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I am a sociologist specializing in social networks and medical sociology, with research also addressing gender and demography of the life course. I'm interested in how social relationships can support health or introduce risks to health, particularly in domains that might not seem contagious but still have a social component, like mental health. I study how effects of social ties vary with context and other social features, such as gender, or for particularly at-risk groups, such as isolated youth.

My research is mainly on adolescent peer networks and health, with current research projects examining how connections with others relate to depression, self-harm, and substance use in adolescence and into adulthood. Beyond the importance of peers to adolescent health, examining social networks informs the broader medical sociology literature on social support, contagion, and other mechanisms that link human social life to physical and mental well-being across the life course.

As a PhD candidate at Duke (PhD expected May 2020), I've taught a mid-level sociology course, short Data Expedition class, been a teaching assistant for two upper-level sociology courses, and lectured at the Social Networks & Health Workshop. I've worked as a research assistant for Dr. Jim Moody and I'm affiliated with the Duke Network Analysis Center, Society of Duke Fellows, and University Scholars at Duke.

Please feel free to contact me at molly.copeland@duke.edu