Alan Booth

Alan Booth
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Sociology

About

86
Publications
27,216
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10,230
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
July 1991 - present
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (86)
Book
An adult's health is determined not only by stress levels, food choices, and recreational habits. Science is paying increased attention to the roles of prenatal, perinatal, and early childhood conditions in shaping health and well-being across the lifespan. Families and Child Health brings clarity to this complex and multifaceted topic. This compre...
Book
Graduation, full-time employment, independent living, marriage, parenthood—for decades this has been the idealized trajectory to adulthood. More recently, however, scholars, practitioners, and young adults themselves are recognizing the disconnect between long-held cultural scripts and current social and economic realities, as more young adults are...
Article
We examine the link between parental testosterone and children's perceptions of their relationship with their mother and father. Using data from 352 predominantly white working and middle class families, we find no direct link between mother's and father's testosterone and parent-child closeness. However, the association between mothers' testostero...
Book
Genes and environment. Biology and behavior. Nature and nurture. The terminology may be clear-cut, but the processes themselves are far from simple: unlike the direct cause-and-effect dichotomies of past frameworks, researchers now recognize these family-based connections as multifaceted, transactional, and emergent. Biosocial Foundations of Famil...
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Full-text available
This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine combinations of father residence and closeness which have received minimal examination but involve significant numbers of children. Our findings lead to a number of conclusions. First, adolescents who are close to their nonresident fathers report higher self-e...
Article
This study examined sons' and daughters' involvement with nonresident fathers and associated outcomes (N=4,663). Results indicate that sons and daughters report equal involvement with nonresident fathers on most measures of father investment, although sons report more overnight visits, sports, and movies, and feeling closer to their fathers compare...
Article
This study charted the development of gendered personality qualities and activity interests from age 7 to age 19 in 364 first- and secondborn siblings from 185 White, middle/working-class families, assessed links between time in gendered social contexts (with mother, father, female peers, and male peers) and gender development, and tested whether c...
Article
We used latent class analysis to create family formation pathways for women between the ages of 18 and 23. Input variables included cohabitation, marriage, parenthood, full-time employment, and attending school. Data (n = 2,290) came from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The analysis revealed sev...
Article
The majority of studies linking individual differences in the quality of social relationships and activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have focused on the early development of attachment between infants and their caregivers. Later in development, during middle childhood and adolescence, the parallel HPA links to age-appropriate...
Article
Some research and theory suggest that early cohabitation, parenthood, and marriage have negative long-term implications. Nevertheless, in the context of their resources and opportunities, early transitions may represent positive choices for some individuals. We studied the family and personal characteristics of young adults (N = 8,172) who did, ver...
Article
Research indicates that closeness of the father-child bond following parental divorce is associated with better outcomes for children and adolescents. Unlike other investigations, this study takes a long-term developmental approach to understanding stability and change in postdivorce father-adolescent relationship closeness. Drawing on Add Health d...
Article
Individuals ordinarily have considerable information about voluntary associations even before they seriously think about joining a group. In becoming affiliated, members usually rely on personal networks and often several persons are consulted. When mass media sources are utilized in the affiliation process, they serve as a stimulus or catalyst (no...
Article
Popular perceptions of the effect of testosterone on "manly" behavior are inaccurate. We need to move away from such simplistic notions by treating testosterone as one component along with other physiological, psychological and sociological variables in interactive and reciprocal models of behavior. Several hormones can now be measured in saliva, r...
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Full-text available
Grounded in a biosocial model, this study examines the interaction between adolescents' testosterone levels and qualities of the parent-adolescent and sibling-adolescent relationship in adolescents' peer experiences and contributes to empirical research on the role of biological factors and family socialization processes in adolescents' peer compet...
Article
Using a large sample of men, we examine alternative models of the way in which testosterone may influence adult deviant behavior. The results indicate a significant and moderately strong relationship between testosterone and adult deviance, and this relationship between testosterone and adult deviance is largely mediated by the influence of testost...
