prc wordmark
prc logo

Michael Garcia

M.A., The University of Texas at Austin

PRC Graduate Research Trainee; Doctoral Student, Department of Sociology
Michael Garcia



Social Relationships, Health and Well-Being, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Demography


Michael Alexis Garcia is a fourth year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and Population Research Center (PRC) Graduate Research Trainee. Her primary research interests are health and well-being, social relationships, and gender.

Michael's Master's thesis, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, used dyadic diary data to explore how marital strain as perceived by each spouse influences individual psychological distress and how these relationships differ for men and women in same- and different-sex couples. Her current research projects explore 1) gendered marital processes surrounding stress, health behaviors, and well-being, 2) racial variation in exposure and vulnerability to family member loss, and 3) how cross-national variation in work-family reconciliation policies impact child well-being. 

Michael currently serves as a research assistant on Dr. Deb Umberson's "Race/Ethnic Differences in Life Course Exposure to Death: Consequences for Health" Project, funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She also serves as Assistant Director for the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) under Executive Director and PRC faculty member Dr. Jennifer Glass. 

Prior to enrolling in graduate school, Michael received her B.A. in Sociology from Baylor University in 2016.

Recent publications:

Andersson, Matthew A., Michael A. Garcia, and Jennifer Glass. 2021. “Work-Family Reconciliation and Children’s Well-Being Disparities across OECD Countries.” Social Forces. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/sf/soaa132

Donnelly, Rachel, Debra Umberson, Robert A. Hummer, and Michael A. Garcia. 2020. “Race, Death of a Child, and Mortality Risk among Aging Parents in the United States.” Social Science & Medicine 249:112853. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.112853.

Umberson, Debra, Rachel Donnelly, Minle Xu, Matthew Farina, and Michael A. Garcia. 2020. “Death of a Child Prior to Midlife, Dementia Risk, and Racial Disparities.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series B 75(9):1983–95. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbz154.

Garcia, Michael A. and Debra Umberson. 2019. “Marital Strain and Psychological Distress in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples.” Journal of Marriage and Family 81(5):1253–68. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12582.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  •   Map
  • Population Research Center

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street / RLP 2.602
    Mail Stop G1800
    Austin, Texas 78712-1699