Assistant Professor Patricia Morton
The Sociology department welcomed Assistant Professor Patricia Morton in 2017. Dr. Morton's research centers on understanding health inequality throughout the life course. Her primary strand of research investigates the long-term health consequences of childhood experiences. This line of work underscores the importance of how early-life conditions produce unequal opportunities and constraints which impact health through multiple life domains such as socioeconomic status, health behaviors, and physiology.
Dr. Morton employs various innovative statistical techniques to contextualize these multidimensional life course processes of health. Her approach to studying the early origins of adult health also addresses conceptual and methodological issues surrounding life course research. Her work has been published in various journals such as Demography, Social Science & Medicine, and The Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences; highlighted by national and international news outlets; and received several awards, including the Distinguished Dissertation Award from Purdue University, the Behavioral and Social Sciences Dissertation Research Award from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), and the Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology Paper Award, also conferred by GSA. In addition to her role as an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Dr. Morton is also a faculty member for the Department of Public Health and affiliate of the Institute of Gerontology.
At Wayne State, Dr. Morton teaches courses in both Sociology and Public Health including Social Problems, Applied Epidemiology, and Aging and the Life Course. Most recently, she received a University Research Grant from Wayne State for her research titled "Identifying Life Course Processes that Link Childhood Disadvantage to Adult Health in the United States."