My research focus has two key branches. First, I work to understand the social determinants of mental health and illness. Drawing from a variety of theoretical perspectives (e.g., Stress Process and Life Course), I focus on four key determinants: social network structure, perceptions of social relationships, stress exposure, and the self-concept. Second, drawing from social psychology and network theory, I study both the predictors and consequences of faculty social networks. Specifically, I examine how the structure of networks among faculty within and outside of their academic department varies across gender. I also study how a faculty member’s position within their department network shapes their perceptions of collegiality, job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
I advise sociology undergraduate students working on an undergraduate thesis as well as graduate students completing an MA or PhD degree. I work with students to develop research ideas that compliment both of our interests. I am happy to work with any student seeking to write a paper for publication. In this vein, I have experience working with many nationally representative datasets including the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), the National Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), the National Survey of Family Life (NSAL), and the American Community Survey (ACS). As the principal investigator for the Faculty Network and Workload Study (FNWS), I also collaborate with students on papers using FNWS data. This study surveyed over 750 faculty within 16 STEM and 26 Social Science collection information about network ties to other faculty (research and friendship), academic climate perceptions (e.g., collegiality and organizational commitment), and productivity (in research, teaching and service).
At UNL, I have taught Research Methods and the Sociology of Mental Health courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. I have also developed graduate seminars on Gender in the Workplace and Social Network Analysis. At the undergraduate level, I have developed a course on the Social Psychology of Inequality.
Watanabe*, Megumi and Christina Falci. 2017. “Faculty Friendships and Work Family Culture” Innovative Higher Education 42:113–125. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-016-9373-8
Watanabe*, Megumi and Christina Falci. 2016. “A Demands and Resources Approach to Understanding Faculty Turnover Intentions due to Work-Family Balance.” Journal of Family Issues 37(3): 393-415. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X14530972
Falci, Christina. 2011. “Self-Esteem and Mastery Trajectories in High School by Socioeconomic Status and Gender.” Social Science Research 40:586-601. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2010.12.013
Falci, Christina and Clea McNeely. 2009. “Too Many Friends: Social Integration, Network Cohesion and Adolescent Depressive Symptoms.” Social Forces, 87:2031-2062. https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.0.0189
Falci, Christina. 2006. “Family Structure, Closeness to Residential and Non-Residential Parents, and Psychological Distress in Early and Middle Adolescence.” The Sociological Quarterly 47:123-146. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1533-8525.2006.00040.x
*indicates graduate student co-author