The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »

Sarah Burgard, Ph.D., M.S., M.A.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar:

Sociology, Demography, Epidemiology

Area(s) of Expertise:
Health Disparities, Social Stratification and Inequality, Working Conditions, Employment Insecurity, Infant and Child Health




I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and Epidemiology and Research Associate Professor at the Population Studies Center, all at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on health disparities by socioeconomic status, gender, and race/ethnicity across the life course. I have focused particularly on the links between employment and health, including mental health, chronic disease and overall health status, and health behaviors.  I am a PI of the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study, a panel survey of adults in Southeast Michigan that is tracking the health and mental health of these individuals in the wake of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. I am also the current PI of the Americans' Changing Lives Study, a panel representing the U.S. adult population that was started in 1986. Using these data, I have published on the reciprocal associations between employment insecurity and instability and health, and as well as on the influences of financial shocks, debt, housing instability, and material hardship. I have also conducted a variety of cross-national studies on health, comparing the U.S. with Brazil, South Africa, China, and other societies that vary in theoretically and substantively important ways that impact health. Papers I have written or coauthored have received the Dorothy S. Thomas Award from the Population Association of America and the Best Student Paper Award and Distinguished Sociology of Population Paper Awards from the Sociology of Population Section of the American Sociological Association. I was raised in Wisconsin and then moved to Portland, Oregon for a BA from Reed College. I received a PhD in Sociology and MS in Epidemiology at UCLA. I came to the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar in 2003 and became a faculty member in 2005.

Journal Articles:
Click here for a list of Sarah Burgard’s available publications in PubMed.