William G. Axinn's research while affiliated with University of Michigan and other places

Publications (111)

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Background Potentially traumatic events (PTEs) are common and associated with detrimental outcomes over the life-course. Previous studies exploring the causes and consequences of PTE-exposure profiles are often from high-income settings and fail to explore the implications of sample selection (i.e., population-representative versus PTE-restricted)....
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Importance: Individual-level social support protects against major depressive disorder (MDD) among adults exposed to trauma. Little is known about the consequences of community-level interventions in the general population. Objective: To determine the potential consequences of neighborhood social infrastructure on incident MDD in a high-risk gen...
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Event history calendars (EHCs) are frequently used in social measurement to capture important information about the time ordering of events in people’s lives and enable inference about the relationships of the events with other outcomes of interest. To date, EHCs have primarily been designed for face-to-face or telephone survey interviewing, and fe...
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Objectives To understand COVID-19 worries and how they influence COVID-19 mitigation behaviours, especially in communities prior to case surges, in Nepal. Methods Data related to COVID-19 impacts on life disruptions were collected from households in the Chitwan Valley Family Study, a 25-year community panel study, during February-April 2021. COVID...
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Cohabitation has become a normative experience for American young adults and a common setting for childbearing in recent decades. However, the high dissolution rate of cohabitation exposes young adults to the potential stress of intimate relationship dissolution and single parenthood during early adulthood. Drawing on data from the National Longitu...
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Responsive survey design is a technique aimed at improving the efficiency or quality of surveys by using incoming data from the field to make design changes. The technique was pioneered on large national surveys, but the tools can also be applied on the smaller-scale surveys most commonly used by sociologists. We demonstrate responsive survey desig...
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Understanding the consequences of marital experiences for individual mental health provides insight into how social relationships shape individual wellbeing. Using newly available, clinically validated diagnostic interviews with more than 10,000 respondents integrated with the longitudinal Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), we assess the associati...
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Objective: To identify factors independently associated with program participation and knowledge of campus processes to address sexual assault and harassment complaints. Participants: 1,182 undergraduates who completed the University of Michigan's 2015 campus climate survey on topics of sexual assault and harassment (67% response rate). Methods...
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Though international out-migration is widespread, little evidence exists regarding the consequences for economic change in sending countries, particularly in the densely populated agricultural areas of Asia. We examine associations between labor out-migration, remittances, and agricultural change in Nepal. Existing studies of this important populat...
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Importance This study offers a rare opportunity to evaluate life-course differences in the likelihood of developing major depressive disorder (MDD) after exposure to georeferenced neighborhood-level violence during an armed conflict. Objective To examine age cohort (age <11 vs ≥11 years) differences in associations of neighborhood-level violence w...
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Objectives: Recall error biases reporting of earlier life experiences, even potentially traumatic experiences (PTEs). Better tools for accurate retrospective reporting of PTEs and other health risk factors have the potential for broad scientific and health intervention benefits. Methods: We designed a life history calendar (LHC) to support this...
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Aims To disaggregate associations with alcohol use disorder relative to those with early alcohol use stages in an adult population. We estimated prevalence rates and sociodemographic correlates for the opportunity to drink and transitions into lifetime alcohol use, regular use, and alcohol use disorder. Design A retrospective, cross‐sectional popu...
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Background Cross-national studies have found, unexpectedly, that mental disorder prevalence is higher in high-income relative to low-income countries, but few rigorous studies have been conducted in very low-income countries. This study assessed mental disorders in Nepal, employing unique methodological features designed to maximize disorder detect...
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Background: Marriage in general is associated with better mental health in high-income industrialized countries, but it is unknown to what extent this is also the case in South Asia. Methods: The Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) in Nepal is a 24-year family panel study with a recent representative survey to investigate the association between...
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Unique longitudinal measures from Nepal allow us to link both mothers' and fathers' reports of their marital relationships with a subsequent long-term record of their children's behaviors. We focus on children's educational attainment and marriage timing because these two dimensions of the transition to adulthood have wide-ranging, long-lasting con...
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Opportunities to document associations between macro-level changes in social organization and the spread of new individual attitudes are relatively rare. Moreover, of the factors generally understood to be influential, little is known about the potential mechanisms that make them so powerful. Here we use longitudinal measures from the Chitwan Valle...
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Social processes that change quickly are difficult to study, because they require frequent survey measurement. Weekly, daily, or even hourly measurement may be needed depending on the topic. With more frequent measurement comes the prospect of more complex patterns of missing data. The mechanisms creating the missing data may be varied, ranging fro...
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Background Retrospective reports of lifetime experience with mental disorders greatly underestimate the actual experiences of disorder because recall error biases reporting of earlier life symptoms downward. This fundamental obstacle to accurate reporting has many adverse consequences for the study and treatment of mental disorders. Better tools fo...
