Margaret M. Gough Courtney
Hello! I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of The Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities Lab (@SDHHDL on Twitter) at the University of La Verne in La Verne, CA. Prior to joining the faculty at La Verne I was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. I received my Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan, where I trained at the Population Studies Center. My research takes a social demographic approach to topics related to inequality, health, family, and the labor market.
My first area of research focuses on the relationship between social, economic, and environmental factors, and health and well-being. In one branch of this research I study how economic hardship and family obligations affect health and well-being, with a particular focus on health-related behaviors and risk of obesity. A second branch of research uses a social epidemiological approach to examine how exposure to social, economic, environmental, and political factors is related to accelerated aging processes, including inflammation in the body and diminished bone mineral density. This is a collaborative project with Dr. Kanya Godde, a biological anthropologist, and is supported with a multiple-PI R15 grant from the National Institute on Aging ("A Model of Accelerated Aging: Social, Political, Economic, Environmental, and Biological Factors' Effects on Osteoporosis, High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein, and Telomere Length").
My second area of research addresses relationships among gender, family, and external factors, such as the labor market, national policy change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. One branch of this research examines relationships between labor market experiences and spouses' unpaid labor time. A second branch of this research examines relationships between family formation and wage penalties (or premiums) that men and women experience in the labor market. A third branch of this research examines how the experience of national policy changes (e.g., the Affordable Care Act) and major events (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic) lead to changes in patterns of family formation.
At the University of La Verne I teach courses such as Health, Wealth, and Poverty; Quantitative Analysis; Birth, Migration, and Aging; Gender Inequality; Sociology of the Family; and Senior Thesis.