Article
In a sample of established working- and middle-class families with school-aged children (N= 307 wives and 307 husbands), neither husbands’ nor wives’ testosterone showed a direct connection with marital quality. In contrast, the association between husbands’ testosterone and positive and negative marital quality (as evaluated by both spouses) was c...
Article
Research linking basal cortisol levels with internalizing and externalizing behavior problems in youths has yielded inconsistent results. We hypothesize that the high moment to moment variation in adrenocortical activity requires an analytical strategy that separates variance in cortisol levels attributable to "stable traitlike" versus "state or si...
Article
This study examined intra-individual change in testosterone, cortisol, and hormone-behavior relationships in response to a rowing ergometer competition. Forty-six members (23 females) of a university crew team provided saliva samples before, 20- and 40-min post-competition, as well as baselines on a non-competition day. Behavioral assessments inclu...
Article
In a series of studies, we identify several specific issues that can limit the value of integrating salivary testosterone in biosocial research. Salivary testosterone measurements can be substantially influenced during the process of sample collection, are susceptible to interference effects caused by the leakage of blood (plasma) into saliva, and...
Article
Girls' time in sex-typed leisure activities was studied across 2 years in middle childhood (n = 98, M = 8.2 years in Year 1), early adolescence (n = 106, M = 11.7 years), and middle adolescence (n = 86, M = 14.9 years). In annual home interviews, White middle-class girls, mothers, and fathers rated their gendered attitudes, interests, and personali...
Article
This 2-part study uses national longitudinal interview data from parents and their adult children to examine the way in which predivorce marital conflict influences the impact of divorce on children. In the 1st study, we find that the dissolution of low-conflict marriages appears to have negative effects on offspring's lives, whereas the dissolutio...
Article
New theoretical models conceptualize families as systems affected by, and effecting change in, reciprocal influences among social, behavioral, and biological processes. Technological breakthroughs make noninvasive assessment of many biological processes available to family researchers. These theoretical and measurement advances have resulted in sig...
Article
Higher testosterone levels are related to assertiveness and dominance. Given the relevance of those behavioral correlates to spouses' daily transactions, links between testosterone levels and marital interaction were explored among 92 newlywed couples. Marital problem-solving and social support transactions were assessed, and saliva was collected a...
Article
In a sample of established middle- and working-class families with normally developing children and adolescents ranging in age from 6 to 18 years, sons' and daughters' testosterone levels showed little direct connection to risk behavior or symptoms of depression. In contrast, testosterone's positive relation with risk behavior and negative relation...
Article
We use data from two national surveys of married individuals—one from 1980 and the other from 2000—to understand how three dimensions of marital quality changed during this period. Marital happiness and divorce proneness changed little between 1980 and 2000, but marital interaction declined significantly. A decomposition analysis suggested that off...
Article
Hormone (testosterone, cortisol)–behavior relationships have been extensively studied among male competitors, and far less so among female competitors. To address this gap, we studied members of a nationally recognized college women's rugby team. Seventeen players (ages 18–22 years) provided saliva samples 24 h before, 20 min prior to, and immediat...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on a national longitudinal study of 297 parents and their married offspring, the authors found that parents' marital discord was negatively related to offspring's marital harmony and positively related to offspring's marital discord. The transmission of marital quality was not mediated by parental divorce, life-course variables, socioeconom...
Article
We developed simple, reliable, and highly sensitive assay modifications of commercially available radioimmunoassay kits to measure estradiol in saliva and blood spot specimens. The saliva assay has average intra- and interassay coefficients of variation (CV) of 6.45 and 9.01%, with average analytical and serial dilution recoveries 100.65 and 89.25%...
Article
A pattern of clinical, behavioral, and experimental findings suggests that individual differences in aggressive behavior may be related to immunologic processes. We evaluated two conflicting models of the relationship: 1) A positive association stems from an adaptive mechanism protecting aggressive individuals from increased exposure to immune stim...
