Event Date and Time
1101 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building

Join us to hear research presentations from our second year graduate students!

Thursday April 12, 2018

2pm-3:30pm in 1101 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building

Impact Government Policies Have on Family Intentions Among Dual Military Couples

By: Julianne Apodaca

This study investigates the influence policy has on family planning intentions as well as commitment to service based on family and work dynamics especially related to childcare. Dual military couples in the Army have distinct challenges when growing a family. These include deployments, permanent change of station moves that occur frequently, and non-traditional childcare requirements. Coordination with commanders and career managers to effectively meet the needs of families, soldiers, and the Army is important for retention and job performance. When employees are satisfied, they are willing to work harder and remain loyal to the organization. I analyze how dual military families manage their very specific requirements and nest them with the military institution’s rigid regulations and tradition. The  new policies outlined by Secretary of Defense Carter were implemented to assist with retention of  service members that are growing or plan to grow their families.  Arguably the most critical policy change is increasing paid maternity leave from six to twelve weeks Through interviews with sizteen active duty army female soldiers married to another active duty soldier I analyze the impact policy has   on family. Participants discussed concerns for consistency in programs such as the Married Army Couples Program designed to keep dual military couples together and challenges with balancing  childcare requirements versus work performance expectations. Improvements to maternity leave and options for nursing mothers to use lactation rooms received positive praise resulting from the policy changes.


An Experimental Study of Social Categorization and Social Influence: Status and Social Identity Salience

By: Kelly Beavan

Status characteristics theory (SCT) and social identity theory (SIT) both describe social comparison processes that greatly influence intergroup behavior. Individuals actively compare self and others, for example, by conferring certain levels of respect and prestige to people   based on their observed status characteristics. In line with SCT, diffuse status characteristics, such as race, gender, or education, have many associated expectations that affect how people perceive self and others and how group interaction plays out. On the other hand, such characteristics may also operate as important social identities, categorizing self and others  based on in/outgroup memberships—such as strongly identifying with one’s own racial group. SIT posits that evaluations of self and others are made based on each person’s prototypicality  of a salient social ingroup, and that these ingroup members are accorded more influence in the group structure. However, those who belong to the ingroup are not necessarily those who  would be evaluated as high-status in society. How a diffuse status characteristic, like race, concurrently operates as an important ingroup identity has implications for predictions posited by SCT, as it provides another route for individuals to categorize, evaluate, and interact with others. As an ingroup identity becomes more salient and important in a group interaction, a greater influence advantage may be accorded to partners belonging to that ingroup, regardless  of the high- or low-status of that ingroup category. Using an adapted version of SCT’s standard experimental setting, this hypothesis is tested in a  two-condition experiment, where one’s  racial ingroup identity is either made salient ornot.


Education, Prenatal Care, and Infant Mortality for Black, White, and Hispanic Mothers in the United States

By: Asiah Gayfield

Although, the overall rate of infant mortality in the United States has declined for all races in the past ten years, Black mothers are still more likely that White mothers to experience the death of an infant. Past research has found that Black mothers initiate and continue prenatal care at lower rates than their White counterparts, however there exists very little research examining how prenatal care usage varies by socioeconomic status within racial groups and how this variation effects the relationship between maternal race and infant mortality. Using the Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Public Use File from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this paper examines the effect that maternal education and prenatal care has on the relationship between maternal race and infant mortality. Results indicate that the probability of infant death decreases as maternal education and prenatal care increases, but the effect is not as strong for Black mothers as it is for White and Hispanic mothers.