Jennifer Karas Montez is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Affiliate of the Aging Studies Institute and the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University. She earned her PhD in Sociology with a Demography specialization from the University of Texas at Austin and did her postdoctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University.
Her research examines the large and growing inequalities in adult mortality across education levels and geographic areas within the United States. She is particularly interested in why the growing inequalities have been most troublesome among women. Her current work on this topic blends perspectives, from social demography and feminist geography to investigate the role of U.S. states in shaping women’s and men’s mortality in unique ways. In another line of research she examines whether and why early-life experiences, such as poverty, have enduring consequences for health during later life.
She has received funding from the American Sociological Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Her work has appeared in journals such as Demography, Social Forces, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and the American Journal of Public Health. She also recently co-edited (with Esther M. Friedman, RAND Corporation) a special issue of Social Science & Medicine, entitled “Educational Attainment and Adult Health: Contextualizing Causality.”