show that affiliation with delinquent peers moderates both the unstandardized (absolute) and the relative contribution of genetic, shared, and non-shared environmental risks to the variance ofDV. The genetic variancewas estimated to be higher among subjects who perceived their peers to be least delinquent and among those who considered their peers to be the most delinquent. The magnitudes of both shared and non-shared environmental influences were negligible among those who perceived their peers to be least delinquent and were greater among those with higher levels of perceived peers' delinquency.

Shanahan, Michael J. and Jason D. Boardman. 2009. "Genetics and behavior in the life course: a promising frontier." Pp. 215-235 in Glen H. Elder, Jr. and Giele, Janet Z.(eds.). The Craft of Life Course Research. London: Guilford.


Boardman, J.D., L. Downey, J.S. Jackson, J.B. Merrill, J.M. Saint Onge, and D.R. Williams. "Proximate Industrial Activity and Psychological Distress." Population & Environment 30, no. 1(2008): 3-25.

Online Article

Abstract: This paper examines the role that gender, occupational status, and family status play in moderating the effect of industrial activity on the psychological well-being of nearby residents. Using a unique spatial assessment of industrial activity and an environmental risk/social stressor framework in conjunction with individual-level data from the Detroit Area Study (DAS) and demographic data from the U.S. census, we find that residents of neighborhoods in close proximity to industrial activity report elevated levels of psychological distress compared to residents of neighborhoods removed from this type of activity. These influences are more pronounced among women but gender differences are also contingent upon occupational and family statuses. We show that specific combinations of work and family statuses make persons particularly vulnerable to the influence of this environmental stressor and women are two and a half times more likely than men to have these vulnerable statuses. This study makes an important contribution to the environmental health literature because it reminds researchers of the fundamental influence of social roles when examining the link between environmental risks and mental health.

Boardman, J.D., J.M. Saint Onge, B.C. Haberstick, D.S. Timberlake, and J.K. Hewitt. "Do Schools Moderate the Genetic Determinants of Smoking?" Behavior Genetics 38, no 3 (2008):234-46.

Online Article

Abstract: This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine the extent to which school-level social and institutional factors moderate genetic tendencies to smoke cigarettes. Our analysis relies on a sub-sample of 1,198 sibling and twin pairs nested within 84 schools. We develop a multilevel modeling extension of regression-based quantitative genetic techniques to calculate school-specific heritability estimates. We show that smoking onset (h 2 = .51) and daily smoking (h 2 = .58) are both genetically influenced. Whereas the genetic influence on smoking onset is consistent across schools, we show that schools moderate the heritability of daily smoking. The heritability of daily smoking is the highest within schools in which the most popular students are also smokers and reduced within schools in which the majority of the students are non-Hispanic and white. These findings make important contributions to the literature on gene-environment interactions.

Jessor, Richard. "Description Versus Explanation in Cross-National Research on Adolescence." Journal of Adolescent Health 43, no.6 (2008):527-528.

Online Article

Abstract: This invited editorial is a commentary on an article, appearing in the same issue, by Vazsonyi et al.: "A test of Jessor's Problem Behavior Theory in a Eurasian and a Western European development context." (Pp. 555-564).

Sennott, Christie. "Harlem," in Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society. Richard T. Schaefer, ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008.

Boardman, Jason D., Casey L. Blalock, and Tanya M. M. Button. "Sex Differences in the Heritability of Resilience." Twin Research and Human Genetics 11, no. 1 (2008):12-27. NIHMSID: NIHMS99628

Online Article

Abstract: We examine the heritability of psychological resilience among US adults aged 25 to 74 years. Using monozygotic and same sex dizygotic twin pairs from the National Survey of Mid-Life Development in the United States (MIDUS) we show that positive affect is equally heritable among men (h2 = .60) and women (h2 = .59). We then estimate the heritability of positive affect after controlling for an exhaustive list of social and inter-personal stressors, and we operationalize the residual for positive affect as resilience. According to this specification, the heritability of resilience is higher among men (h2 = .52) compared to women (h2 = .38). We show that self-acceptance is one of the most important aspects of psychological functioning that accounts for the heritability of resilience among both men and women. However, compared to women, men appear to derive additional benefits from environmental mastery that may enable otherwise sex-neutral resilient tendencies to manifest.

