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Department of Sociology Denney, Justin
Associate Professor of Sociology
William Julius Wilson Distinguished Professor

Ph.D., University of Colorado, 2010


Health and Mortality Disparities, Family, Contextual Effects

Research Interests

I am principally interested in understanding how families and the places that individuals spend time in shape health and mortality disparities. My current projects are focused on better understanding how the social and physical characteristics of the places children and adults live, work, and play impact outcomes such as household food insecurity, child health, and adult mortality; how family formations and socioeconomic resources matter independently and in combination with place-based characteristics for overall health; and how intimate relationships, socioeconomic status, gender, and race / ethnicity, contribute to sexual minority health disparities. My work often involves multi-disciplinary collaborations and has been supported by the Health Disparities Scholar Program at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, the Foundation for Child Development, and the Houston Endowment.

Recent Publications

Freeman, Laura, Justin T. Denney, and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. “Family Diversity and Child Health: Where Do Same-Sex Couple Families Fit?” Forthcoming in Journal of Marriage and Family.

Denney, Justin T., Rachel Tolbert Kimbro and Gregory Sharp. “Neighborhoods and Food Insecurity in Households with Young Children: A Disadvantage Paradox?” Forthcoming  in Social Problems.

Kranjac, Ashley W., Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Justin T. Denney, Kristin M. Osiecki, Brady S. Moffett, and Keila N. Lopez. 2017. “Comprehensive Neighborhood Portraits and Child Asthma Disparities.” Maternal and Child Health Journal. 21(7): 1552-1562. doi:10.1007/s10995-017-2286-z

Denney, Justin T., Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Katherine Heck, and Catherine Cubbin. 2017.  “Social Cohesion and Food Insecurity: Insights from the GROW Study.” Maternal and Child Health Journal.  21(2): 343-350. doi: 10.1007/s10995-016-2119-5

Solazzo, Alexa L., Bridget K. Gorman, and Justin T. Denney. 2017. “Cancer Screening Utilization among U.S. Women: How Mammogram and Pap Test Use Varies Among Heterosexual, Lesbian, and Bisexual Women.” Population Research & Policy Review 36:357-377. doi:10.1007/s11113-017-9425-5

Brewer, Mackenzie, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Justin T. Denney, Kristin M. Osiecki, Brady Moffett, and Keila Lopez. 2017. “Does neighborhood social and environmental context impact race/ethnic disparities in childhood asthma?” Health & Place 44:86-93.

Kimbro, Rachel Tolbert, Gregory Sharp, and Justin T. Denney. 2017. “Home and Away: Area Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Obesity Risk.” Health & Place 44:94-102.

Sharp, Gregory, Justin T. Denney, and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. 2015. “Multiple Contexts of Exposure: Activity Spaces, Residential Neighborhoods, and Self-Rated Health.” Social Science & Medicine 146:204-213. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.040

Kimbro, Rachel Tolbert, and Justin T. Denney. 2015. “Transitions Into Food Insecurity Associated With Behavioral Problems And Worse Overall Health Among Children.” Health Affairs 34(11):1949-1955. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0626

Krueger, Patrick M., Kathryn Dovel, and Justin T. Denney. 2015. “The Level of Democratic Development of States and Health across 67 Countries: A Multilevel Analysis.” Social Science & Medicine 143:137-144. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.08.047

Gorman, Bridget K., Justin T. Denney, Hilary Dowdy, and Rose Medeiros. 2015. “A New Piece of the Puzzle: Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Self-Rated Health.” Demography 52:1357-1382. DOI 10.1007/s13524-015-0406-1

Denney, Justin T., Tim Wadsworth, Richard G. Rogers, and Fred C. Pampel. 2015. “Suicide in the City: Do Characteristics of Place Really Influence Risk?” Social Science Quarterly 96(2):313-329. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12165

Denney, Justin T. 2014. “Families, Resources, and Suicide: Combined Effects on Mortality.” Journal of Marriage and Family 76:218-231. DOI:10.1111/jomf.12078

Denney, Justin T. and Monica He. 2014. “The Social Side of Accidental Death.” Social Science Research 43:92-107. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.09.004

Kimbro, Rachel Tolbert and Justin T. Denney. 2013. “Neighborhood Context and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Young Children’s Obesity: Structural Barriers to Interventions.” Social Science & Medicine 95:97-105. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.032

Denney, Justin T., Bridget K. Gorman, and Cristina B. Barrera. 2013. “Families, Resources, and Adult Health: Where Do Sexual Minorities Fit?” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 54:46-63. doi: 10.1177/0022146512469629

*2014 IPUMS Research Award, Minnesota Population Center

Denney, Justin T., Robert McNown, Richard G. Rogers, and Steven Doubilet. 2013. “Stagnating Life Expectancies and Future Prospects in an Age of Uncertainty.” Social Science Quarterly 94(2):445-461. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2012.00930.x