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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Sociology

Opioids kill minorities at younger ages

AlthoughOutline of the state of Washington filled with the image of an ambulance and opioids in the background. opioid use cuts across socio-economic boundaries, WSU researchers have found racial and ethnic minorities in Washington state are more likely to die from an overdose earlier in their lives than non-Hispanic white residents.

“This work confirms the epidemic is far reaching and having dramatic impacts on quality and length of life for Americans of all » More …

Food insecurity related to later diabetes

Man opening an empty-looking refrigerator late at night.An interdisciplinary study of adolescence-to-adult health found young adults who were at risk of food insecurity had an increased incidence of diabetes 10 years later.

WSU researchers in sociology, medicine, and nursing analyzed data on nearly 4,000 people from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. They found that adults ages 24–32 who said they’d been » More …

Volatile shifts linked to high‑cost debt

Mariana Amorim.Time, more than money, appears to influence whether service sector employees end up turning to so-called predatory lenders.

“We found the more schedule volatility people experienced, the more likely they were to take out expensive loans, such as those from pawn shops and auto-title lenders—or they use credit cards in ways that are problematic,” said Mariana Amorim, WSU sociologist and » More …

Race and environmental inequality

Children's playground with a smokestack billowing smoke in the background.Although previous research has shown that Black communities statistically suffer environmental problems more than white communities of similar income levels, a recent WSU study found only 33% of U.S. households believe that Black people are more likely to experience environmental pollution and that this well-documented inequality is unfair. » More …

From the verge of suicide to a life of purpose

James Donaldson stands in a park.People look up to former WSU and NBA basketball player James Donaldson (’79 Sociology) in more ways than one. That’s what his first book is about. Standing Above the Crowd explains his strategies for success in athletics, business, and more. A few years after its 2011 publication, though, a series of stressful events changed his outlook. “I looked OK. I seemed like I was fine. But,” Donaldson says, “I wasn’t my normal self anymore.”

Donaldson had nearly died, enduring four major surgeries in five years. His business began faltering. He owed back taxes. Money was running out. His wife » More …

Most-read research stories of 2021

Jamie Chambers and her dog.As the pandemic dragged into its second year, Washington State University research that grabbed the most media attention either provided some comfort and hope or warned of more dangers ahead.

CAS faculty featured in four of the top 10 most popular stories—including the number one spot—and were well-represented in the next 76 press releases tracked by WSU News. » More …

Findings contradict negative assumptions about universal payments

Hands spreading our hundred dollar bills.When given cash with no strings attached, low- and middle-income parents increased their spending on their children, according to research led by WSU sociologist Mariana Amorim.

The study, published in the journal Social Forces, also found that the additional funding had little impact on » More …

Humanities faculty present ways to bridge community divides

Helping to bridge divides of understanding within communities is at the heart of four free, public presentations by Washington State University professors to be hosted online in October.

Sociologist Jennifer Sherman will present “Diamonds in the Rough: The Gentrification of Rural Washington” and philosopher Michael Goldsby will present “Why Deny Science.” » More …