Jarron M. Saint Onge, Patrick M. Krueger, Richard G. Rogers. "Historical trends in height, weight, and body mass: Data from U.S. Major League Baseball players, 1869-1983". Economics and Human Biology 6 (2008) 482-488. NIHMSID: NIHMS100899

Online Article

Abstract: We employ a unique dataset of Major League Baseball (MLB) players - a select, healthy population - to examine trends in height, weight, and body mass in birth cohorts from 1869 to 1983. Over that 115-year time period, U.S. born MLB players have gained, on average, approximately 3 in. (7.6 cm) in height and 27.0 lb (12.2 kg) in weight, which has contributed a 1.6-unit increase in the body mass index. Where comparable data are available, U.S. born MLB players are about 2.0 in. (5.1 cm) taller and 20.0 lb (9.1 kg) heavier but substantially less obese than males in the general U.S. population. But both groups exhibit similar height and weight trends; the majority of height and weight gains take place in cohorts that were born prior to World War II, followed by slower gains and occasional declines in height and weight for cohorts born in 1939 and later.


Saint Onge, Jarron M., Lori Hunter, and Jason D. Boardman. “Population Growth in High Amenity Rural Areas: Does It Bring New Opportunity for Long-Term Residents.” Social Science Quarterly 88, no. 2(2007):366-381.

Online Article

Objective. A widely noted concern with amenity-driven rural population growth is its potential to yield only low-wage service-sector employment for long-term residents, while raising local costs of living. This research examines change in socioeconomic status during the 1990s for long-term residents of high-amenity, high-growth rural counties in the United States.
Methods. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, in combination with county-level information, we estimate growth-curve models to examine the extent to which the socioeconomic status of long-term residents is associated with amenity-related in-migration.
Results. We find that, on average, residents in high-growth, amenity-rich rural areas have higher income growth over time and higher levels of initial occupational prestige compared to those from other rural areas, but that socioeconomic gains are primarily for individuals with low baseline prestige.
Conclusions. The socioeconomic gains made by long-term residents of high-growth, amenity-rich rural areas associated with net in-migration may be limited to individuals with low initial prestige and growth may be due to low-skill service-sector jobs.

Conley, Amanda R. and Jason D. Boardman. “Weight Overestimation as an Indicator of Disordered Eating Behaviors among Young Women in the United States.” International Journal of Eating Disorders 40, no. 5(2007).

Online Article

Objective: This paper examines the association between weight overestimation and symptoms of disordered eating behaviors using a nationally representative sample of young women.
Method: We use data from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to compare self-reported weight (in pounds) to measure weight obtained by interviewers using a scale. Focusing on normal weight women between the ages of 18 and 24 (n = 2,805) we compare the discrepancy in self-reported and measured weight among women with and without any disordered eating behaviors.
Results: Women who over report their weight by at least five percent are significantly more likely than those who either under report or accurately report their weights to exhibit disordered eating behaviors. These results persist despite controlling for distorted body image.
Conclusion: Our findings support both motivational and perceptual bias explanations for overestimating weight among those who exhibit disordered eating behaviors. We argue that weight over-estimation, together with other important information regarding women's nutrition, exercise, mental health, and health-related behaviors, should be treated as a potential indicator for the diagnosis of an eating disorder among young normal weight women.

Catenacci V, Gilmour K, Turbin M, Johnson S, Wing R, Hill J, Bessesen D. "A Questionnaire to Measure Enjoyment of Active Leisure Time Pursuits." Obesity 15, no.9 (2007):A189.

Abstract: A person's enjoyment of active leisure time pursuits probably plays an important role in his or her decision to be physically active. This relationship has been the target of several studies that evaluate the generation of psychological responses to acute exercise bouts. However, it is not well understood how general affective states correlate with physical activity in an individual's usual environment. We designed the Feelings About Leisure-Time Activities (FALTAC) questionnaire to assess attitudes toward active leisure time pursuits. In addition, we assessed the relationship between a positive affect state towards physical activity as assessed by the FALTAQ and subjective and objective measures of engagement in physical activity during leisure time. Results showed that measures of positive affect toward physical activity and of the importance of physical activity had acceptable internal consistency and reliability, and showed expected relations with measures of actual physical activity. Also, mean scores on the attitude measures, as expected, were higher for obese participants who had lost weight and maintained the weight loss than for those who had not. These results support the validity and utility of this new measure of attitudes toward physical activity. Interventions designed to increase physical activity or to maintain weight loss may benefit from a focus on promoting positive affective states with exercise.

