Time to 12:30 pm Add to Calendar 2016-11-11 08:30:00 2016-11-11 12:30:00 11th Annual De Jong Lecture in Social Demography Nittany Lion Inn Population Research Institute css7@psu.edu America/New_York public
Location Nittany Lion Inn

Social Integration and Health from Adolescence into Adulthood

Presented by Dr. Kathleen M. Harris, James Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Harris is Director and Principal Investigator of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a longitudinal study of more than 20 thousand teens who are being followed into young adulthood.

It has been well established that social connections are good for your health.  Social ties, embeddedness in social networks, and engagement in social life have been found to boost self-esteem, protect against illness, and facilitate coping with stress and injury or disease.  This research uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to examine how social integration within multiple domains—family, friends, community, and other institutions—and across the early life course from adolescence into young adulthood is associated with biophysical health in adulthood.  Most research on social connections and health focus on aging populations, but we argue that the daily stresses of adolescent and young adult life are just as consequential for stress-activated biological processes that undermine health early in the life course when disease risks are typically asymptomatic.  We explore patterns of social integration across 15 years from adolescence into young adulthood and test life course models of exposure to its protective effects including evidence for a sensitive period, accumulation, or pathway process of how social integration is related to health.  We then explore the psychosocial and behavioral mechanisms through which social integration influences biophysical health. In addition to the unique life course measures of social integration from adolescence into adulthood, we use objective measures of adult health from biomarker data and an inverse probability of treatment (IPT) weighting estimator to address selection bias associated with social integration. 

Dr. Harris’ research focuses on social inequality and health with particular interests in family demography, the transition to adulthood, health disparities and family formation. Under Harris’ leadership, Add Health has pioneered innovative study designs and integrative multidisciplinary research to understand social, environmental, behavioral, biological and genetic linkages in developmental and health trajectories from adolescence into adulthood. She has been an advocate within the social science and population disciplines for bridging social and biomedical sciences to advance knowledge on the development of health disparities from both an inter- and intra-generational perspective to inform public health and social policy. Her publications appear in a wide range of disciplinary journals including demography, genetics, family, epidemiology, biology, public policy, survey methodology, medicine, and social and health behavior. Harris serves on several national advisory boards of leading NIH studies as well as on the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations of the Census Bureau and is Chair of the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences. She received her doctorate in demography from the University of Pennsylvania. Harris was awarded the Clogg Award for Early Career Achievement from the Population Association of America in 2004 and the Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences from ICPSR in 2013. She was President of the Population Association of America in 2009 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. 


H. Harrington (Bo) Cleveland, Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies, Penn State

Bridget J. Goosby, Happold Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, and Penn State Demography Alumnus



Please register online. The conference is free and open to everyone.


Schedule - Nittany Lion Inn (Boardroom I lower level) 

8:30 Check-in; Coffee available  

9:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks 

9:10 Dr. Kathleen M. Harris 

10:00 Break 

10:10 Discussants (Dr. H. Harrington Cleveland, Dr. Bridget J. Goosby)

11:00 Open Discussion 

11:45 Reception (Boardroom II)


Please note that students are not allowed to park in the Nittany Lion Inn parking deck.


Lecture Sponsors

The De Jong Lecture is generously supported by the Gordon F. and Caroline M. De Jong Lectureship in Social Demography Endowment, administered jointly (and supplemented as necessary) by the Department of Sociology and the Population Research Institute at Penn State. 

Gordon F. De Jong is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Demography, former Director of the Graduate Program in Demography, and Senior Scientist Emeritus with the Population Research Institute at Penn State. 

Caroline M. De Jong , a former middle school teacher, has been involved in numerous community, church, and university-related organizations including the American Association of University Women, Stay-and-Play Nursery School, Presbyterian Women, and the Centre County Board of Elections. 


View Past De Jong lectures

Registration URL https://redcap.ctsi.psu.edu/redcap/surveys/?s=K9J4F3M33T
Contact Person Carolyn Scott
Contact Email css7@psu.edu
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