Social demography, race and ethnicity, immigration, and stratification and mobility. Current research focuses on changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation, and assortative mating and how the patterns vary by gender, race/ethnicity, nativity status, and educational attainment. Other research interests include marital experiences and health outcomes, racial identification among children born to interracial couples, integration patterns of immigrants in the United States, and demographic and social changes in China.
I study “who marries whom” and “who cohabits with whom,” their patterns, trends, and consequences. I explore who are available in marriage markets and how men and women pair up to form marital and cohabiting unions in terms of age, educational attainment, race and ethnicity, and nativity. Such assortative mating patterns are important because they reveal openness of stratification systems, social distance among social groups, and salience of group boundaries. I’m also interested in exploring who marries, who cohabits, and who makes transitions from cohabitation to marriage in order to understand better the role cohabitation plays in increasing selectivity of marriage. In addition, I investigate how assortative mating patterns, changes in marital status, and marital transitions influence individuals’ wellbeing. Specifically, some of my research questions are as follows: Has interracial marriage declined over time due to increase in immigration? Are frequent changes in marital status detrimental to mental and physical health? And how are children born to interracial parents racially identified?
- Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1994
- M.A., University of Pennsylvania, Demography, 1991
- B.A., Shanghai College of Education, English, 1982