Article
While salivary assays for some hormones are widely used, the availability of assays for salivary DHEA is limited. By adapting a commercially available radioimmunoassay serum kit, we developed a reliable, efficient and sensitive measure of DHEA in saliva that does not require separation or extraction. The minimum detection limit was 4.0 pg/ml. Intra...
Article
Medical research suggests that testosterone has positive effects on mood (thereby reducing the chances of depression), and social science research finds testosterone to be related to antisocial behavior, risk behavior, unemployment and low paying jobs, and being unmarried--factors known to be positively related to depression. Analysis of a sample o...
Article
Medical and behavioral research depicts the influence of testosterone on health in opposite ways, the former finding beneficial effects and the latter potentially detrimental ones. We investigate the relationship between testosterone and health risk behavior, indicators of disease, and overall health in a sample of 4393 men who were interviewed and...
Article
Measurement of hormones in children's saliva has excited interest because of numerous potential applications in developmental studies. Although assays of children's saliva for some hormones (e.g., cortisol) are widely available and used, the availability and use of assays of children's saliva testosterone is restricted. By adapting a commercially a...
Article
In men, high levels of endogenous testosterone (T) seem to encourage behavior intended to dominate--to enhance one's status over--other people. Sometimes dominant behavior is aggressive, its apparent intent being to inflict harm on another person, but often dominance is expressed nonaggressively. Sometimes dominant behavior takes the form of antiso...
Article
This Response focuses on the strength of the testosterone (T) dominance relationship, the circumstances under which aggression accompanies dominance, the viability of the basal model, mediators and moderators of the T-dominance relationship, and the research that is needed.
Article
Just what do we know about the current generation of young Americans? So little it seems that we have dubbed them Generation X. Coming of age in the 1980s and '90s, they hail from families in flux, from an intimate landscape changing faster and more profoundly than ever before. This book is the first to give us a clear, close-up picture of these yo...
Article
This study used national longitudinal data to examine parent-child relationships before and after parental divorce. Parents' reports of problems in their relationships with children were significantly elevated as early as 8 to 12 years prior to divorce. Low quality in the parents' marriage largely accounted for these associations. Early problems in...
Article
Using longitudinal data from a national sample of married persons, we explore a wide range of contextual factors that may influence the effect of retirement on marital quality. Characteristics of the husband's job, the division of labor, health, social support, and marital quality are preretirement factors found to affect the influence of retiremen...
Article
We use longitudinal survey data from a national sample of married persons to examine how changes in gender role attitudes over an eight-year period are related to reported changes in marital quality. Structural equation models are used to estimate reciprocal relations between these variables. Our analysis indicates that when wives adopt less tradit...
Article
Using a national sample of 1,298 married persons, we examined the effect of a change in health over a 3-year period on shifts in marital quality. The analysis suggests that decrements in health have an adverse influence on marital quality. Changes in financial circumstances, shifts in the division of household labor, declines in marital activities,...
Article
We examine the relationship of testosterone to tendencies to marry and divorce, and to the quality of marriage, of a large representative sample of men. The analysis shows that men producing more testosterone are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce. Once married they are more likely to leave home because of troubled marital relations, e...
Article
Salivary testosterone was measured among male college wrestlers (n = 12), some of whom fasted before their matches while others did not. Nonfasting wrestlers had increasing testosterone on the day of their match, whereas fasting wrestlers had decreasing testosterone. Apparently, fasting perturbs the normal pattern of testosterone fluctuation associ...
Article
Assessed the impact of divorce on residential change using a national sample of 155 divorced persons (under 55 yrs of age) interviewed in 1980 and again in 1983 and 1988. Divorce affects probability of moving, the number of moves, dwelling type (in the likelihood of shifts in owner status), and housing quality. However, these factors do not contrib...
Article
The dynamics of marital quality is largely unknown. The purpose of this exploratory study is to establish benchmarks which can be used as a basis for understanding the nature and magnitude of fluctuations in marital quality. Drawing on a national sample of married persons interviewed three times over an 8-year period, we found that marital quality...
