Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Department of Sociology Faculty

Justin Denney

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

Denney, Justin T., Gregory Sharp, and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. 2022. “Community Social Environments and Cigarette Smoking.” Social Science & Medicine – Population Health 19(September): 101167.

Denney, Justin T., Zhe Zhang, Bridget K. Gorman, and Caleb Cooley. 2021. “Substance Use, Mental Well-Being, and Suicide Ideation by Sexual Orientation Among U.S. Adults.” Advances in Medical Sociology Volume 21: 39-63.

Denney, Justin T. and Jason D. Boardman. 2021. “Hearing Impairment, Household Composition, Marital Status, and Mortality Among U.S. Adults.” Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences 76(1): 201-208.
2020 IPUMS Research Award, Minnesota Population Center

Denney, Justin T., Mackenzie Brewer, and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. 2020. “Food Insecurity for Households with Young Children: A Test of Contextual Congruence.” Social Science & Medicine 263: 113275.

Roth, Adam R., Justin T. Denney, Solmaz Amiri, and Ofer Amram. 2020. “Characteristics of Place and the Rural Disadvantage in Deaths from Highly Preventable Causes.” Social Science & Medicine 245:112689.

Solazzo, Alexa, Bridget K. Gorman, and Justin T. Denney. 2020. “Does Sexual Orientation Complicate the Relationship Between Marital Status and Gender with Self-Rated Health and Cardiovascular Disease?” Demography 57:599-626. [https://doi:10.1007/s13524-020-00857-9]https://doi:10.1007/s13524-020-00857-9

Kranjac, Ashley W., Justin T. Denney, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro, Brady S. Moffett, and Keila N. Lopez. 2019. “Child Obesity and the Interaction of Family and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Context.” Population Research & Policy Review 38:347-369.

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. 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

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. doi:10.1111/jomf.12437

Justin Denney.

On Professional Leave 2022-2023

(509) 335-7516

Wilson-Short Hall 239

Curriculum Vitae