Mollborn, Stefanie. "Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Material Resources and Teenage Parenthood." Journal of Marriage and Family 69, no.1 (2007):92-104.

Online Article

Abstract: Past research has largely ignored the influence of material resources on teenage parents' life outcomes. A lack of resources such as housing, child care, and financial support is hypothesized to explain the negative effect of teenage parenthood on educational attainment. Regression analyses use nationally representative data from the 1988 - 2000 National Education Longitudinal Study (N = 8,432, n = 356 teenage parents). Results support the hypothesis completely for the teenage fathers in the sample and partially for mothers: Resources substantially diminish the educational penalty teenage parents paid by age 26. Gender influences which types of resources are protective, providing policy implications. Help with child care is critical for teenage mothers, whereas housing and financial resources may be important for men.


Stepanikova, Irena, Stefanie Mollborn, Karen S. Cook, David H. Thom, and Roderick M. Kramer. "Patients' Race, Ethnicity, Language, and Trust in a Physician." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 47, no.4 (2006): 390-405.

Online Article

Abstract: We examine whether racial/ethnic/language-based variation in measured levels of patients' trust in a physician depends on the survey items used to measure that trust. Survey items include: (1) a direct measure of patients' trust that the doctor will put the patient's medical needs above all other considerations, and (2) three indirect measures of trust asking about expectations for specific physician behaviors, including referring to a specialist, being influenced by insurance rules, and performing unnecessary tests. Using a national survey, we find lower scores on indirect measures of trust in a physician among minority users of health care services than among non-Hispanic white users. In contrast, the direct measure of trust does not differ among non-Hispanic whites and nonwhites once we control for potential confounding factors. The results indicate that racial/ethnic/language-based differences exist primarily in those aspects of patients' trust in a physician that reflect specific physician behaviors.

Jessor, Richard, Frances M. Costa, Patrick M. Kreuger and Mark S. Turbin. "A developmental study of high-volume drinking among college students: The role of psychosocial and behavioral protective and risk factors." Journal of Studies on Alcohol 67, no. 1 (2006): 86-94.

Online Article

Abstract: Objective: A theory-based protection/risk model was applied to explain variation in college students' heavy episodic drinking. Key aims were (1) to establish that psychosocial and behavioral protective factors and risk factors can account for cross-sectional and developmental variation in heavy episodic drinking, and (2) to examine whether protection moderates the impact of risk on heavy episodic drinking. Method: Random- and fixed-effects maximum likelihood regression analyses were used to examine data from a three-wave longitudinal study. Data were collected in fall of 2002, spring of 2003, and spring of 2004 from college students (N = 975; 548 men) who were first-semester freshmen at Wave 1. Results: Psychosocial and behavioral protective and risk factors accounted for substantial variation in college-student heavy episodic drinking, and protection moderated the impact of risk. Findings held for both genders and were consistent across the three separate waves of data. Key predictors of heavy episodic drinking were social and individual controls protection (e.g., parental sanctions for transgression and attitudinal intolerance of deviance, respectively); models risk (peer models for substance use); behavioral protection (attendance at religious services); and behavioral risk (cigarette smoking and marijuana use). Changes in controls protection, models risk, and opportunity risk were associated with change in heavy episodic drinking. Conclusions: An explanatory model based on both psychosocial and behavioral protective and risk factors was effective in accounting for variation in college-student heavy episodic drinking. A useful heuristic was demonstrated through the articulation of models, controls, support, opportunity, and vulnerability to characterize the social context, and of controls, vulnerability, and other behaviors to characterize individuals.

Jessor, Richard. "Foreword." In Good kids from bad neighborhoods:Successful Development in Social Context, by D.S. Elliott, S. Menard, A.C. Elliott, B. Rankin, W.J. Wilson, and D. Huizinga, Pp. x-xvi. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Turbin, Mark, Richard Jessor, Frances M. Costa, Qi Dong, Hongchuan Zhang, and Changhai Wang. "Protective and Risk Factors in Health-Enhancing Behavior Among Adolescents in China and the United States: Does Social Context Matter?" Health Psychology 25, no.4 (2006): 445-454.

