Department of Sociology

Michael Garcia

M.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Doctoral Student; Population Research Center (PRC) Graduate Research Trainee
Michael Garcia



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


Michael Alexis Garcia is a sixth-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.

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.

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.

Curriculum Vitae

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