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Dan Carlson

Assistant Professor    

Ph.D.,The Ohio State University, 2010


Family, Mental Health, Gender, and the Life Course


Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Carlson joined the Sociology Department at Georgia State University in Fall 2012. Prior to joining the department he was a visiting assistant professor of Sociology at Denison University and a graduate teaching fellow at the Ohio State University, after completing his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University in 2010.  His primary research areas include: family, mental health, aging and the life course, and gender.  A central question in sociological research on family, health, and gender is how recent changes in family formation patterns, family structures, and family roles have affected the well-being of children and adults in families. Guided by identity discrepancy, normative life course, and social stress theory both his past and current work addresses these issues by identifying factors which influence individuals’ subjective orientations toward these aspects of family life and exploring how those subjective orientations shape the consequences of family experiences for one’s health. Specifically, he has used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) to investigate how teenagers’ and young adults’ expectations for the occurrence, timing, and sequencing of marriage and parenthood condition the association between their family formation experiences and their mental health at mid-life. In addition, he is currently examining the causes and consequences of the sexual division of labor in romantic unions and one’s gender ideology, exploring how discrepancies between ideology and paid and unpaid labor arrangements affect adults’ mental health.


Dr. Carlson’s teaching interests include: Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Theory, Research Methods, Statistics, Social Psychology, Sociology of Mental Health, Aging and the Life Course, Work and Family, and Family Demography.



Carlson, Daniel L. 2012. “Deviations from Desired Age at Marriage: Mental Health Differences across Marital Status.”  Journal of Marriage and Family 74: 743 – 758.

Carlson, Daniel L. 2011. “Explaining the Curvilinear Relationship between Age at First Birth and Depression among Women.” Social Science & Medicine 72: 494 – 503.

Carlson, Daniel L. and Kristi Williams. 2011. “Parenthood, Life Course Expectations, and Mental Health.” Society and Mental Health 1(1): 20 – 40.

Carlson, Daniel L. and Chris Knoester. 2011. “The Influence of Family Structure on Parent-Child Gender Ideology Similarity.” Journal of Family Issues 32: 709 – 734.