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Decades of research show that education not only confers individual health benefits, but it also spills over to advantage subsequent generations. More recently, research has confirmed that the intergenerational health benefits of education can also flow upward: aging adults with more highly educated children experience better health and higher surv...
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Challenges to survey data collection have increased the costs of social research via face-to-face surveys so much that it may become extremely difficult for social scientists to continue using these methods. A key drawback to less expensive Internet-based alternatives is the threat of biased results from coverage errors in survey data. The rise of...
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Purpose: The primary aims are to (1) obtain representative prevalence estimates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB) among college students worldwide and (2) investigate whether STB is related to matriculation to and attrition from college. Methods: Data from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys were analyzed, which include face-to-face inter...
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Sexual assault on college campuses is a pervasive problem, recently receiving increased scientific and policy attention. However, the high focus on college student experience ignores general population prevalence, trends, and differences between those with college experience and those without. We analyze measures from the National Survey of Family...
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Theories relating the changing environment to human fertility predict that declining natural resources may actually increase the demand for children. Unfortunately, most previous empirical studies have been limited to cross-sectional designs that limit our ability to understand links between processes that change over time. We take advantage of lon...
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Mental disorders among college students in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys – CORRIGENDUM - R. P. Auerbach, J. Alonso, W. G. Axinn, P. Cuijpers, D. D. Ebert, J. G. Green, I. Hwang, R. C. Kessler, H. Liu, P. Mortier, M. K. Nock, S. Pinder-Amaker, N. A. Sampson, S. Aguilar-Gaxiola, A. Al-Hamzawi, L. H. Andrade, C. Benjet, J....
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Emotional influences on fertility behaviors are an understudied topic that may offer a clear explanation of why many couples choose to have children even when childbearing is not economically rational. With setting-specific measures of the husband-wife emotional bond appropriate for large-scale population research matched with data from a long-term...
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Our understanding of the demography of mental health has been revolutionized by the WHO’s World Mental Health (WMH) survey data collection. This is because WMH surveys take a general population approach, aiming to measure prevalence and subgroup differences among the entire population. To describe the demography of mental health we draw upon these...
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Background. Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years. Methods. The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of ment...
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Conducting survey interviews on the internet has become an attractive method for lowering data collection costs and increasing the frequency of interviewing, especially in longitudinal studies. However, the advantages of the web mode for studies with frequent re-interviews can be offset by the serious disadvantage of low response rates and the pote...
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Psychiatric disorders are one of the leading causes of disease-related disability in the world today. However, little is known about the ethnic variation of these disorders within populations. This is especially true in contexts outside of the United States and the European Diaspora. This study provides new evidence from South Asia on ethnic differ...
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This article presents analyses of data from a pilot study in Nepal that was designed to provide an initial examination of the errors and costs associated with an innovative methodology for survey data collection. We embedded a randomized experiment within a long-standing panel survey, collecting data on a small number of items with varying sensitiv...
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This paper investigates the association between mass education and married women's experience with domestic violence in rural Nepal. Previous research on domestic violence in South Asian societies emphasizes patriarchal ideology and the widespread subordinate status of women within their communities and families. The recent spread of mass education...
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We provide rare evidence of factors producing psychiatric variation in a general population sample from rural South Asia. The setting is particularly useful for demonstrating that variations in the social organization of communities, often difficult to observe in rich countries, are associated with important variations in mental health. Clinically...
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We study the influence of frequent survey measurement on behavior. Widespread access to the Internet has made important breakthroughs in frequent measurement possible—potentially revolutionizing social science measurement of processes that change quickly over time. One key concern about using such frequent measurement is that it may influence the b...
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Conserving wildlife while simultaneously meeting the resource needs of a growing human population is a major sustainability challenge. As such, using combined social and environmental perspectives to understand how people and wildlife are interlinked, together with the mechanisms that may weaken or strengthen those linkages, is of utmost importance...
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Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) are characterized by many complex features, including feedback loops, nonlinearity and thresholds, surprises, legacy effects and time lags, and resilience. Agent-based models (ABMs) are powerful for handling such complexity in CHANS models, facilitating in-depth understanding of CHANS dynamics. ABMs have be...
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Introduction The humanitarian tragedy of large-scale armed conflict continues to be part of human experience leaving a tremendous demographic, social, economic, and health impact on societies. Investigating the impact of such conflicts, assessing the community’s needs, and guiding and evaluating interventions require collecting reliable information...
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Research shows a strong association between traumatic life experience and mental health and important gender differences in that relationship in the western European Diaspora; but much less is known about these relationships in other settings. We investigate these relationships in a poor rural Asian setting that recently experienced a decade-long a...
