Shannon E Cavanagh
Shannon Cavanagh is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Faculty Research Associate at the Population Research Center at UT.
As a family demographer with NICHD-funded postdoctoral training in human development, Cavanagh's research focuses on the ways American families change over time as well as reflect and contribute to growing levels of social inequality. Her research mainly explores 1) childrens experiences with their parents partner instability and 2) the transition into adulthood amidst social change.
Her work on family instability has added a more dynamic focus to the study of American families, documenting childrens movement into and out of different family structures, households, and child care arrangements and exploring the ways these experiences shape young peoples health, academic, and social relationships including family building behaviors across the early life course. A secondary strand of her research examines the transition to adulthood among young adults during periods of economic uncertainty and cultural change. This work has considered how biosocial pathways, educational trajectories, and the Great Recession shape young peoples union formation and reproductive lives as well as their educational and work trajectories. She has just completed a monograph for the Rose Series where she and Crosnoe explore the ways macro-level disruptions like the Great Recession and Covid-19 shape how young people navigate young adulthood.
Cavanagh received her PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. She began her faculty position in the Sociology department in 2006.