Michael Shanahan

Michael Shanahan, Prof. Dr.

Director / Professor of the Sociology of Child and Youth Development

Department of Sociology

Principal Investigator of Social Genomics Research Area

Phone: 044 634 06 88

Room number: AND 4.26




Life Course Sociology (Theory and Methods)

Integration of Life Course and Molecular Genetics

Life Course Models of Health

Current projects

Genetic Transcription, Society, and the Life Course

Findings from biological and health psychology show that early social experiences may create susceptibilities for inflammatory- and immune-related diseases later in life. I am interested in whether gene expression mediates these relationships with a particular focus on gene transcription. To date, I have published several review essays on how life course models are implicated in these findings. Dr. Kathleen Mullan Harris, director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Adult Health (Add Health), and I received funding to collect gene transcription data as part of Add Health Wave V. Our Social Genomics Lab at UZH has developed appropriate infrastructure for the study of transcription data in collaboration with Drs. Steve Cole (UCLA) and Brandt Levitt (UNC-Chapel Hill).  Our collected data are being studied with respect to social experiences and the regulation of the genome.

Selected Publications

2016. Sex differences in associations between subjective social status and c-reactive protein in young adults. Psychosomatic Medicine. (Freeman, Bauldry, Volpe, Shanahan M, Shanahan L).

2016. Parental and adolescent health behaviors and pathways to adulthood. Social Science Research. (Bauldry, Shanahan, Macmillan, Miech, Boardman, Dean, and Cole).

2015. Can personality traits and intelligence compensate for background disadvantage? Predicting status attainment in adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  (Damian, Su, Shanahan, Trautwein, Roberts).

2015. The sequencing of a college degree during the transition to adulthood: implications for obesity. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. (Miech, Shanahan, Boardman, Bauldry).

2014. Personality and the reproduction of social status. Social Forces. (Shanahan, Bauldry, Roberts, Macmillan, Russo).

2013. Social Genomics and the Life Course: Opportunities and Challenges for Multilevel Research. Changing Social Processes and Social Contexts in an Aging Society, edited by Linda Waite. National Academy of Science Press. (Shanahan)

2013. A discrete-time multiple event process survival mixture (MEPSUM) model. Psychological Methods. (Dean, Bauer, Shanahan).

2013. Psychometric Properties of the Mini-IPIP in a Large, Nationally Representative Sample of Young Adults. Journal of Personality Assessment 95(1) 74-84.  (Baldassaro, Shanahan, Bauer).

2013. Conscientiousness and Health across the Life Course. Developmental Psychology  (Special Issue on Conscientiousness, Aging, and Health.) (Shanahan, Hill, Roberts, Eccles, Friedman).

2013. Genetic sensitivity to peer behaviors: 5HTTLPR, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. (Daw, Shanahan, Harris, Smolen, Haberstick, Boardman).

2012 A Life Course Model of Self-Rated Health in Young Adulthood. Social Science and Medicine  75(7): 1311-1320. (Bauldry, Shanahan, Boardman, Miech, Macmillan).

2012. Evocative Gene-Parenting Correlations and Academic Performance in the First Grade: An Exploratory Study. Development and Psychopathology. (Special Issue on Gene-Environment Processes in Development.) 24: 1265-1282. (Propper, Shanahan, Russo, Mills-Koonce).

2011. Molecular Genetics, Aging, and the Life Course: Sensitive Periods, Accumulation, and Pathway Models. Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, edited by Robert H. Binstock & Linda George, Elsevier. (Shanahan, Hofer).

2010. Improving Environmental Markers in Gene-Environment Research. The Dynamic Gene and Environment in Psychopathology, edited by K. Kendler & S. Jaffee.  Oxford. (Shanahan, Bauldry).