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This paper aims to increase understanding of the methodological issues involved in adding biomeasures to social research by investigating the potential of an event-triggered, self-collection technique for monitoring biological response to social events. We use data from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) study, which collected saliva...
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An international transition away from familially arranged marriages toward participation in spouse choice has endured for decades and continues to spread through rural Asia today. Although we know that this transformation has important consequences for childbearing early in marriage, we know much less about longer-term consequences of this marital...
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Background: Efforts to develop and validate fully-structured diagnostic interviews of mental disorders in non-Western countries have been largely unsuccessful. However, the principled methods of translation, harmonization, and calibration that have been developed by cross-national survey methodologists have never before been used to guide such dev...
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In many surveys there is a great deal of uncertainty about assumptions regarding key design parameters. This leads to uncertainty about the cost and error structures of the surveys. Responsive survey designs use indicators of potential survey error to determine when design changes should be made on an ongoing basis during data collection. These cha...
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Theories of family stability and change, demographic processes, and social psychological influences on behavior all posit that parental attitudes and beliefs are a key influence on their children's behavior. Though we have evidence of these effects in Western populations, there is little information regarding this social mechanism in non-Western co...
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In this article, we construct and test a micro-level event-centered approach to the study of armed conflict and behavioral responses in the general population. Event-centered approaches have been successfully used in the macro-political study of armed conflict but have not yet been adopted in micro-behavioral studies. The micro-level event-centered...
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This report was published in 1991 as a special monograph by the Research Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal
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Surveys provide crucial information about the social consequences of armed conflict, but armed conflict can shape surveys in ways that limit their value. We use longitudinal survey data from throughout the recent armed conflict in Nepal to investigate the relationship between armed conflict events and survey response. The Chitwan Valley Family Stud...
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We examine the influence of community context on change over time in households' use of non-wood fuels. Our theoretical framework builds on sociological concepts in order to study energy consumption at the micro-level. The framework emphasizes the importance of nonfamily organizations and services in the local community as determinants of the trans...
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This paper examines the willingness of pregnant women to participate in research on health. We investigate attitudes toward multiple methods of data collection including survey and biomarker data collection. Complete interviews were obtained from a sample of 90 pregnant women in a matched control-comparison study of patients receiving prenatal care...
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A new approach to investigation of human influences on the environment identifies social organization as an influence independent of population size, affluence, and technology. The framework also identifies population events, such as births, that influence the environment. The authors use longitudinal, multilevel, mixed-method measures of local lan...
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To address declining response rates and rising data-collection costs, survey methodologists have devised new techniques for using process data ("paradata") to address nonresponse by altering the survey design dynamically during data collection. We investigate the substantive consequences of responsive survey design-tools that use paradata to improv...
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This paper investigates the double standard in attitudes toward courtship and family formation behaviors of sons and daughters. We argue there are strong theoretical reasons to expect that the magnitude of this double standard varies across substantive domains, as well as amongst parents and non-parents. We also argue key methodological limitations...
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Scholars and activists have hypothesized a connection between environmental change and out-migration. In this paper we test this hypothesis using data from Nepal. We operationalize environmental change in terms of declining land cover, rising times required to gather organic inputs, increasing population density, and perceived declines in agricultu...
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By investigating the intergenerational consequences of multiple aspects of family experiences across the life course this paper advances what we know about the forces shaping children's initiation of sexual and contraceptive behaviors. Our aim is to advance the scientific understanding of early sexual experiences by explicitly considering contracep...
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This paper examines the influence of community context and land use on the monthly odds of first birth in a society in the midst of dramatic fertility transition. The theoretical framework guiding our work predicts that proximity to non-family services should delay first births by creating opportunities for competing non-family activities and sprea...
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This paper presents a new theoretical framework for the study of environmental consumption at the micro-level by building on concepts from classical sociological theory and recent macro-level studies of the environment. The framework emphasizes the local community context as an important determinant of environmental consumption. We test this framew...
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Abstract Participation in rural development programs that organize members into local cooperative groups can alter the decision-making environment facing couples to reflect some of the negative consequences of childbearing. This study uses data from Nepal, collected through a combination of ethnographic and survey methods, to test the effects of pa...
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Abstract Recent research in many areas of social demography has begun to address the implications of cultural, social, and economic context for individual–level preferences and behavior. We expand on this theme by arguing that multiple levels of context may simultaneously direct individual–level strategies. We focus on the relationship between wome...
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This paper investigates the relationship between changing community context and out-migration in one of today’s poor countries, seeking to document the various mechanisms by which infrastructure affects the migratory behavior. We focus on the expansion of social and physical facilities and services near to rural people’s homes, including transporta...
