Department of Sociology Kirkpatrick Johnson, Monica
Professor of Sociology
Honors College Distinguished Professor

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1999


Life Course, Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood, Adolescent and Young Adult Health and Well-Being, Education, Work and Family


Research Interests

My research interests are in the areas of work, family, and education across the life course, with particular focus on well-being and achievement in adolescence and the transition to adulthood.  I am currently involved in research tackling families’ and young people’s adaptations to the changing nature of the transition to adulthood, including familial financial support in young adulthood and its implications for attainment and well-being; change in educational and work ambitions tied to changing personal and historical circumstances; and the interplay of stratification and the development of social psychological resources in promoting well-being and attainment.


(509) 335-8773

Wilson-Short Hall 250

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

Hitlin, Steven and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. 2015. “Reconceptualizing Agency within the Life Course: The Power of Looking Ahead.” American Journal of Sociology 120(5): 1429-1472.

Staff, Jeremy, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, Megan E. Patrick, and John Schulenberg. 2014. “The Great Recession and Recent Employment Trends among Secondary Students in the United States.” Longitudinal and Life Course Studies 5(2):173-188.

Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick, and John Reynolds. 2013. “Educational Expectation Trajectories and Attainment in the Transition to Adulthood.” Social Science Research 42:818-835.

Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick. 2013. “Parental Financial Assistance and Young Adults’ Relationships with Parents and Well-Being.” Journal of Marriage and Family 75:713-733.

Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick and Jeylan T. Mortimer. 2011. “Origins and Outcomes of Orientations toward Work.” Social Forces 89(4):1239-1260.

Reynolds, John, and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. 2011. “Change in the Stratification of Educational Expectations and their Realization.” Social Forces 90(1):85-109.

Crosnoe, Robert, and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. 2011. “Research on Adolescence in the 21stAnnual Review of Sociology 37:439-460.

Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick, Rayna Sage, and Jeylan T. Mortimer. 2012. “Work Values, Early Career Difficulties, and the U.S. Economic Recession.” Social Psychology Quarterly, 75:242-267.