Online Article

Abstract: An explanatory model of adolescent health-enhancing behavior based on protective and risk factors at the individual level and in four social contexts was employed in a study of school-based samples from the People's Republic of China (n = 1739) and the United States (n = 1596). A substantial account of variation in health-enhancing behavior-and of its developmental change over time-was provided by the model for boys and girls, and for the 3 grade cohorts, in both samples. In both samples, social context protective and risk factors accounted for more unique variance than did individual-level protective and risk factors, and context protection moderated both contextual and individual-level risk. Models protection and controls protection were of particular importance in the explanatory account.

Boardman, Jason D.. "Self-Rated Health Among U.S. Adolescents." Journal of Adolescent Health 38, no. 4 (2006): 401-408.

Online Article

Abstract: Purpose: This article investigates the meaning of subjective health assessments for younger respondents by examining the temporal stability of self-rated health (SRH) among adolescents. Two competing understandings of SRH are tested: SRH as a spontaneous health assessment or as an enduring self-concept. Methods: Using data from two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 13,511), an intra-class correlation coefficient and a weighted Kappa estimate are calculated to assess the test-retest reliability for SRH. Self-rated health (T2) is then modeled as a function of SRH (T1), physical health (T1), and mental health (T1), and changes in physical and mental health (T2-T1). Results: SRH is found to be moderately stable over repeated observations (K = .40; ? = .55) among adolescents. Findings from multivariate analyses suggest that SRH (T2) is largely determined by SRH (T1) and less so by changes in physical or psychological health status (T2-T1). Conclusions: SRH among adolescents is in part a spontaneous health assessment but it is best understood as an enduring self-concept.

Elliott, Delbert S., University of Colorado; Scott Menard, Sam Houston State University; Bruce Rankin, Koc University (Turkey); Amanda Elliott, University of Colorado; William Julius Wilson, Harvard University; and David Huizinga, University of Colorado. Good Kids from Bad Neighborhoods: Successful Development in Social Context. Cambridge University Press, October 2006.

Abstract: Good Kids from Bad Neighborhoods: Successful Development in Social Context is a study of successful youth development in poor, disadvantaged neighborhoods in Denver and Chicago - a study of how children living in the worst neighborhoods develop or fail to develop the values, competencies, and commitments that lead to a productive, healthy, and responsible adult life. While there is a strong focus on neighborhood effects, the study employs a multicontextual model to take into account the effects of other social contexts embedded in the neighborhood that also influence development. The unique and combined influence of the neighborhood, family, school, peer group, and individual attributes on developmental success is estimated. The view that growing up in a poor, disadvantaged neighborhood condemns one to a life of repeated failure and personal pathology is revealed as a myth, as most youth in these neighborhoods are completing the developmental tasks of adolescence successfully.


Jessor, Richard. "Remarks on the Changing Nature of Inquiry." Journal of Adolescent Health 37, no. 1 (2005): 9-10.

Online Article

Abstract: Richard Jessor's address upon receiving the Outstanding Achievement in Adolescent Medicine Award from the Society for Adolescent Medicine in Los Angeles, California, on April 1, 2005.

Jessor, Richard. "Chapters 1, 2." In Growing up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries, edited by Cynthia B. Lloyd, xix + 700. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2005.

Online Information

Abstract: The volume was edited by Cynthia Lloyd of the Population Council who served as Chair of the Panel on Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. The panel members were an interdisciplinary group of 15 economists, demographers, adolescent physicians, and behavioral scientists who met frequently-in Washington, Mexico City, and Boulder-and who worked together over a three-year period to produce the final report. The volume provides an assessment of the impact of the changing global context-technological, political, economic, cultural, etc.-- on the way young people are moving to adulthood in the developing world. It presents a conceptual framework for understanding how changes at the global level can affect the daily lives of youth, and it provides in-depth reviews of changes that have been underway in recent decades in the domains of schooling, health, work, citizenship, marriage, and parenthood in the world's developing countries.
Chapter 1: C. Lloyd and R. Jessor
Chapter 2: B. Cohen, R. Jessor, H. Reed, C. Lloyd, J. Behrman and D. Lam
"Richard Jessor served as the panel's theoretician and conscience. He challenged us to develop a conceptual framework that would outlive the temporal nature of our material, provided all of us with lots of good humor along the way, and provided me most importantly with a helpful sounding board throughout the project." - Cynthia Lloyd