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We use detailed measures of social change over time, increased availability of various health services, and couples' fertility behaviors to document the independent effects of health services on fertility limitation. Our investigation focuses on a setting in rural Nepal that experienced a transition from virtually no use of birth control in 1945 to...
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Situating their argument in the context of the Western world’s 500-year history of marriage, the authors of this work reveal what factors encourage marriage and cohabitation in a contemporary society where marriage and the relationships between women and men have changed dramatically. While many people still choose to marry without first cohabiti...
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This article examines the influences of nonfamily experiences on participation in the selection of a first spouse in an arranged marriage society. The authors developed a theoretical framework to explain how a broad array of nonfamily experiences may translate into greater participation in the choice of a spouse. Analyses show that premarital nonfa...
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This report describes how Cycle 6 of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) was designed, planned, and implemented. The NSFG is a national survey of women and men 15-44 years of age designed to provide national estimates of factors affecting pregnancy and birth rates; men's and women's health; and parenting. Cycle 6, conducted in 2002, was the...
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This study investigates the relationship between environmental degradation and men and women’s family size preferences and subsequent reproductive behaviors in Nepal. We draw on unique environmental data at the local level, household and individual-level survey data and individuals reproductive behavior over a 3 year time period in Western Chitwan...
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We investigate the effects of nonfamily experiences on marital relationships in a setting characterized by high levels of arranged marriage until recently. Drawing on theoretical frameworks for the study of families and social change, we argue that the expansion of opportunities for nonfamily experiences will increase the likelihood of marital rela...
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This article investigates the mass media as a social change that shapes individual behavior primarily via ideational mechanisms. We construct a theoretical framework drawing on social demography and social psychology to explain how mass media may affect behavior via attitudinal change. Empirical analyses of 1,091 couples in the Chitwan Valley Famil...
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This paper investigates how changes in neighborhood facilities—new schools, health posts, bus services, mills, dairies, agricultural cooperatives, and other facilities—influence perceptions of environmental degradation. We use three types of data from a rural area in Nepal: (1) data on changing neighborhood facilities from 171 neighborhoods, collec...
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this paper. The paper benefited substantially by comments and suggestions from the editors and reviewers. This research was supported by NICHD grant HD32912, byNSF grants SBR 9811983 and DMS 9802885, by grant P50 DA 10075 from NIDA t o the Pennsylvania State University s Methodology Cente r, and by a P30 center grant from NICHD to the University of...
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We extend the proportional hazards model to a two-level model with a random intercept term and random coefficients. The parameters in the multilevel model are estimated by a combination of EM and Newton-Raphson algorithms. Even for samples of 50 groups, this method produces estimators of the fixed effects coefficients that are approximately unbiase...
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In this article we explore methods for using mothers' interviews to gather data on their children's family formation experiences. These methods constitute a cost-efficient means of gathering data for models of family background that include both intergenerational and sibling influences. To judge the utility of these methods, we examine the quality...
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Sociological research has focused much attention on processes of educational attainment. In part, this is because of direct benefits thought to result from education and, in part, because educational attainment is considered a key step in other processes of attainment, such as occupational attainment.1 Because education gives individuals opportunit...
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The relationship between the spread of mass education and fertility-limiting behavior is examined. Existing theories relating education to fertility limitation are integrated, including those relating the presence of educational opportunity to fertility decline, theories relating women's education to their fertility behavior, and theories relating...
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The social organization of the family is a key link between macro- level social change and individual-level childbearing behavior. The family mode of organization framework and life course perspective are used to develop hypotheses about these links. To test those hypotheses, the analysis uses a combination of life history and neighborhood history...
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Combining innovations in hazard modeling with those in multilevel modeling, we develop a method to estimate discrete-time multilevel hazard models. We derive the likelihood of and formulate assumptions for a discrete-time multilevel hazard model with time-varying covariates at two levels. We pay special attention to assumptions justifying the estim...
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This paper investigates the relationships among unwanted childbearing, health, and mother-child relationships. We hypothesize that unwanted childbearing affects mother-child relationships in part because of the physical and mental health consequences of unwanted childbearing. Impaired mental health hampers women's interaction with their infants, an...
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Growing sociological interest in the timing and sequencing of important life events continues to fuel the development of sophisticated analytic methods. The life history calendar (LHC) was designed as a method of collecting detailed individual-level event timing and sequencing data. This paper describes new innovations which make gathering retrospe...
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In this article, we introduce the concept of family integration to describe the way in which family social organization affects individuals. We hypothesize that when parents are integrated into the family, it benefits their children's development of self. Using panel data, we test three mechanisms of parental family integration-activities within th...