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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.

Selected Recent Publications

Kranjac, Ashley W., Justin T. Denney, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Brady S. Moffett, and Keila N. Lopez.
“Child Obesity and the Interaction of Family and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Context.”
Forthcoming in Population Research & Policy Review.

Denney, Justin T., Rachel Tolbert Kimbro and Gregory Sharp. 2018. “Neighborhoods and Food
Insecurity in Households with Young Children: A Disadvantage Paradox?” Social Problems 65:342-

Denney, Justin T., Jarron M. Saint Onge, and Jeffrey A. Dennis. 2018. “Neighborhood Disadvantage
and Mortality: Insights for Racial and Ethnic Differences.” Population Research & Policy Review
37:301-321. doi: 10.1007/s11113-018-9461-9
*2018 IPUMS Research Award, Minnesota Population Center

Kranjac, Ashley W., Justin T. Denney, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Brady S. Moffett, and Keila N. Lopez.
2018. “Neighborhood and Social Environmental Influence and Chronic Health Conditions in
Children.” Population and Environment 40(2):93-114.

Cenegy, Laura Freeman, Justin T. Denney, and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. 2018. “Family Diversity and
Child Health: Where Do Same-Sex Couple Families Fit?” Journal of Marriage and Family 80:198-218.

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

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

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:

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

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

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., 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:
*2013 IPUMS Research Award, Minnesota Population Center