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Population Health

Population health disparities reflect systemic inequality and have substantial human and financial costs. PRC faculty use a life-course understanding of biopsychosocial pathways linking demographic and social contexts to health and mortality to identify and systematically address population health challenges. Demographic and social factors inform efforts to reduce health disparities and advance population health.

Researchers are leading pioneering work on the changing impact of socioeconomic status on health and mortality across demographic groups. They are leaders in developing life-course frameworks to understand origins of disparities and in identifying the biopsychosocial mechanisms through which demographic disparities in health outcomes operate. They are creating novel approaches to study economic development and health and to consider how health care and population health are linked.

Area Projects

Conference Series on Aging in the Americas: United States and Mexico

Principal Investigator: Jacqueline Angel
Funded by: National Institute on Aging (NIA)


Longitudinal Study of Mexican American Elderly Health

Principal Investigator: Ronald Angel
Additional Investigators: Jacqueline Angel, Co-Investigator; Kyriakos Markides, parent project PI, University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
Funded by: National Institute on Aging


Biopsychosocial Pathways Linking Discrimination and Adolescent Health

Principal Investigator: Aprile Benner
Funded by: National Institues of Health


Early Childhood Health Among Latinos/as

Principal Investigator: Robert Crosnoe
Funded by: National Institutes of Health


Social Networks and Well-Being in Late Life: A Study of Daily Mechanisms

Principal Investigator: Karen Fingerman
Additional Investigators: David Schnyer and Debra Umberson, Co-Investigators
Funded by: National Institute on Aging


Fortune’s Favor: Implications of Behavioral Genetic Research for Distributive and Retributive Justice

Principal Investigator: Kathryn Paige Harden
Funded by: Templeton Foundation


Network on Life Course Health, Dynamics and Disparities in 21st Century America

Principal Investigator: Mark Hayward
Additonal Investigators: James House, parent project PI, University of Michigan; Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California, Co-Principal Investigator; and Robert Hummer, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Co-Principal Investigator
Funded by:  National Institute of Aging


Education, Early Life Divisions, and Trends in Dementia

Principal Investigator: Mark Hayward
Funded by: NIH


USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health (Supplement)

Principal Investigator: Mark Hayward
Funded by: USC


Socio-Cultural Stress Profiles, Stress Responses, and Academic and Health Outcomes in Mexican American Adolescents

Principal Investigator: Su Yeong Kim
Co- Principal Investigator - Deborah Parra-Medina
Funded by: Russell Sage Foundation


Socio-cultural Stress Profiles, Stress Responses, and Academic and Health Outcomes in Mexican American Adolescents

Principal Investigator: Su Yeong Kim
Funded by: Sage Foundation 


The Development of Teaching and Social Learning Across Cultures

Principal Investigator: Cristine Legare
Funded by: NSF


Ramp-Up Phase: The Consequences of Formal Education for Science and Religion

Principal Investigator: Cristine Legare
Funded by: The Issachar Fund


The Impact of Ritual on Healthcare Provider Behavior in Bihar, India

Principal Investigator: Cristine Legare
Funded by: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Nonprofits, Civic Infrastructure, and the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Communities

Principal Investigator: Pamela Paxton
Funded by: Corporation for National and Community Service


The Influence of Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Discrimination for the Mental Health of LGB Youth

Principal Investigator / Mentor: Stephen Russell 
Additional Investigator / Mentee: Allen Mallory
Funded by: National Institutes of Health


Doctoral Dissertation: Therapeutic Alternatives in the Criminal Courts

Principal Investigator: Becky Pettit
Co-Principal Investigator: Mary Stitt
Funded by: NSF


Doctoral Dissertation Research: How Low-Level Misdemeanor Courts Regulate Populations

Principal Investigator: Becky Pettit
Co-Principal Investigator: Ilya Slavinski
Funded by: NSF


The Impact of Romantic Relationships on the Health of Vulnerable Populations During the Transition to Adulthood

Principal Investigator: Sara Mernitz 
Co-Principal Investigator: Stephen Russell
Funded by: NICHD


Cultivating Connections: An Innovative Approach to Building the Social Supports of Formerly Homeless Youth

Principal Investigator: Stephen Russell
Funded by: LifeWorks Foundation


Identity Stress and Health in Three Cohorts of LGB Individuals

Principal Investigator: Stephen Russell
Additional Investigators: Ilan Meyer, parent project PI, University of California Los Angeles
Funded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Risk Behaviors in Preadolescent Boys

Principal Investigator: Delida Sanchez
Additional Investigators: Robert Crosnoe, Co-Investigator and Tiffany Whittaker, Co-Investigator
Funded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Jacobs Advanced Research Fellowship

Principal Investigator: Elliot Tucker-Drob
Funded by: Jacobs Foundation (Switzerland)


Evaluating Longitudinal Changes in the Human Structural Connectome in Relation to Cognitive Aging

Principal Investigator: Elliot Tucker-Drob
Funded by: National Institutes of Health


Cortisol, Socioeconomic Status, and Genetic Influences on Cognitive Development

Principal Investigator: Elliot Tucker-Drob
Additional Investigators: Paige Harden, Co-Investigator
Funded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Identifying Genomic Signatures of Evolutionary and Cultural Change in Native Americans

Principal Investigator: Deborah Bolnick
Co-Principal Investigator: Debra Umberson, Jennifer Raff
Funded by: NSF


Contextualizing Diseases of Despair: Individual, Family, and State Factors (Doctoral Dissertation Research)

Principal Investigator / Mentor: Debra Umberson
Additional Investigator / Mentee: Rachel Donnelly
Funded by: National Science Foundation


Race/Ethnic Differences in Life Course Exposure to Death: Consequences for Health

Principal Investigator: Deb Umberson
Funded by: National Institutes of Health


Doctoral Dissertation Research: Braking the ‘Grass’ Ceiling: Women, Race, and Class in the U.S. Legal Cannabis Industry

Principal Investigator: Christine Williams
Co-Principal Investigator: Katie Rogers
Funded by: NSF


Can Beliefs About Change Improve Adolescent Mental Health?

Principal Investigator: David Yeager
Funded by: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation



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  • Population Research Center

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street / RLP 2.602
    Mail Stop G1800
    Austin, Texas 78712-1699
    512-471-5514