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IBS Seminar: Hosted by CUPC: “The Importance of Social Factors in Young Adult Health”
March 14, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Kathleen Mullan Harris, University of North Carolina
Title: The Importance of Social Factors in Young Adult Health
Abstract: This research talk will present various research findings on the importance of social factors as determinants of young adult health. Harris will first present an argument for the importance of studying health and disease risks among young people who are thought to be otherwise quite healthy. She will then provide illustrative findings on the importance of social factors in the development of health and well-being in young adulthood, including the role of social isolation and social integration in social networks, trajectories of health and human capital across adolescence and early adulthood, the differential effects of social mobility among white and minority young adults, and social genetic effects. The implications of her findings identify specific early life stages in which interventions to improve health and reduce disparities would be most effective.
Bio: Kathleen Mullan Harris is the James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, and Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on social inequality and health with particular interests in health disparities, biodemography, social genomics, and life course processes. Dr. Harris is Director and Principal Investigator of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) in which she is leading multidisciplinary research on the social, environmental, behavioral, biological and genetic linkages in developmental and health trajectories from adolescence into adulthood. Her publications appear in a wide range of disciplinary journals including demography, genetics, family, epidemiology, biology, public policy, survey methodology, and medicine. She was awarded the Golden Goose Award from the US Congress in 2016 for federally funded research that leads to major breakthroughs in medicine, social behavior, and technological research. Dr. Harris is past president of the Population Association of America and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in demography from the University of Pennsylvania.