Centennial Professor in Liberal Arts and Professor of Sociology, University of Texas
Phone: (512) 232-6330
Topics of Expertise:
Health & Illness / LGBTQ Partnering & Families / Loss & Resiliency within Families
Debra Umberson is Professor of Sociology, Director of the Population Research Center, and Centennial Commission Professor in the Liberal Arts #1 at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on relationships and health with a particular emphasis on marital and family ties including same-sex marriage, gender and racial variation in relationship/health linkages, and the blending of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Recent publications have focused on marital transitions and body weight; stress and health behavior; gender and health in gay, lesbian, and straight couples; race, social ties, and disadvantage in health; and health policy addressing the link between social ties and health. She has been the recipient of a National Research Service Award and a FIRST Award from the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Umberson is also an elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Her current research, supported by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator in Health Policy Research Award and the National Institute on Aging, examines how marital relationships affect health-related behavior and health care, and how those processes vary across gay, lesbian, and heterosexual unions. She is the immediate past editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and past Chari of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. She is also the receipient of the 2015 Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholor Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Aging and the Life Course.