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 prime the immune system and thereby create susceptibilities for immune-related disease later in life. To date, I have published several review essays on how life course models are implicated in these findings; developed a proposal to study gene transcription in a life course framework; organized a faculty study group (Rebecca Fry, a biologist, David Peden, a pediatrician, and David-Diaz Sanchez, a scientist at EPA); and have taken graduate seminars on gene expression. Our study group recently completed data collection for a pilot study on gene expression in later childhood. Also, Kathleen Mullan Harris and I recently received funding to collect gene transcription data as part of Add Health Wave V.

Harris, K. M. (PI) and Shanahan, M. J.  (PI). Social Context, the Life Course, and Genetic Transcription in Add Health. NICHD R01. 4/16 – 4/21. $2,500,000 (amount requested).

Genetics, The Transition to Adulthood, And Health Inequalities

This project examines gene-environment interactions and correlations that occur in adolescence and young adulthood and that help explain cardiovascular symptoms, including hypertension, BMI, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. The data come from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Current analyses are focusing on precursors to and health consequences of pathways to adulthood, individual differences in the life course, and trajectories of health.

Shanahan, M. J. (PI), Whitsel, E. (I), Miech, RA (I), Boardman, J. (I). NICHD R01. 4/2010-9/2015, ~$1,700,000 (extension requested into 2016).

Human Development: Interdisciplinary Research Training Grant

This is a training grant in developmental science administered by the Center for Development Science and the Carolina Consortium on Human Development. The grant provides funding for post docs and pre docs who wish to develop expertise in the interdisciplinary field of developmental science, which encompasses ideas and methods from psychology, sociology, anthropology, medicine, and biology.

Hussong, A (PI) & Shanahan, M. J. (PI). Human Development: Interdisciplinary Research Training. NICHD T32. 5/2016-4/2021. ~$2,700,000.

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).