Costa, Frances M., Richard Jessor, Mark S. Turbin, Qi Dong, Hongchuan Zhang, and Changhai Wang. "The Role of Social Contexts in Adolescence: Context Protection and Context Risk in the United States and China." Applied Developmental Science 9, no. 2 (2005): 67-85.

Online Article

Abstract: A theoretical framework about protective factors (models protection, controls protection, support protection) and risk factors (models risk, opportunity risk, vulnerability risk) was employed to articulate the content of 4 key contexts of adolescent life —family, peers, school, and neighborhood— in a cross-national study of problem behavior among 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-grade adolescents in the United States (n = 1,596) and the People's Republic of China (n = 1,739). Results were very similar in both samples and across genders. Measures of protection and risk in each of the 4 contexts uniquely contributed to the account of problem behavior involvement even when individual-level measures of protection and risk were controlled. Context protection was also shown to moderate individual-level risk and protection in 1 context moderated risk within that context and in other contexts. Controls protection —protection provided by rules, regulations, and expected sanctions for transgression from adults and peers— was the most important measure of context protection in all but 1 context. The family and peer contexts were the most influential in the U.S. sample, and the peer and school contexts were the most influential in the Chinese sample; the neighborhood context was least influential in both samples.

Boardman, Jason D., Jarron M. Saint Onge, Richard G. Rogers, and Justin T. Denney. "Race Differentials in Obesity: The Impact of Place." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 46, no. 3 (2005):229-243.

Online Article

Abstract: This article reveals race differentials in obesity as both an individual- and neighborhood-level phenomena. Using neighborhood-level data from the 1990-1994 National Health Interview Survey, we find that neighborhoods characterized by high proportions of black residents have a greater prevalence of obesity than areas in which the majority of the residents are white. Using individual-level data, we also find that residents of neighborhoods in which at least one-quarter of the residents are black face a 13 percent increase in the odds of being obese compared to residents of other communities. The association between neighborhood racial composition and obesity is completely attenuated after including statistical controls for the poverty rate and obesity prevalence of respondents' neighborhoods. These findings support the underlying assumptions of both institutional and social models of neighborhood effects.

Hunter, Lori M., Jason D. Boardman, and Jarron M. Saint Onge. "The Association Between Natural Amenities, Rural Population Growth,and Long-Term Residents' Economic Well-Being." Rural Sociology 70, no. 4 (2005): 452-469.

Online Article

Abstract: Population growth in rural areas characterized by high levels of natural amenities has recently received substantial research attention. A noted concern with amenity-driven rural population growth is its potential to raise local costs-of-living while yielding only low-wage service sector employment for long-term residents. The work presented here empirically models long-term rural residents' economic well-being, making use of longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. In general, the results suggest that long-term rural families residing in high-growth amenity and recreation areas tend to have higher annual incomes than do their counterparts in non-growth amenity/recreation areas, regardless of the sex, race, or age of the family head. However, higher costs-of-living in these areas supplant any relative gains in income. As such, these analyses provide empirical evidence of patterns inferred by earlier anecdotal evidence and case studies.

Boardman, Jason D., and Jarron M. Saint Onge. "Neighborhoods and Adolescent Development." Children, Youth, and Environments 15, no. 1(2005):138-164.

Online Article

Abstract: Researchers are increasingly interested in identifying specific aspects of adolescents' lives that are positively or adversely affected by their place of residence. This body of work suggests that it is important to consider neighborhoods when examining their 1) engagement in risk-related behaviors; 2) educational outcomes; 3) physical and mental health; and 4) their integration within social institutions. To date, however, no existing work has simultaneously considered the range of outcomes in which neighborhoods are believed to be important within and across these four domains. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the extent to which neighborhoods influence adolescent outcomes across 34 characteristics nested within these four areas. The findings suggest that for adolescents, residential area is equally important in terms of risk behaviors, educational outcomes, and their integration within their families, schools, and churches. However, we find no evidence that neighborhoods are associated with adolescents' physical health or emotional well-being.

