My research lies at the intersection of inequalities, health, and families. My research focuses on two general themes. First, my work emphasize families as systems. Families as systems refer to the idea that individuals within families are inextricably linked, and romantic partners have a continuous and reciprocal influence on one another. To understand some of the ways partners are linked, I study (a) how family-level economic stress and parental mental health are reciprocally related and (b) how parental mental health affects relationship outcomes. This line of reasoning moves research away from individual- to dyadic-level processes. For this line of research, I rely on longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study.
My second line of research focuses on racial stratification. Racial stratification posits that (1) race is socially constructed to justify racial domination and oppression, (2) racial groups are hierarchally structured, and (3) although racial domination changed over time from overt (i.e., slavery, genocide) to covert (e.g., hegemony), dramatic differences in the life chances between African Americans and Whites persist in the U.S. Given this, I examine how racial discrimination influences health and relationship outcomes among African American couples. I execute this line of research across two different projects: Project 1 uses longitudinal survey data collected from nearly 700 African American couples and Project 2 uses pilot data from African American couples over 14 consecutive days. Data collection efforts included salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, physiological data (e.g., electrodermal activity, heart rate variability) via wearable devices, and ecological momentary assessments to capture emotion states, daily stress, and relationship interactions over time. The study was designed to understand how external factors (e.g., discrimination, work) and family life gets “under the skin” to influence stress biomarkers.
I am currently seeking undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in families and/or minority health disparities, and have experience (or an interest) in quantitative data analyses.
I regularly teach the introduction to sociology (SOCI 101) for the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community. I also teach Family Diversity (SOCI 448/848), graduate seminar in Health (SOCI 903). I will be teaching Social Problems (SOCI 201) in spring 2019.
Williams, Deadric T. 2018. “Parental Depression and Cooperative Coparenting: A Longitudinal and Dyadic Approach.” Family Relations 67(2): 253-269
Williams, Deadric T. and Jacob E. Cheadle. 2016. “Economic Hardship, Parents’ Depression, and Relationship Distress among Couples with Young Children." Society and Mental Health. 6(2): 73-89
Goosby, Bridget J., Sarah Malone, Elizabeth Richardson, Jacob Cheadle, and Deadric T. Williams. 2015. “Perceived Discrimination and Markers of Cardiovascular Risk among Low-Income African American Youth.” American Journal of Human Biology 27: 546-552
Recent Grant Activity
2016-2017. Principal Investigator. UNL Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior Seed Grant “Couples Physiological Synchronicity: Stress, Health, and Relationship Functioning in Everyday Life.” ($5,000)