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Margaret Gough

Margaret Gough

Main: (909) 448-1581
Hoover Building 111

I am a quantitative sociologist whose research takes a social demographic approach to topics related to labor market, inequality, health outcomes, and family. I completed my B.A. in Social Welfare and Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005. After spending a couple of years working in public health, I attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, where I completed an M.A. in Statistics in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Sociology in 2012. I was an American Sociological Association/National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University from 2012-2014. Dr. Kanya Godde and I recently received an R15 grant from the National Institute on Aging to study accelerated aging using data from the Health and Retirement Study.

Dr. Gough Courtney’s scholarly work can be found at Google Scholar, ResearchGate, and website.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Michigan
  • M.A. in Statistics, University of Michigan
  • M.A. in Sociology, University of Michigan
  • B.A. in Social Welfare and Sociology, University of California, Berkeley


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Gough Courtney, Margaret. “Social and Solitary Exercise among the Unemployed and Out of the Labor Force in the United States: Estimates by Gender and Partnership Status.” Spotlight on Public Health Research (July 2019) DOI: 10.35831/sor.pubh/070719mgc
  • Prevost, Jennifer, Rachel Worrell, Margaret Gough Courtney, and Kanya Godde. “A Public Health Problem: Consequences of Trauma on Health and the Role of Social Support.” Spotlight on Public Health Research (July 2019) DOI: 10.35831/sor.pubh/071119jp
  • Gough, Margaret, Adam M. Lippert, and Molly A. Martin. “The Role of Time Use Behaviors in the Risk of Obesity among Low-Income Mothers.” Women’s Health Issues 29:23-30. (Gough and Lippert contributed equally.)
  • Gough, Margaret and Kanya Godde. “Accelerated Aging: The Role of Socioeconomic, Social, Demographic, and Biological Factors on Bone Mineral Density.” Research on Aging 41:443-466.
  • Gough, Margaret and Kanya Godde. “A Multifaceted Analysis of Social Stressors and Chronic Inflammation.” SSM-Population Health 12:136-140.
  • Gough, Margaret. “Birth Spacing, Human Capital, and the Motherhood Penalty at Midlife in the U.S.” Demographic Research 37:363-416.
    • Editor’s Choice award
  • Gough, Margaret. “A Couple-Level Analysis of Participation in Physical Activity During Unemployment.” SSM-Population Health 3:294-304.
  • Killewald, Alexandra and Margaret Gough. “Does Specialization Explain Marriage Penalties and Premiums?” American Sociological Review 78:477-502.
  • Article of the Year, ASA Sociology of the Family Section, 2014
  • Gough, Margaret and Mary Noonan. “A Review of the Motherhood Wage Penalty in the United States.” Sociology Compass 7:328-342. (Authors contributed equally.)
  • Gough, Margaret and Alexandra Killewald. “Unemployment in Families: The Case of Housework.” Journal of Marriage and Family 73:1085-1100.
  • Xie, Yu and Margaret Gough. “Ethnic Enclaves and the Earnings of Immigrants.” Demography 48:1293-1315.
  • Killewald, Alexandra and Margaret Gough. “Money Isn’t Everything: Wives’ Earnings and Housework Time.” Social Science Research 39:987-1003.
    • Dorothy S. Thomas Award for best graduate student paper on the interrelationships among social, economic and demographic variables, Population Association of America, 2010.
    • Katherine Luke Graduate Student Paper Award for best graduate student paper, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan, 2010.

Working Papers

Gough, Margaret. 2019. “Gender Differences in Time in Child Care During Unemployment.” SocArXiv Papers.

Additional Information


My early research examined relationships among gender, family, and the labor market. One branch of this research examined relationships between labor market experiences and spouses’ unpaid labor time. A second branch of this research examined relationships between family formation and wage penalties (or premiums) that men and women experience in the labor market. I continue to study family formation; my current research in this area examines the role of two provisions of the Affordable Care Act for young adult cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing.

The second part of my current research agenda focuses on the relationships between social, economic, and environmental factors, and health and well-being. I have studied how unemployment and economic hardship affect health and well-being for individuals and families, with a particular focus on physical activity and obesity. My research focusing on social and environmental factors and health has, to date, primarily examined how exposure to social stressors, especially stemming from social inequality, is related to accelerated aging processes, including inflammation in the body and diminished bone mineral density. This latter work is part of a collaborative project with Dr. Kanya Godde, a biological anthropologist.
I have received awards from the Population Association of America and the Family section of the American Sociological Association. In addition, my work has been supported by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and the La Verne Academy.

Courses Taught

Professor Gough Courtney teaches courses on Quantitative Analysis; Health, Wealth, and Poverty; Sociology of the Family; Birth, Migration, and Aging; Gender Inequality; and Senior Thesis.