Rogers, Richard G. and Jarron M. Saint Onge. "Race/Ethnic and Sex Differentials in Pulse Pressure among U.S. Adults." Ethnicity & Disease 15, no. 4 (2005): 601-606.

Online Article

Abstract: The prevalence of high blood pressure in the U.S. is a pressing public health concern. The purpose of this study is to use the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994) and linear regression to document variations in pulse pressure by race/ethnicity and sex in the United States. We find higher pulse pressures among racial and ethnic minorities than among non-Hispanic whites and among males than females. The results indicate that the effect of race on pulse pressure decreases with the inclusion of various controls; nevertheless, African Americans maintain higher pulse pressures than non-Hispanic white Americans, even net of controls. Compared to females, males exhibit higher pulse pressures. Moreover, this sex gap progressively increases with controls for socioeconomic status and physical activity. Given the known health consequences associated with high pulse pressure, these results highlight the importance of better understanding and addressing the risk of high pulse pressure among demographic subpopulations in the United States.

Rogers, Richard G., Robert A. Hummer, and Patrick M. Krueger. "Adult Mortality." In Handbook of Population, edited by Dudley Poston and Mike Micklin. NY: Springer Publishers, 2005.

Online Information

Abstract: This handbook provides a comprehensive inventory of the current state of demography, and updates and expands The Study of Population, edited by Philip M. Hauser and Otis Dudley Duncan and published in 1959.

The chapter "Adult Mortality" underscores the significance of demographic research on adult mortality for understanding the health consequences of social inequality, human behavior, biological factors, and various other forces in human populations. The chapter outlines the general substantive concerns that guide demographers who conduct research on adult mortality, discusses the data and methods that are commonly used to conduct research in this area, summarizes findings of specific influences on adult mortality, and reveals variations in mortality across a number of demographic, social, and behavioral factors, and provides some ideas for ongoing research in this area.

The chapter authors are among the leading contributors to demographic scholarship over the past four decades. They represent a variety of disciplines and theoretical perspectives as well as interests in both basic and applied research.

The Handbook was showcased at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) meetings in France, July 2005. Reaction to the Handbook was so positive that some individuals are calling the book "The Harry Potter of Demography."

Rogers, Richard G., Robert A. Hummer, Patrick M. Krueger, and Fred C. Pampel. "Mortality Attributable to Cigarette Smoking in the United States." Population and Development Review 31, no. 2 (2005): 259-92.

Online Article

Abstract: Cigarette smoking is an especially pernicious behavior because of its high prevalence and mortality risk. We use the powerful methodology of life tables with covariates and employ the National Health Interview Survey-Multiple Cause of Death file to illuminate the interrelationships of smoking with other risk factors and the combined influences of smoking prevalence and population size on mortality attributable to smoking. We find that the relationship between smoking and mortality is only modestly affected by controlling for other risk factors. Excess deaths attributable to smoking among adults in the United States in the year 2000 were as high as 340,000. Better knowledge of the prevalence and mortality risk associated with different cigarette smoking statuses can enhance the future health and longevity prospects of the population.


Boardman, J. D. "Health Pessimism among Black and White Adults: The Role of Interpersonal and Institutional Maltreatment." Social Science & Medicine 59, no. 12 (2004): 2523-33.

Online Article

Abstract: Using data from the 1995 Detroit Area Study (N = 1106) this paper finds that black adults report significantly worse self-rated health when compared to whites with similar levels of self-reported morbidity. This relationship, called health pessimism, persists despite statistical controls for age, gender, socioeconomic status, health care access, and health related behaviors. Interpersonal maltreatment is found to be positively associated with health pessimism and more importantly, when comparing adults who perceive similar levels of maltreatment, white and black adults do not differ with respect to health pessimism. This suggests that the increased risk of health pessimism among black adults is due in part to race differences in the perception of interpersonal maltreatment.

Boardman, J. D. "Stress and Physical Health: The Role of Neighborhoods as Mediating and Moderating Mechanisms." Social Science & Medicine 58, no. 12 (2004): 2473-83.

