Grounded in family demography and social psychology, Dr. Shannon Cavanagh's research mainly explores 1) children’s experiences with their parents’ partner instability and 2) the transition into adulthood amidst social change. This research program is organized with the life course paradigm, which views human development as the dynamic product of structural inequalities, interpersonal processes, and personal agency. Thus, she is particularly interested in culturally loaded transitions like divorce or online dating and the socioemotional processes they set in motion, because they mark important changes in how individuals define themselves and establish social, emotional, and economic connections with others. Moreover, these events carry weight as proxies for the larger economic and cultural climate in which social life unfolds.
Demography, Life Course and Human Development, Interpersonal Relationships, Education, Gender.