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Gender, Family, and Social Change

gfsc-icon-100Broad changes in recent decades, including economic restructuring and the stagnation of male wages, the gender revolution and the entry of women into labor force, and the aging of most populations, have transformed family life in ways that are still not well understood. MPRC researchers are leaders in the study of how these larger changes affect families and individuals in both the U.S. and in other countries. Many aspects of family life (how they form, their size, composition and stability, and inequalities in family experiences) have direct impact on larger demographic processes underlying the composition, geographic distribution, and growth of the population. Thus the study of family life is of central concern to population research.

Areas of focus include :

  • Transition to adulthood and family formation
  • Parenting over the life course
  • Intersection between gender, work, and family

Examples of current projects in these areas can be found below.


Medication and procedural abortions before 13 weeks gestation and risk of psychiatric disorders

Medication and procedural abortions before 13 weeks gestation and risk of psychiatric disorders

Faculty Associate Julia Steinberg and colleaguse set out to test risks associated with having a medication or procedural abortion prior to 13 weeks of pregnancy

Medication and procedural abortions before 13 weeks gestation and risk of psychiatric disorders - Read More…

Dyadic patterns in childbirth intention

Dyadic patterns in childbirth intention

Monica Caudillo, with MPRC affiliate colleagues, uses National Survey of Family Growth Data for Population Research and Policy Review article

Dyadic patterns in childbirth intention - Read More…

Wildfires and Child Health

Wildfires and Child Health

Faculty Associate Michel Boudreaux leads an R01 to measure impact of increasing particulant pollution on child health

Wildfires and Child Health - Read More…

A cross-national investigation of women's empowerment

A cross-national investigation of women's empowerment

Desai and Yu tap into dimensions of empowerment in household, work, and education across 28 countries

A cross-national investigation of women's empowerment - Read More…

The opioid epidemic's effects on families

The opioid epidemic's effects on families

Caudillo and Cohen investigate how family structures have changed with rising opioid epidemic death rates

The opioid epidemic's effects on families - Read More…

Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality

Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality

Associates Marian MacDorman and Marie Thoma, with colleagues Eugene DeClerq and Elizabeth Howell examine birth records

Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality - Read More…

Gender, Transport, and Employment in Mumbai

Gender, Transport, and Employment in Mumbai

Maureen Cropper and colleagues examine mobility patterns and a gender gap

Gender, Transport, and Employment in Mumbai - Read More…

 Engaging Women in the Market for Mobile Money

Engaging Women in the Market for Mobile Money

Faculty Associate Jessica Goldberg awarded National Science Foundation three-year grant to examine questions of participation and impact for women

Engaging Women in the Market for Mobile Money - Read More…

Exploring perceived coercive aspects of transactional sex in Central Uganda

Exploring perceived coercive aspects of transactional sex in Central Uganda

Kirsten Stoebenau examines the Central Uganda Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW)'s participation in transactional sex

Exploring perceived coercive aspects of transactional sex in Central Uganda - Read More…

Trends in stratification of pre-marital childbirth

Trends in stratification of pre-marital childbirth

Kirsten Stoebenau and Sangeetha Madhavan examine impact of economic inequality through NICHD R03

Trends in stratification of pre-marital childbirth - Read More…

Empirical evidence on the unintended consequences of the one-child policy in terms of child trafficking in China

Empirical evidence on the unintended consequences of the one-child policy in terms of child trafficking in China

Implementation of the one-child policy and deep-rooted cultural preference for boys have together significantly increased both child abandonment and child abduction in China

Empirical evidence on the unintended consequences of the one-child policy in terms of child trafficking in China - Read More…

Sexual minority youth less likely to exit foster care

Sexual minority youth less likely to exit foster care

Jessica Fish and her colleagues published a study presenting sexual minority youth as an overrepresented population in foster care, child welfare and out-of-home placement

Sexual minority youth less likely to exit foster care - Read More…

More Women Opting to Give Birth Outside of a Hospital

More Women Opting to Give Birth Outside of a Hospital

Data shows rate of births at home and in birth centers reaches highest level in 30 years; demand may actually be greater

More Women Opting to Give Birth Outside of a Hospital - Read More…

SPH Study Explores Maternal Experience of IPV in Young Children in Tanzania

SPH Study Explores Maternal Experience of IPV in Young Children in Tanzania

Natalie Slopen and colleagues published a new study exploring the health implications of intimate partner violence on children

SPH Study Explores Maternal Experience of IPV in Young Children in Tanzania - Read More…