Online Article

Abstract: Using data from the 1995 Detroit Area Study (N = 1106) in conjunction with tract-level data from the 1990 census, this paper evaluates the relationship between residential stability and physical health among black and white adults. Results suggest that neighborhood-level variation in health is primarily mediated by key sociodemographic characteristics of individuals (e.g., age, race, and socioeconomic status). However, a significant portion of health differentials across neighborhoods is due to disparate stress levels across neighborhoods. Further, high levels of neighborhood stability provide an important buffer to the otherwise deleterious effects of increased stress levels on adults' overall health.

Elliott, D. S. and S. Mihalic. "Issues in Disseminating and Replicating Effective Prevention Programs." Prevention Science 5, no. 1 (2004): 47-53.

Abstract: The new frontier for prevention research involves building a scientific knowledge base on how to disseminate and implement effective prevention programs with fidelity. Toward this end, a brief overview of findings from the Blueprints for Violence Prevention-Replication Initiative is presented, identifying factors that enhance or impede a successful implementation of these programs. Findings are organized around five implementation tasks: site selection, training, technical assistance, fidelity, and sustainability. Overall, careful attention to each of these tasks, together with an independent monitoring of fidelity, produced a successful implementation with high fidelity and sustainability. A discussion of how these findings inform the present local adaptation-fidelity debate follows.

Krueger, P. M., R. G. Rogers, R. A. Hummer, and J. D. Boardman. "Body Mass, Smoking, and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality among Older US Adults." Research on Aging 26, no. 1 (2004): 82-107.

Online Article

Abstract: The authors examine the relationships between body mass, smoking, and overall and cause-specific mortality among U.S. adults aged 60 and older, using data from the National Health Interview Survey linked to the Multiple Cause of Death file and Cox proportional hazard models. The authors find that, compared to those who are normal weight, obese individuals have higher risks of overall, circulatory disease, and diabetes mortality. Furthermore, smoking status suppresses the relationships between obesity and overall, circulatory disease, and cancer mortality, and interacts with low body weight to increase mortality risks. Finally, underweight individuals initially face increased risks of death over the follow-up period, although over time their mortality risks diminish to those of normal-weight individuals, likely due to the presence of unobserved illness. Researchers and health practitioners must account for smoking status, body mass, and specific causes of death to understand and improve the health of our increasingly obese elderly population.

Denney, Justin T., Patrick M. Krueger, Richard G. Rogers, and Jason D. Boardman. "Race/Ethnic and Sex Differentials in Body Mass among US Adults." Ethnicity & Disease 14, no. 3 (2004): 389-98.

Online Article

Abstract: Current research incompletely documents race/ethnic and sex disparities in body mass, especially at the national level. Data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, Sample Adult File, are used to examine overall and sex-specific disparities in body mass for non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and Cuban Americans. Two complementary multivariate regression techniques, ordinary least squares and multinomial logistic, are employed to control for important confounding factors. We found significantly higher body masses for non-Hispanic Blacks, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexican Americans, compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Among very obese individuals, these relationships were more pronounced for females. Given the known health consequences associated with overweight and obesity, and recent trends toward increasing body mass in the United States, these findings underscore the need for public health policies that target specific subpopulations, in order to close the wide disparities in body mass in the United States.

Krueger, Patrick M., Richard G. Rogers, Cristobal Ridao-Cano, and R. A. Hummer. "To Help or to Harm? Food Stamp Receipt and Mortality Risk Prior to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act." Social Forces 82, no. 4 (2004): 1573-99.

Online Article

Abstract: The authors use data from the National Health Interview Survey-Family Resources Supplement to examine the relationship between Food Stamp receipt and prospective adult mortality, among eligible households. They specify a switching probit model to adjust for observed and unobserved factors that correlate with selection into the Food Stamp Program and mortality, and to estimate mortality under counterfactual conditions that we do not observe. The average individual, based on observed characteristics, has higher mortality when participating than when not participating. But due to unobserved differences between participants and nonparticipants, those who self-select into participation experience lower mortality than if they did not participate. Our findings suggest that Food Stamps provide an important safety net that protects the health of those who are most likely to participate.