Susan Short

112 Mencoff Hall, and 204 Maxcy Hall

Research Interests

Gender; Social Demography; Global Population Health; Inequality; and Methods.


Susan E. Short is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Her research examines changing social and political environments and their implications for gender, family, health, and well-being.  She has examined economic reform and the one child policy in China, HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, and changes in the organization of women’s work and parenting in the U.S.  Her recent work integrates social and biological perspectives to investigate the processes through which social contexts and experiences are embodied over the life course, producing variation in health and well-being.

She holds a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  She has been a Visiting Fellow at the National University of Lesotho, a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Selected Publications:

  • Susan E. Short and Stefanie Mollborn. 2015. “Social Determinants and Health Behaviors: Conceptual Frames and Empirical Advances.” Current Opinion in Psychology. 5:78-84. 
  • Hongwei Xu, John Logan, and Susan E. Short. 2014. “Integrating Space with Place in Health Research: A Multilevel Spatial Investigation Using Child Mortality in 1880 Newark, New Jersey.” Demography. DOI 10.1007/s13524-014-0292-y
  • Susan E. Short, Y. Claire Yang, and Tania M. Jenkins.  2013.  “Sex, Gender, Genetics, and Health.”  American Journal of Public Health. 103(S1):S93-S101.
  • Abigail Harrison, Susan E. Short, Maletela Tuoane-Nkhasi.   2013. “Re-focusing the Gender Lens: Caregiving Women, Family Roles and HIV/AIDS Vulnerability in Lesotho.”  AIDS and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10461-013-0515-z. PMID: 23686152.
  • Hongwei Xu, Susan E. Short, and Tao Liu.  2013. “Dynamic Relations between Fast-food Restaurant and Body Weight Status: A Longitudinal and Multilevel Analysis of Chinese Adults.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 67(3):271-279.
  • Hartz SM, Short SE, Saccone NL, Culverhouse R, Chen L, Schwantes-An TH, Coon, H, Han Y, Stephens SH, Sun J, Chen X, Ducci F, Dueker N, Franceschini N, Frank J,Geller F et al. 2012. “Increased Genetic Vulnerability to Smoking at CHRNA5 in Early-Onset Smokers.”  Archives of General Psychiatry 69(8):854-60.
  • Rachel E. Goldberg and Susan E. Short.  2012. “The Luggage That Isn’t Theirs is Heavy: Explanations for Orphan Disadvantage in Lesotho.” Population Research and Policy Review 31(1):67-83.
  • Nancy L. Saccone, Robert C. Culverhouse, Tae-Hwi Schwantes-An, Dale S. Cannon, Xiangning Chen, Sven Cichon, Ina Giegling, Shizhong Han, Younghun Han,Kaisu Keskitalo-Vuokko, Xiangyang Kong, Maria Teresa Landi, Jennie Z. Ma, Susan E. Short, et al. 2010. "Multiple Independent Loci at Chromosome 15q25.1 Affect Smoking Quantity: a Meta-Analysis and Comparison with Lung Cancer and COPD." PLoS Genetics. 6(8): e1001053.doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001053.
  • Drew, Julia A. Rivera and Susan E.Short. 2010. "Disability and Pap Smear Receipt Among U.S. Women, 2000 and 2005." Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 42(4):258-266. doi: 10.1363/4225810.
  • Erin Parker and Susan E. Short. 2009. "Grandmother Co-residence and Child Schooling in Lesotho." Journal of Family Issues. 30(6):813-836.
  • Susan E. Short, Frances K. Goldscheider, and Berna M. Torr. 2006. "Less Help for Mother: The Decline in Female Support for the Mothers of Young Children, 1880-1990" Demography. 43(4): 617-629.
  • Susan E. Short and Fengyu Zhang. 2004. "Use of Maternal Health Services in Rural China." Population Studies. 58(1):3-19.
  • Berna Miller Torr and Susan E. Short. 2004. "Second Births and the Second Shift: A Research Note on Gender Equity and Fertility. Population and Development Review. 30(1):109-130.