I am a PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Policy in the Harvard Department of Sociology, a Graduate Student Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, and a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy. My primary research interests include poverty, the family, housing and neighborhoods, social support, and access to social programs.
My dissertation is a mixed methods study of families with children who live in doubled up, or shared, households. In the first two chapters, I draw on data from 187 in-depth interviews with a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of 64 doubled up families with young children, gathered over three years in two American cities. The first chapter investigates the pathways and motivations that lead families into doubled up households and describes how parents understand and weigh the costs and benefits of different sources of housing support. The second chapter examines how, in the absence of either laws or clear norms guiding economic exchange between the householder and doubled-up guests, household members debate the extent to which the household should function as either a family-like solidarity unit or a landlord-like market relationship. I identify the implications these disagreements have for household members’ material well-being, as well as the messages they send about the content of household relationships. The final chapter draws on nationally-representative data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and Child and Young Adult Surveys to examine what family characteristics predict residence in different types of double-ups and to estimate the relationship between childhood years spent in these household types and young adult education and health outcomes.
I am originally from southern Indiana. I was a first-generation college student and received a BA magna cum laude with a sociology and anthropology major from Carleton College in 2009. After college, I spent a year in AmeriCorps working at Caritas of Austin as a case manager for people facing homelessness. I received a Master of Public Affairs in 2012 from the La Follette School at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and a Master of Arts in sociology in 2015 from Harvard University.