Leonard Pearlin has been Graduate Professor and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology since 1995. He has received many honors and awards over his career, including the Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology from the American Sociological Association in 1998, and the Award for Career Contributions to the Sociology of Mental Health, from the ASA Section on the Sociology of Mental Health in 1996.
He is past chair of the Medical Sociology Section of American Sociological Association, (1986-87), and past chair of the Section on the Sociology of Mental Health (1994-95). He was editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (1982-84) and has served as an editorial consultant for the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Sociology and Social Research, and Social Forces. He has been on the Steering Committee for Research on Health and Disease, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Pearlin has been a member of myriad National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Task Forces, including task forces on Research into Social Problems and Minority Group Research. He was a contributor on the National Research Plan on Aging, and is a Grants Consultant for the National Institute on Aging, National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health. He was a member of the NIMH Life Course Review Panel and served on the Board of Directors for the National Alzheimer's Association.
His research centers on the connection between people’s status location in society, the stressors to which they are exposed, and their health and well-being. His current work focuses on the disparities in rates of morbidity and mortality in society, focusing on stress along the life course, in accounting for health differences among groups differing in education, gender, race, and economic resources.