Web Bio PageCurrent Activities
Current Professional Activities
Executive Committee Member (2007-2010), The Eastern Sociological Society.
Editorial Board (2007-Present): Journal of Marriage and Family
Reviewer for area journals: Demography, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal
of Population Economics, Social Forces, International Migration Review,
Population Studies, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Journal of
Population Research, European Journal of Population.
Current Research Activities
1. I am a Co-PI (with Kristi Williams, of The Ohio State
University) of an R-01 (2007-2010) that explores the effect of union
the health and well-being of single mothers and their offspring. We are
utilizing data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Young
Adults, an on-going panel study of a nationally representative sample
of young women who were aged 14 to 22 in 1979; data from the children
born to the NLSY79 women is also available. We will use data from
the mother-child files to explore the consequences of single mother's
union transitions (into marriage, cohabitation, and union dissolution)
for their own health and well-being in mid-life, and for the health,
well-being, and union formation patterns of their young adult offspring.
I am currently involved in a qualitative project that explores the
family formation views of cohabiting couples, and how the process of
entering shared living arrangements, subsequent union transitions (into
engagement and marriage), and parenting desires varies by social
class. I am collaborating with several graduate
and undergraduate students on papers that explore the relationship
progression of these
couples, ways they organize their paid and domestic labor, attitudes
and behaviors regarding family planning, views of marriage relative to
cohabitation, and other topics. Several articles are forthcoming
or are currently
under peer review, and I am beginning work on a book that utilizes this
data, as well as the existing empirical research, to explore class
variation in the meaning and purpose of cohabitation.
I am currently collaborating with Kara Joyner (formerly of PAM, now at Bowling Green State University) on a project
exploring the meaning that involvement in interracial relationships has
for relationship progression, utilizing data from AdHealth and the
National Survey of Family Growth. In particular, we are investigating
whether involvement in an interracial relationships differentially
shapes progression into coresidential unions-whether marriage or
cohabitation-relative to racially homogamous couples.
A social demographer, Sharon’s research examines factors shaping the
activities of young adults and their life course transitions into
school and work, relationships, and parenthood. Her work focuses on how
these transitions vary by gender, race/ethnicity, and class. Some
current projects examine the processes underlying entrance into
cohabiting unions, the meaning cohabitors assign to their unions, and
the impact of family experiences while young on subsequent union
transitions into marriage or cohabitation. She is also engaged in
several historical studies of immigrants, focusing on gender
differences in adaptation to life in the United States.
1995. Ph.D. Brown University. Sociology/Demography
1991. MA Brown
1984. BA Brandeis
University. English & American Literature,
Courses, Websites, Pubs
PAM 215: Research Methods
PAM 366: Evolving Families: Challenges to Family Policy
PAM 337: Racial and Ethnic Differentiation
PAM 498: Honors Thesis Seminar
Frances Goldscheider, Gayle Kaufman, and Sharon Sassler. Forthcoming,
Special Issue. "Navigating the 'New" Market: How Attitudes Towards
Partner Characteristics Shape Union Formation." Journal of Family
Kristi Williams, Sharon Sassler, and Lisa Nicholson. Forthcoming, March
2008. "For Better or for Worse? The Consequences of Marriage and
Cohabitation for the Health and Well-Being of Single Mothers." Social
Sharon Sassler, Amanda Miller, and Sarah Favinger. Forthcoming.
"Planned Parenthood? Fertility Intentions and Experiences among
Cohabiting Couples." Journal of Family Issues.
Sharon Sassler, Desiree Ciambrone, and Gaelan Benway. Forthcoming. "Are
they Really Mama's Boys / Daddy's Girls? The Negotiation of Adulthood
among Young Adults Who Return Home." Sociological Forum.
Sharon Sassler and Anna Cunningham. Forthcoming, Spring 2008. “How
Cohabitors View Childbearing.” Sociological Perspectives. 51(1):
Mellott and Sharon Sassler. 2007. “The Impact of Female Headship
on Working Daughters’ Occupational Attainment: A Re-Examination of the
Disadvantage Hypothesis.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 25:73-88.
Sharon Sassler. 2007. "Cohabitation." Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited
by George Ritzer. Vol. II, pp. 565-569. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
Tuckel, Sharon Sassler, Richard Maisel, and Andrew Leykam. 2006. “The
Diffusion of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Hartford, Connecticut.”
Social Science History 30:167-96.
Frances Goldscheider and
Sharon Sassler. 2006. “Creating Step-Families: Integrating Children
into the Study of Step-Family Formation.” Journal of Marriage and
Family 68: 1-17.
Sassler, Sharon. 2006. “School Participation
of Immigrant Youths in the Early 20th Century: Integration or Segmented
Assimilation?” Sociology of Education. 79(1):1-24.
Sharon. 2005. “Gender & Ethnic Differences in Marital Assimilation
in the Early 20th Century.” International Migration Review
Sassler, Sharon. 2004. “The Process of Entering into Cohabiting Unions.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66:491-505.
Sharon and Frances Goldscheider. 2004. “Revisiting Jane Austen’s Theory
of Marriage Timing: Union Formation Among American Men in the Late 20th
Century,” Journal of Family Issues 25(2):139-166.
Sharon and James McNally. 2003. “Cohabiting Couple’s Economic
Circumstances and Union Transitions: A Re-Examination Using Multiple
Imputation Techniques.” Social Science Research 32(4):553-578.