Current Projects


Current Projects

These are projects that I am currently collaborating on or am doing independently. Please feel free to get in touch via my Bio/Contact page if you are interested in additional information about the content, analyses or findings from any of these projects; or if you are interested in collaborating.



Our study, in collaboration with University of Utah HER Salt Lake researchers, asks a number of research questions about how sexuality-related experiences interact with contraceptive use to shape sexual satisfaction, well-being and contraceptive use over time. The HER Salt Lake Study is a unique, longitudinal dataset that offers time-varying panel data to investigate these issues in novel ways.

Our team has developed analyses to identify what sexual-related experiences shape contraceptive uptake at enrollment in the study, and has developed validated sexual-experience related constructs using Item Response Theory (IRT) that have predictive validity for contraceptive-related outcomes.

I am utilizing survival analysis techniques to frame contraceptive use as an intersectional phenomenon—this analysis combines measures of sexual experience, pregnancy intention and indicators of structural constraint to identify the interactional effects of gender, social status and pregnancy intention on contraceptive practices over time. Additionally, I am investigating the benefits of applying Bayesian frameworks to estimating contraceptive method efficacy in the HER Salt Lake sample.


Women’s Schooling and Employment Gains During the Great Mexican Migration Era

This work is in collaboration with Dr. Jenna Nobles (UW-Madison) and Dr. Julieta Pérez Amador. This research examines how the shifting of the gender composition within Mexican communities following the 2008 U.S. economic recession resulted in a reversal and decline in socio-economic, household and political opportunities for women.

We use population data from Mexico and the U.S. for the period spanning 1990-2015 to assess whether women’s long-run socioeconomic gains are maintained across cohorts alongside these population shifts. We find that the post-recession increase in the relative presence of men is associated with cross-cohort reductions in Mexican women’s schooling, employment, and earnings. The findings operate at the community level; that is, the effects of return migration are not limited to women partnered with returning migrants. We find some evidence that changes in family formation contribute to these reductions. The magnitude of post-recession changes are meaningful in relation to the gains attributed to male departure between 1970-2005, raising important questions about the normative persistence of opportunities created for women by the disproportionate absence of men. This work has been presented at the Population Association of America and the Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility of the International Sociological Association.


Trends in modern contraceptive use among young adult women (ages 15-24) who have had sex in Sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2014

We explore trends in modern contraceptive usage among young adult women in Sub-Saharan Africa using Demographic Health Survey data from 23 Sub-Saharan countries, We find overall increases in modern contraceptive use among young women ages 15-24 across regions and parity groups (e.g. nulliparous versus parous). In the East/South Africa region, parous women had higher levels of modern contraceptive use than nulliparous women at the onset and larger increases in modern contraceptive use over time.  In the West/Central region nulliparous women had higher levels of modern contraceptive use than parous women at the onset and larger increases in modern contraceptive use over time. Further analyses revealed that most of the increase in modern contraceptive use were driven by increases in short term methods across regions and parity groups.  Only parous women in the South/East region experienced a substantial increase in LARC use, and even then LARC use remained low (around 4%) (Forthcoming in Studies in Family Planning, with Dr. Julia Behrman, Dr. Erica Soler-Hampejsek and Dr. Monica Grant).