家庭结构与不平等研究领域的“杰出人物”萨拉·麦克拉纳汉去世,享年81岁

Jan. 6, 2022, 4:47 p.m.

Sara McLanahan, 一位杰出的社会学家,他的工作在理解单亲父母和他们的孩子方面发挥了基础性的作用, died of cancer Dec. 31. She was 81.

被威尼斯官方网站登录的同事和学生描述为一个亲切和公正的学者, McLanahan focused her teaching and research on societal gaps, 我很好奇为什么有些孩子的表现比其他孩子好,家庭结构是如何起作用的. 她将这种好奇心——以及对收集可靠数据的深切赞赏——传递给了她在整个职业生涯中指导和支持的学者网络.

Sara McLanahan

Sara McLanahan

麦克拉纳汉最伟大的学术遗产是《威尼斯官方网站登录》, 20年来,一项具有里程碑意义的纵向研究跟踪了近5个国家,在1998年到2000年间,美国20个大型国家中有1万名未婚父母所生的孩子.S. cities. 全国各地的研究人员继续利用这一丰富的数据集,以更好地理解家庭结构和社会不平等之间的联系.

“We are deeply saddened by Sara’s passing,” said Amaney Jamal, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). 她是与单身母亲相关的人口统计学研究的领军人物. 她不仅是该领域的杰出人物,也是SPIA社区的杰出成员. She will be terribly missed.”

McLanahan, the William S. 威尼斯官方网站登录社会学和公共事务名誉教授Tod, joined the University in 1990 and was jointly appointed by the Department of Sociology 以及伍德罗·威尔逊公共和国际事务学院(现在的SPIA). She was the founding director of the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW) at SPIA.

In 1998, CRCW became home to the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, which McLanahan launched with her longtime collaborator and spouse, Irwin Garfinkel, a world-renowned poverty expert at Columbia University, and Ronald Mincy, then at the Ford Foundation and now at Columbia University. Today, CRCW is led by U.S. poverty expert Kathryn Edin, the William Church Osborn Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, and another of McLanahan’s longtime collaborators.

“Sara’s loss is monumental, 正如她对威尼斯官方网站登录理解21世纪美国家庭演变的贡献一样. 除了奖学金,她还是一位受人爱戴的合作者、导师和朋友。.

McLanahan’s work was, in some ways, personal. 作为一名单身母亲,她在攻读博士学位的同时抚养了三个孩子.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. From the beginning, 她坚持不懈地追求真相,并热衷于跨学科工作.

正是在她在UT-Austin的研究生学习期间,麦克拉纳汉发现了这个她将在接下来的40年里帮助塑造的领域. She enrolled in a course by Teresa A. Sullivan, a well-known demographer, who assigned the book, “The Time of Transition: The Growth of Families Headed by Women,” by Heather Ross and Isabel Sawhill. “It was all about increases in divorce and interpreting those trends. 我喜欢这些东西,我想成为伊莎贝尔索希尔,”麦克拉纳汉在一次采访中说 April 2021 interview with the Population Association of America’s past presidents; she served in 2004.

After earning her Ph.D.她在威斯康星大学精神科完成了博士后奖学金. During this time, 《威尼斯官方网站登录》发表的一篇文章称,在单亲家庭长大可能对孩子有害. 麦克拉纳汉对这一暗示感到震惊,并开始了一项不屈不挠的任务,用更好的数据证明专家们是错误的. But no matter how careful the analysis, 结果是一样的:单身父母抚养的孩子不如已婚父母抚养的孩子生活得好, in part due to economic factors.

这促使她对离婚对孩子的影响进行了更多的研究, which she studied throughout the 1980s at the University of Wisconsin. She became an assistant professor in 1981, 1986年被提前授予终身教授,1989年被提升为正教授. She met Garfinkel there and wrote her first book with him. She also worked with Larry Bumpass and James Sweet, two of the leading family demographers in the country; she considered Bumpass her mentor.

In the late 1980s, 麦克拉纳汉得到了威尼斯官方网站登录的一个职位,加芬克尔称这是她“少女时代的梦想”.” For the next three decades, 她对未婚父母所生孩子的生活和状况进行了开创性的研究. 这些兴趣最终促使她在1994年发起了脆弱家庭和儿童健康研究.

