Andrea Willson

Andrea Willson
The University of Western Ontario | UWO · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

25
Publications
3,644
Reads
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1,140
Citations
Introduction
Andrea Willson is a sociologist whose research is in the area of social inequality over the life course, particularly the role of long-term processes and cumulative experience on inequalities in health. Her recent research has investigated the impact of childhood disadvantage on adult health trajectories, the role of social mobility on health, and the transmission of health inequality across generations. Her publications have appeared in top-ranked sociology journals, including The Journal of Health and Social Behavior, The Journals of Gerontology, Research on Aging, and the American Journal of Sociology.
Additional affiliations
July 2001 - July 2004
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • NIA Postdoctoral Fellow
Education
September 1996 - July 2001
Florida State University
Field of study
  • Sociology

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
In this study, we advance existing research on health as a life course process by conceptualizing and measuring both childhood disadvantage and health as dynamic processes in order to investigate the relationship between trajectories of early life socioeconomic conditions and trajectories of health in midlife. We utilize a trajectory-based analysis...
Article
In this study, the authors use longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and growth curve models to examine the utility of the concept of cumulative disadvantage as an explanation for race differences in life-course health (self-rated) in the United States. The authors ask whether socioeconomic resources equally benefit the health o...
Article
While there is consistent evidence that inequality in economic resources follows a process of cumulative advantage, the application of this framework to another aspect of life course inequality, health, has not produced consensus. This analysis uses longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the over-time relationship betw...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the relative impact of socioeconomic status as a `fundamental cause' of health disparities in Canada and the US. Fundamental cause theory suggests that persons of higher socioeconomic status have available a broad range of resources to benefit their health and therefore hold an advantage in warding off whatever particular thre...
Article
This study contributes to the literature on the long-term effects of childhood disadvantage on mental health by estimating the association between patterns of cumulative childhood adversity on trajectories of psychological distress in adulthood. There is little research that investigates how compositional variations in the accumulation of childhood...
Article
Early life disadvantage has enduring effects on health into adulthood. In this analysis, we are interested in the social reproduction of health inequality across generations within families. We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a representative sample of U.S. adolescents in grades 7–12 and their parents (...
Article
Background: Although most children experience at least one adversity, it is the experience of multiple adversities that produces a context of disadvantage that increases the risk of various negative outcomes in adulthood. Previous measures of cumulative childhood adversity consider a limited number of adversities, overlook potential differences ac...
Article
Objectives: Empirical investigations of cumulative dis/advantage typically treat health inequality as an intra-individual process rooted in early-life conditions and operating within the span of the individual life course, while literature on processes of intergenerational transmission has historically focused on socioeconomic mobility, largely ov...
Article
Objectives: In this article, we examine the connection between trajectories of work disability and economic precarity in late midlife. We conceptualize work disability as a possible mechanism linking early and later life economic disadvantage. Methods: We model trajectories of work disability characterized by timing and stability for a cohort of...
Article
We utilize over 40 years of prospective data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 1,229) and repeated-measures latent class analysis to examine how long-term patterns of stability and change in economic hardship from childhood to adulthood are related to subsequent trajectories of midlife health. We review conceptual and methodological appr...
Article
In this study, we advance existing research on the long-term effects of childhood disadvantage on health in adulthood by examining how the timing and duration of childhood economic hardship differentiates between those at low and high risk of chronic disease onset in midlife for women and men, across four different health outcomes. The study uses p...
Article
In this study, we advance existing research on the long-term effects of childhood disadvantage on health in adulthood by examining how the timing and duration of childhood economic hardship differentiates between those at low and high risk of chronic disease onset in midlife for women and men, across four different health outcomes. The study uses p...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on the Women's Health Effects Study, a community sample of women (N = 309) who recently left an abusive partner, this study examines patterns of cumulative abuse experiences over the life course, their socioeconomic correlates, and associations with a range of health outcomes. Latent class analysis identified four groups of women with diffe...
Conference Paper
This article examines how the timing and duration of childhood economic hardship differentially affect disease onset in midlife for men and women across five different health outcomes. Discrete time hazard models are estimated using logistic regression and 12 years of data from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Gender differences in the effect...
Chapter
The life course perspective provides a theoretical framework, concepts, and analytical tools for examining how individual lives unfold in historical and institutional contexts. Nearly a half century ago, C. Wright Mills described the task and promise of the sociological imagination as the ability to “grasp history and biography and the relations be...
Article
We describe how a life course perspective can be used to examine the intersection of various patterns of stability or change in family structure over the life course with women's trajectories of psychological distress. Our approach in this chapter addresses both conceptual issues and methodological developments that we believe can advance our under...
Article
In this compelling and accessible book, Dan Zuberi demonstrates the profound influence of social policy on the lives of the working poor and their families. Through a combination of in-depth interviews, participant observation, and social policy analysis, the study compares low-wage workers of two large hotel chains in Vancouver, British Columbia a...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of ambivalence represents an interactional process in which individuals evaluate social relations as simultaneously positive and negative. This study investigates ambivalence in interpersonal relations through an empirical analysis of relationships between aging mothers and their adult children from their joint perspectives. Multilevel...
Article
The concept of ambivalence emphasizes the complexity of family relations and the potential for individuals to evaluate relationships as both positive and negative. Using multilevel models, we investigate ambivalence in adult children's relationships with their aging parents and in-laws (N= 1,599). We focus on factors predicting adult children's amb...
Article
This article examines the contribution of employment and marriage to the income security of women as they age, and assesses differences in the process of building income security for African American and white women, Using hierarchical linear modeling and data from the National Longitudinal Surveys Mature Women Cohort, I focus on individual-level t...
Article
In this analysis we examine how women's family and employment choices are linked to differences in financial security as they age. Previous research has tested theories of growing inequality, decreasing inequality, or maintained inequality as cohorts transition into old age. We assess these hypotheses for older women and emphasize the heterogeneity...

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