Skip to main content Skip to navigation
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. “Neighborhood and Social Environmental Influences on Child Chronic Disease Prevalence.” Forthcoming in Population and Environment.

Denney, Justin T., Rachel Tolbert Kimbro and Gregory Sharp. 2018. “Neighborhoods and Food Insecurity in Households with Young Children: A Disadvantage Paradox?” Social Problems 65:342-359.

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

Freeman, Laura, 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. doi:10.1111/jomf.12437

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

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

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 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

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