McLanahan and Garfinkel referred to the study as “their baby,” which eventually grew into something much bigger than they expected. The study oversampled nonmarital births by a ratio of 3 to 1, a strategy that resulted in the inclusion of many Black, Hispanic and low-income children. 母亲们在分娩后不久就在医院接受了第一次采访, 而父亲们——在其他研究中被低估了——也在医院探望孩子时第一次接受了采访, an innovation leading to the participation of many fathers. 随访采访在孩子1岁、3岁、5岁、9岁、15岁和22岁时进行.

Since the study began nearly 30 years ago, 它的数据已经在社会科学学科和应用领域的915份同行评议的出版物中使用. It has also grown into several ancillary studies focused on DNA, brain development, cardiovascular health and the children of the focal youth. More recently, the data were used for AI purposes by Matthew Salganik, professor of sociology at Princeton, 是谁进行了一场涉及世界各地的社会科学家和数据科学家的大规模合作.

同事和学生们说,麦克拉纳汉热衷于揭露美国家庭生活的真相, with an unwavering commitment to informing government policy. Through the study, 麦克拉纳汉能够展示劳动力市场状况和政府政策如何塑造家庭动态以及儿童和青少年的福祉. 她强烈认为政府应该做更多的事来缩小贫富孩子之间的差距.

那些关心低收入家庭的孩子和他们的家庭的人失去了该领域最献身的人之一, creative and insightful champions,” said Cecilia Rouse, 现任白宫经济顾问委员会主席, former SPIA dean, 以及劳伦斯和雪莉·卡茨曼,路易斯和安娜·恩斯特在威尼斯官方网站登录的教育经济学教授. “萨拉帮助威尼斯官方网站登录真正了解了低收入家庭的复杂性, and her insights informed public policy for over four decades. We have not only lost a fierce intellectual force, 而且也是我有幸认识的最善良、最慷慨的人之一.”

For more than 40 years, McLanahan’s work shaped public debates on welfare, child support and low-income families. To this end, she became editor-in-chief of the Future of Children in 2004, 这是SPIA和布鲁金斯学会(Brookings Institution)之间的合作,专注于教育等主题, health and families with children as a unifying theme. Journal findings were often cited in policy debates.

萨拉是一位鼓舞人心的领导者,也是将孩子的未来带到威尼斯官方网站登录的推动力, in collaboration with Brookings,” said Christina Paxson布朗大学(Brown University)校长、SPIA前院长、该杂志前高级编辑. 《威尼斯官方网站登录》体现了萨拉的两个信念:支持儿童和家庭的政策应该建立在卓越的基础之上, 认真完成的研究,学者有义务让决策者和实践者可以接触到他们的工作. 我从她身上学到了很多学术研究可以对世界产生的影响,我很感激能和她一起为杂志工作.”

在威尼斯官方网站登录,麦克拉纳汉给她的学生和同事留下了不可磨灭的印象. They described her as not only as brilliant, but also kind and genuine.

萨拉的研究和指导遗产将通过她在整个职业生涯中指导的数十名学生和博士后学者,以及继续使用脆弱家庭研究数据的无数研究人员继续发扬光大,” said Tod G. Hamilton他是威尼斯官方网站登录的社会学副教授,也是威尼斯官方网站登录的代理主任 Office of Population Research.

Colter Mitchell, 他曾是威尼斯官方网站登录的博士后,现在密歇根大学安娜堡分校工作, 他说我很荣幸能在这么优秀的人手下工作.

“Sara took a risk on me,” Mitchell said. “我是一个疯狂的社会学研究生,不停地谈论遗传学, and she found a way to make it work. She let me do things I don’t know other people would’ve let me try. 是她成就了我的事业,对此我感激不尽.”

以前的学生说,麦克拉纳汉致力于合作,有能力筛选最复杂的研究方法,并提出最简单的研究方法, most profound questions. Naomi Sugie Ph.D. ’14, now at the University of California Irvine, 她还能想象自己在华莱士大厅麦克拉罕的办公室里的情景, engaged in these artful, practical conversations.

