Carol S. Aneshensel

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Carol Aneshensel
Research Professor / Professor Emerita
Type of Faculty: 
Contact Information
Room 21-268, CHS
Areas of Interest: 

Disparities in mental health risk, especially gender and SES; social stress and psychosocial resources such as social support; impact of neighborhood structure, caregiving; adolescent and aged populations.

I specialize in the fields of the sociology of mental health and medical sociology. My research concerns the ways in which the organization of society influences the mental health of its members. It emphasizes how social inequality becomes mental health disparities, focusing on gender, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and age. My research spans the life course from adolescence through old age. I usually work with large survey samples and complex multivariate statistical analysis of longitudinal data. My most recent work deals with how the socioeconomic stratification and racial/ethnic segregation of neighborhoods affects the health of persons in late middle age and old age, especially depression, cognitive functioning, and mortality.

Major Awards

  • Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health, Sociology of Mental Health Section, American Sociological Association. Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contributions to Medical Sociology, Medical Sociology Section, American Sociological Association.
  • Highly Cited Researchers List, Institute for Scientific Information.
  • Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, UCLA School of Public Health

Extramural Grants - Principal Investigator

  • 2003-2012
    Neighborhood SES and Emotional Distress in Old Age
    National Institute on Aging
  • 2000-2004
    Neighborhood, Socioeconomic Status, and Adolescent Distress
    National Institute of Mental Health
  • 1999-2000
    Long-Term Impact of Family Caregiving
    California Department of Health Services, Alzheimer's Disease
  • 1992-1997
    Social Origins and Emotional Impact of Adolescent Stress
    National Institute of Mental Health
  • 1988-1992
    Sources of Stress and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents
    National Institute of Mental Health
  • 1987-1992
    Models of Ethnicity and Depression over Time: The LA-ECA
    National Institute of Mental Health
  • 1984-1987
    Epidemiology of Depression and Help-Seeking Behavior
    National Institute of Mental Health
Selected Courses: 
CHS 100 Introduction to Community Health Sciences
CHS 219 Theory-based Data Analysis
CHS 248 Women’s Mental Health
CHS 284 Sociocultural Aspects of Mental Health
Selected Publications: 


Aneshensel, C.S., Pearlin, L.I., Mullan, J.T., Zarit, S.H., and Whitlach, C.J. 1995. Profiles in Caregiving: The Unexpected Career. ( San Diego, CA: Academic Press). Finalist. 1997 American Sociological Association, Family Section: William J. Goode Book Award. Aneshensel, C.S., and Phelan, J.C. (Eds.) 1999. Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health. ( New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers). Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research Series. Best Publication. 2001 American Sociological Association, Mental Health Section. Aneshensel, C.S. 2002. Theory-Based Data Analysis for the Social Sciences. ( Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press). Honorable Mention, Best Publication. 2003. American Sociological Association, Mental Health Section. Avison, W.R., Aneshensel, C.S., Schieman, S., and Wheaton, B. (Eds.) 2010. Advances in the Conceptualization of the Stress Process: Essays in Honor of Leonard I. Pearlin. ( New York: Springer).

Peer-Review Journal Articles

Aneshensel, C.S., Wight, R.G., Miller-Martinez, D., Botticello, A.L., Karlamangla, A.S., and Seeman, T.E. 2007. Urban neighborhoods and depressive symptoms among older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. 62B:S52-S59. Wight, R.G., Beals, K.P., Miller-Martinez, D., Murphy, D.A., and Aneshensel, C.S. 2007. HIV-related traumatic stress symptoms in AIDS caregiving family dyads. AIDS Care. 19:901-909. PMID: 17712694. Wight, R.G., Cummings, J.R., Miller-Martinez, D., Karlamangla, A.S., Seeman, T.E., and Aneshensel, C.S. 2008. A multilevel analysis of urban neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and health in late life. Social Science & Medicine. 66:862-872. PMID: 18160194. Wight, R.G., Cummings, J.R., Karlamangla, A.S., and Aneshensel, C.S. 2009. Urban neighborhood context and change in depressive symptoms in late life. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. 64B:247-251. PMCID: PMC2655167. Aneshensel, C.S. 2009. Toward explaining mental health disparities. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 50:377-394. PMID: 20099446. Invited. Leo G. Reeder Award Address. Karlamangla, A.S., Miller-Martinez, D., Aneshensel, C.S., Seeman, T.E., Wight, R.G., and Chodosh, J. 2009. Trajectories of cognitive function in late life in the United States: Demographic and socioeconomic predictors. American Journal of Epidemiology. 170:331-342. PMCID: 2727175. Wight, R.G., Cummings, J.R., Karlamangla, A.S., and Aneshensel, C.S. 2010. Urban neighborhood context and mortality in late life. Journal of Aging and Health. 22:197-218. PMID: 20056813. Chodosh, J., Miller-Martinez, D., Aneshensel, C.S., Wight, R.G., and Karlamangla, A.S. 2010. Depressive symptoms, chronic diseases, and physical disabilities as predictors of cognitive functioning trajectories in older Americans. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 58:2350-2357. PMID: 21087219. Wight, R.G., Ko, M.J., and Aneshensel, C.S. 2011. Urban neighborhoods and depressive symptoms in late middle age. Research on Aging. 33:28-50. Aneshensel, C.S., Ko, M.J., Chodosh, J., and Wight, R.G., 2011. The urban neighborhood and cognitive functioning in late middle age. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 52:163-179.

Most Frequently Cited

(Each cited 300+ times)

  • Aneshensel, C.S., Frerichs, R.R., and Clark, V.A. 1981. Family roles and sex differences in depression. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 22:379-393.
  • Frerichs, R.R., Aneshensel, C.S., and Clark, V.A. 1981. Prevalence of depression in Los Angeles County. American Journal of Epidemiology. 113:691-699.
  • Aneshensel, C.S., Rutter, C.M., and Lachenbruch, P.A. 1991. Social structure, stress, and mental health: Competing conceptual and analytic models. American Sociological Review. 56:166-178. Honorable Mention, Best Publication. 1993, American Sociological Association, Mental Health Section.
  • Aneshensel, C.S. 1992. Social stress: Theory and research. Annual Review of Sociology. 18:15-38.
  • Aneshensel, C.S., and Sucoff, C.A. 1996. The neighborhood context of adolescent mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 37:293-310.
PhD Sociology, Cornell University
MA Sociology, Cornell University
BS Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
This faculty member is available to serve as: 
Doctoral Advisor
Masters Advisor
PhD Committee Member
DrPH Committee Member
MS Thesis Committee Member
MS Report Committee Member

Please check with the faculty member or their office about availability to serve during current academic period.