Article
Using interview data from a national sample of married persons, the extent to which people in remarriages have attributes that adversely influence marital quality and stability is examined. Five models linking remarriage-induced attributes to an increased probability of a decline in marital quality and divorce are evaluated. Persons in remarriages...
Article
The hormone testosterone (T) has a central role in recent theories about allocation of status ranks during face-to-face competition. It has been methodologically convenient to test the hypothesized T mechanism in physically taxing athletic contests, where results have been supportive, although their generalizability to normal social competition is...
Article
While research on adjustment to divorce has been extensive, the paucity of studies assessing stress before and after divorce has kept the relation between psychological stress and martial dissolution unclear. Conflicting findings cast some doubt on the utility of using a crisis model to study divorce. Analysis of three-wave panel data from a nation...
Article
A national sample of adults was used to examine the consequences of divorce (both in one's family of origin and in one's own marriage) for attitudes toward divorce and gender roles. Individuals from divorced families of origin revealed more positive attitudes toward divorce than did those who grew up in happy intact families. Similarly, those who r...
Article
Using panel data from a national survey of married persons, the role of social integration in stabilizing marriage is explored. The analysis indicates that social integration does not appear to have a strong uniform negative effect on divorce, as others have proposed. Of the three forms of integration considered (communicative, functional, and norm...
Article
Extending prior research on the intergenerational transmission process, we examine the influence of parental divorce and parental unhappiness on the marital and family relations of their adult offspring. Using interview data from a national sample of married persons, parental divorce, it is found, has little associaton with the various aspects of f...
Article
Testosterone and cortisol were measured in six university tennis players across six matches during their varsity season. Testosterone rose just before most matches, and players with the highest prematch testosterone had the most positive improvement in mood before their matches. After matches, mean testosterone rose for winners relative to losers,...
Article
Four models of the way in which premarital cohabitation may affect marital quality are examined using interview data from a national probability sample of married persons. The idea that cohabitation improves mate selection and marital training is rejected. Cohabitation is negatively related to marital interaction and positively related to marital d...
Article
Notes that children whose parents divorce will experience a decline in the quality of their relationship with the noncustodial parent and that many children from divorced families will spend a significant amount of time without an adult male present. Calls for research to examine effects of weakened child-father bond. (NB)
Article
A Marital Instability Index (MII) is presented to detect the "peaks and valleys" of intact marriages and the relative severity of their instability. The development of the scale, its administration, reliability, and indicators of its validity are discussed. In view of its value in predicting actual cases of marital dissolution, the MII appears to h...
Article
"This study uses a [U.S.] national sample of married persons under age 55, interviewed in 1980 and again in 1983, to estimate why divorce and marital instability vary by age and duration of marriage. Results indicate that the accumulation of assets substantially reduces the propensity to divorce. We also find that several important correlates of di...
Article
This study examines the causal processes that lead to the widely observed negative association between presence of children and marital happiness. Using a nationwide panel of 1535 married individuals, we find support for two primary causal mechanisms. First, the presence of children is associated with differences in marital structure (lower interac...
Article
The dimensionality of five conceptually distinct components of marital quality was evaluated in a representative national sample of 1845 married people. Confirmatory factor analysis found two dimensions, one consisting of scales of marital happiness and interaction; the other, of marital disagreements, problems, and instability. Further examination...
Article
PIP An extensive literature demonstrates a negative correlation between the presence of children and marital quality. Few of these studies are designed to test the reasons for this relationship. This study examines 2 possible paths: that people who choose to have children differ from those who do not in ways that affect marital quality, and that ha...
Article
PIP The ability of a scale, called the marital instability index, to predict divorce or permanent separation in the United States is examined. It is tested using data on a national sample of about 1,663 married persons under age 55 who were interviewed originally by telephone in 1980 and reinterviewed in 1983. The results show that high scorers on...
Article
Although telephone interview surveys using random digit dialing to select the sample are increasingly being used, little is known about tracking a panel of respondents selected using this method. This article reports on a three-year panel study of 2032 married respondents selected using a national random digit dialing sample. Of the original sample...