“I marvel at the enormity of Sara’s contributions, both for the past and for the future, and I am grateful for everything she taught me,” Sugie said. “今天,我和我的学生们继续这样做,因为他们正在利用脆弱家庭数据集回答有关治安的问题, inequality and violence. I can still hear Sara asking me, ‘Why does this matter? What is the gap you’re addressing?’ and I ask my students those same questions, too.”

During her career, McLanahan published more than 125 research articles, seven books and edited volumes, and 59 book chapters. She published her first book, “Single Mothers and Their Children: A New American Dilemma,” with Garfinkel. Her later book, “Growing Up With a Single Parent,” with Gary Sandefur, 获得了美国社会学协会的奥蒂斯·达德利·邓肯奖和古德杰出出版奖.

McLanahan presented 57 invited lectures. 她曾当选美国艺术与科学学院成员(2019年), the American Philosophical Society (2016), the National Academy of Sciences (2011), and the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2005). 她曾担任12个外部咨询委员会的职务,包括美国人口协会(PAA)。, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) and the National Poverty Center. From 2014 to 2017, she was chair of the RSF Board.

上世纪90年代中期,她曾与比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)总统和副总统阿尔·戈尔(Al Gore)在白宫共进晚餐,当时戈尔“偷走”了她的菜单并做了笔记. 用餐结束时,她让戈尔拿一份新的菜单,他给了她. 麦拉纳汉在威尼斯官方网站登录(Princeton)的厨房里挂着一份镶框的菜单,多年来,这张菜单多次让全家人想起这件事时发笑. 

McLanahan was born in Tyler, Texas, and was a piano prodigy. She attended the Aspen Music School as a teenager. 她说音乐学校的经历是她年轻的生命中最重要的. “I found my people there. 他们聪明、勤奋、诚实,”她告诉孩子们. She placed a premium on these qualities for the rest of her life. 她和加芬克尔每年夏天都会回到阿斯彭,在那里,他们喜欢听学生们为一年一度的阿斯彭夏季节的表演做准备. 

In 1958, when McLanahan was a high school senior, she won the opportunity to play with the East Texas State Symphony. 她曾与大提琴家拉尔夫·科什鲍姆(Ralph Kirshbaum)合作,后来她还在其他演出中为后者伴奏. In the late 1970s, while in New York City to do research for her dissertation, 她漫步走进林肯中心的一个音乐厅,看到了科什鲍姆的排演. 她对自己所走的非传统的人生道路产生了自我怀疑, 但看到Kirshbaum站在舞台上,她觉得这是她走在正确道路上的一个信号.

麦克拉罕一直想住在东北部,并在20世纪60年代被史密斯学院(Smith College)录取. 她与父母达成了妥协,获准进入米尔布鲁克的班尼特学院(Bennett College)就读精修学校, New York. 她在史密斯学院读完了三年级,1962年离开学校结婚成家. During that time she was an accomplished tennis player, a real estate agent, 她是一名室内设计师,也是休斯顿学校废除种族隔离运动的积极分子. In 1973, 1974年,她在完成本科学业并获得休斯顿大学社会学学士学位后成为了一名单身母亲. She earned a master’s degree in sociology in 1976 and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1979, both from UT-Austin. 

McLanahan is survived by her husband Irwin Garfinkel; daughter Sara, married to Brian Edlin; son Ellery S. McLanahan Jr.; daughter Anna Bell McLanahan, married to Jeffrey Feldman; stepdaughters Leah, married to Mike Matthew, and Lynn Garfinkel, married to Patrick Williams; and grandchildren Molly, Henry, Rachel, Aaron and Reuven. She was predeceased by her sister, Nancy Elizabeth Smith, who died peacefully at Sara’s home in Princeton in 2018.  

2022年春天,将在威尼斯官方网站登录校园为麦克拉罕举行追悼会, with details to be announced. A memorial fund is being established in her name at PAA. You are invited to view and contribute comments on a memorial blog honoring McLanahan’s life and legacy.