Debra J Umberson
Debra Umberson is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Umberson's research focuses on social factors that influence population health with a particular emphasis on aging and life course change, marital and family ties, and gender and racial variation in health disparities. Her 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 Chair-elect of the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Aging and the Life Course.