Robert E. Turner Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Population Studies and Sociology
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
Areas of Interest:
Demography, Life Course, Adolescence, Disability
My research involves the study of individual lives considered in their cultural, community, and family contexts. My interests in the life course of American adolescents include educational attainments, finding secure employment, starting a family, and earning a living wage. I am particularly interested in the ways in which opportunities in local environments and resources of parents are converted into successful transitions to adult life, as well as the effects of limited opportunities and few family resources. My research includes studies of the health and disability of children and adolescents—population prevalence, access and use of needed medical and supportive services, their educational and employment aspirations and experiences, and the impacts of children with disabilities on the lives of other family members.
Throughout my career I have been involved in studies of reproductive and child health in developing country populations. My research interests in developing nations and on the lives of adolescents has resulted in studies of women’s reproductive behaviors and dangers to their well-being in several populations, most recently Ethiopia, as well as participation in a longitudinal study of young men and women in Ethiopia as they become adults. I am currently collaborating with researchers at the Institute for Community and Public Health at Birzeit University in Ramallah, the occupied Palestinian territories on research and on establishing a center for population research.
I teach undergraduate courses in introductory sociology, market research, and populations in danger. My graduate teaching involves seminars on research methods, the sociology of the life course, and seminars on demographic issues. I believe that the best way to teach sociology is through hands-on research experience in courses and seminars and through independent studies with undergraduate and graduate students.