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Matt Andersson, Ph.D. - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Matt Andersson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology | Baylor University


Expert on health inequality, focusing on educational and socioeconomic inequalities in mental and physical well-being




Matt Andersson, Ph.D. Publication



Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., sociology, Baylor University loading image



Matthew Andersson and Paul Froese


Dr. Matthew Andersson’s research focuses on health inequality as it unfolds across the life course. Specifically, he researches educational and socioeconomic inequalities in mental and physical well-being as they relate to childhood, adolescent and adulthood factors. Specific themes in his recent and current work include health behaviors, chronic disease epidemiology, personal social networks, informal elder caregiving, comparative parenthood, parent-child emotional bonds, and public attitudes and reactions toward mental illness.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Parent-child Bonding

Comparative parenthood

Health Behaviors

Health inequality

Parent-child Bonding

Mental Health and SES

Caregiving for Elderly


Personal social networks

Parent-Child Emotional Bonds

Education (4)

Yale University: Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Iowa: Ph.D., Sociology

University of Iowa: M.A., Sociology

Knox College: B.A., Chemistry & Psychology

Media Appearances (6)

What "The Morning Show” Has to Teach Us About Redemption

Thrive Global  online


Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, offers wise words on the importance of mercy and justice when seeking retribution.

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Parental work flexibility improves child well-being more than cash payments

The Academic Times  online


Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, discusses his latest research which found that policies designed to give lower-income families more time together are more effective than cash transfers in reducing the well-being gap between kids from richer and poorer families, bolstering arguments that the U.S. does not do enough to mandate work flexibility and paid leave.

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In gender discrimination, social class matters a great deal

The Conversation  online


Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, co-authored this op-ed with Catherine Harnois, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University about their research that looks at how conditions in the workplace can contribute to health inequities and gender discrimination.

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Study finds that picking the wrong college can make you depressed—here’s why

CNBC  tv


As college decision deadlines approach, thousands of students across the U.S. are making their final choices about where they want to study. Students often consider factors like price, size and professional outcomes, but according to a recent paper published in sociology journal Youth and Society, students also need to consider if their future school could make them depressed. The study’s coauthor is Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

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If you're on the fence about having kids, ask these questions

Orange County Register  online


This article about child rearing cites a recent joint Baylor study that found that parents in the United States generally are not as happy as those who aren’t parents. Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology at Baylor, partnered with researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Wake Forest University on the study.

Close bond between kids, parents has long-term health benefits

Philadelphia Inquirer  online


New Baylor research published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior suggests that growing up in a well-off home can benefit a child’s long-term physical health, but a lack of parent-child warmth, or the presence of abuse, may eliminate the health advantage of a privileged background. The research was conducted by Matthew A. Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Articles (4)

Health Returns to Education by Family Socioeconomic Origins, 1980- 2008: Testing the Importance of Gender, Cohort, and Age.

SSM - Population Health

2016 Recent studies find that health returns to education are elevated among those who come from disadvantaged families. These findings suggest that education may be a health resource that compensates or “substitutes” for lower parental socioeconomic status. Alternatively, some studies find support for a cumulative (dis)advantage perspective, such that educational health returns are higher among those who already were advantaged, widening initial health (dis)advantages across the life course. However, it remains unclear whether these findings are dependent on gender or cohort, and this is a fundamental oversight given marked differences between men and women in educational and health inequalities across the twentieth century. Drawing on national US data (1980–2002 General Social Survey with 2008 National Death Index Link), I indeed find that the presence or strength of resource substitution or cumulative (dis)advantage depends upon health measure as well as gender and cohort. For self-rated health, cumulative (dis)advantage explains educational health disparities, but among men only. Cumulative (dis)advantage in avoiding fair or poor health is partly explained by cohort and age variation in health returns to education, and cumulative (dis)advantage in excellent health is more robust in earlier cohorts and at older ages. For mortality, resource substitution is instead supported, but for women only. Among those from disadvantaged families, educational mortality buffering increases with cohort but diminishes with age. Taken together, these findings confirm prior research showing that adult health inequalities linked to education depend on family background, and extend this work by demonstrating that the nature and extent of these dynamics differ considerably depending on the health outcome being assessed and on an individual's historical context, life course stage, and gender.

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Desire for Weight Loss, Weight-Related Social Contact, and Body Mass Outcomes


2016 This study evaluated whether desiring to lose weight is associated with subsequent changes in social contact with individuals perceived to be thinner or heavier.

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Work–Family Reconciliation and Children’s Well-Being Disparities across OECD Countries

Social Forces

Matthew A Andersson, Michael A Garcia, Jennifer Glass


The study examined the role of national work–family reconciliation in children’s health. Results suggest the distinctive value of better work–family accommodations, rather than any generic cash allowances, for lessening family-based inequalities in children’s health and human capital development.

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Strapped for Time or Stressed Out? Predictors of Work Interruption and Unmet Need for Workplace Support Among Informal Elder Caregivers

Journal of Aging and Health

Matthew A Andersson 1, Mark H Walker 2, Brian P Kaskie 3


Evaluations of whether strong associations between unmet need and work interruption observed among informal elder caregivers are explained by caregiver personal characteristics, caregiving situations, or diminished caregiver well-being.

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