Lisa D. Pearce


Ph.D., Professor, Sociology

CPC Office: 123 W Franklin St, Room 2102
CPC Phone Number: (919) 962-6166

Campus Office: Hamilton Hall, Room 266
Campus Phone Number: (919) 966-1450

Dr. Pearce's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pearce's Personal Home Page

Dr. Pearce's Google Scholar profile

Dr. Pearce's publications in PubMed

Dr. Pearce's CPC publications

Pearce’s U.S.-based research focuses primarily on the influence of religion on family formation, relationships, aspirations, achievement, and well-being in the transition to adulthood. Much of Pearce’s ongoing research on religion in the United States is based on data she collected while Co-PI of the National Study of Youth and Religion (2003-08), a multi-method, longitudinal study of the religious lives of a nationally representative sample of American youth. Pearce and Melinda Lundquist Denton co-authored A Faith of Their Own: Stability and Change in the Religiosity of America’s Adolescents (Oxford University Press), fleshing out the patterns and dynamics of religiosity for adolescents in the US. In this and other work, Pearce argues for a more person-based approach to measuring and analyzing religiosity and its effects on demographically influential attitudes and behavior.

Pearce has ongoing research in Nepal with William Axinn and others. Their work reveals the links between economic development, institutional change, religion and individual changes in demographic related behaviors. From 2007-2014, Pearce was co-investigator on an NSF PIRE grant to study interrelationships among social context, population processes, and environmental change comparatively in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal and the Wolong Nature Reserve of Sichuan, China. She has two papers under review from this project, including one on patterns of temporary migration and more permanent household fission over time and one comparing the relationship between social change and environmental consumption in both Nepal and China.

Pearce’s research will advance along the lines described above, including research focused on carefully examining reciprocal relationships between religiosity (internal and external) and sexual behavior, contraceptive use, and early pregnancy in adolescence and young adulthood. She will use data from the NSYR, Add Health, and Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) studies. Further, Pearce is coauthoring a book with Glen Elder and Rick Settersten making use of Berkeley Guidance Study data to understand the education, work, and family transitions of American men and women born around 1900 in the context of key historical events. She is especially focused on women’s negotiation of education, work, and family roles. Pearce’s international work is extending to Kenya through her role as co-investigator on an NIMH R21 grant to examine how the social contexts of adolescent orphans (neighborhood, family, school, work, etc.) exacerbate or mitigate school dropout and HIV/HSV-2 risk. This project will follow her Systematic Anomalous Case Analysis approach.

Primary Research Areas:

  • Demography

  • Population Health

Current Research Projects:

Information updated on 1/23/2018

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