Assistant Professor of Sociology
Dean's Faculty Fellow in Sociology
Rachel Donnelly is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on social determinants of health across the life course, with an emphasis on stress, work, and family relationships. Moreover, her research considers how disparate experiences based on gender, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity (and intersections therein) shape mental and physical health outcomes. In recent research supported by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Donnelly examines how stressors and state-level policies jointly shape inequities in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. In another line of research supported by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Donnelly considers how exposure to precarious work erodes the health of adults across the life course. Her research has been published in journals such as Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science & Medicine, and Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences. Dr. Donnelly received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Health and Mortality
Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation
Donnelly, Rachel, Debra Umberson, and Tetyana Pudrovska. Forthcoming. “Family Member Death, Race, and Subjective Life Expectancy.” Journal of Aging and Health. Online First. doi: 10.1177/0898264318809798.
Behler, Rachel, Rachel Donnelly, and Debra Umberson. 2019. “Psychological Distress Contagion in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Marriages.” Journal of Health & Social Behavior 60(1):18-35.
Donnelly, Rachel, Brandon A. Robinson, and Debra Umberson. 2019. “Can Spouses Buffer the Impact of Discrimination on Depressive Symptoms? An Examination of Same-sex and Different-sex Marriages.” Society and Mental Health 9(2):192-210.
Umberson, Debra, Julie Skalamera Olson, Robert Crosnoe, Hui Liu, Tetyana Pudrovska, and Rachel Donnelly. 2017. “Death of Family Members as an Overlooked Source of Racial Disadvantage in the United States.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(5):915-920.
Thomeer, Mieke Beth, Rachel Donnelly, Corinne Reczek, and Debra Umberson. 2017. “Planning for Future Care and the End of Life: A Qualitative Analysis of Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 58(4): 473-487.