Article
Using data from a sample of 2135 midwestern college students, this article examines the consequences of marital disruption on child-parent attachment. Among the factors considered in the analysis are death versus divorce, amount of conflict in intact and divorced homes, sex of custodial parent, custodial parent's remarriage, and relationships with...
Article
While considerable attention has been given to the effects of marital timing on conjugal stability, no adequate explanation has been verified empirically. Using national sample data (n = 1,715), three different possible explanations are tested as to why those who marry in their teens and individuals who wed in their late 20s or after have less stab...
Article
Interview data from a national sample of 2,034 married persons are used to examine the effect of wives'outside employment on marital instability. In this study, marital instability is defined as including the gamut of activities from thinking about and discussing divorce to actually filing for either separation or divorce. A recursive structural eq...
Article
The issue of sex differences in aggression was recast into a dominance—stress framework and examined using an experimental design. College students participated in dominance episodes during which behavior and physiological indicators of stress were monitored. The results indicate that both males and females find encounters with people of the same s...
Article
While a limited number of studies focus on the impact of parental divorce on courtship, none examine the conditions surrounding the divorce that may influence children's attempts to form intimate heterosexual relationships. Drawing on a large sample of college students that includes 365 cases of parental divorce, we examine the impact of the amount...
Article
Describes the development of a scale specifically designed to assess instability among intact couples. Marital instability denotes affective and cognitive states along the related actions that are precedent to terminating a relationship. Instability also refers to a situation in an intact dyad, not to ones that already have been disrupted. The meas...
Article
Social and psychological pathologies have been frequently associated with features of the built environment being most prominently linked to apartment dwellings and high-rise housing, a growing part of the urban landscape. Pathology is seen as being related to housing type by way of the constraints various buildings impose. Selective support for th...
Article
Among substantive method errors which frequently are found in journals of the social sciences are the issues of homoscedasticity, incorrect use of standardized and unstandardized regression coefficients, the Gordon partialling fallacy, and the decomposition of regression effects into both direct and indirect effects. The significance of each of the...
Article
Viewing the family as a system of interdependent roles has frequently led to the assumption that fathers, in comparison with mothers, play highly restricted roles vis--vis their children. Much of the literature on fathers, in point of fact, stresses their absence, their disinterest, and lack of competence in child care. Reported here are findings f...
Article
Results from a probability sample of 560 Toronto families living in high density census tracts are summarized as regards the impact of crowding on family life and child development. Objective and subjective scales of household and neighborhood crowding were employed. Scales were also derived for dependent measures representative of spousal relation...
Article
A sample of urban Canadian adults who were interviewed and medically examined provided the basis for an exploration of the relation between political behavior and physical stature, general health, and stress. People active in communal and protest political activities showed more stress than, but were otherwise similar to, people who did not partici...
Article
Full-text available
Examined spousal consensus on 12 different topics and evaluated the amount and direction of the influence of the factors (structure, cohesion, and stress) thought to account for consensus. Interviews with 321 urban couples provided the data. It is concluded that spousal consensus is neither unidimensional nor readily explained by factors commonly t...
Article
The effect of eight factors, thought to influence the incidence of crime, on indices based on Uniform Crime Reports and victim surveys, are examined. A comparison of the results reveals that different conclusions would be reached about the correlates of crime depending on the index used. Lacking evidence showing one measure as the more valid indica...
Article
A sample of nearly 500 urban married women with children was used to evaluate the possible effect of outside-the-home employment on the mental and physical health of married mothers. Six measures of health were used, some drawn from interviews with the women, others from a medical examination. After controlling for ethnicity, education, and age of...
Article
Studies of crowding in lower animals repeatedly demonstrate that compressed living conditions depress the ability of the species to reproduce. In a sample of 470 urban Toronto women we examined the effect of neighborhood and household crowding on the probability of a pregnancy and on the probability that any given product of the pregnancy will not...

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