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Publications in VIVO

Masters, Ryan Kelly

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My primary research highlights how social inequalities affect trends in chronic diseases, disability, and early death. I also develop and advance demographic and statistical methods for estimating trends in health and social phenomena. In general, I use novel quantitative and demographic techniques to explore how political and historical processes differentially shape health and mortality outcomes among adult populations. In much of this work, I take a long-term sociohistorical perspective to consider cohort differences in life course processes related to health – for example, how the adverse mortality effects of early-life exposures can change across birth cohorts (Pop & Dev Review 2018). I also investigate how period-based changes in policies and institutional practices can affect health outcomes. For example, I have shown how racialized changes in obstetric practices have likely affected trends in U.S. birth outcomes such as shifts in gestational age and declines in birth weight (Demography 2020, JHSB 2023). Recently, I documented the unequal mortality consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic among high-income countries and U.S. populations (The BMJ 2021, JAMA Network Open 2022, AJE 2023).


  • life course, health, mortality, social demography, quantitative methods


selected publications


courses taught

  • SOCY 2061 - Introduction to Social Statistics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Introduces students to quantitative analysis of social phenomena. Emphasizes understanding and proper interpretation of graphs; measures of central tendency, dispersion, and association; and the concept of statistical significance. Assumes students have only limited mathematical background.
  • SOCY 4052 - Social Inequalities in Health
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Focuses on social inequalities in health in both U.S. and international contexts. Reviews the link between health status and various types of social statuses, including but not limited to socioeconomic status, gender, race and ethnicity. Explanations for the relationships between these factors and various health outcomes are discussed. Focuses on multiple levels of analysis, from the physician-patient interactions to health care systems and social policies. Students have the opportunity to develop their own specific research interests in this field.
  • SOCY 5111 - Data 1: Introduction to Social Statistics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Introduces statistical analysis in the social sciences. Introduces basic techniques of inferential statistics and several bivariate statistical techniques including t-test for the difference in means, chi-square independence, analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation, and simple regression (OLS). Prepares students for the required course on multivariate regression techniques (Data 2).
  • SOCY 6111 - Data 2: Data Analysis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2024
    Introduces students to mainstream multivariate regression techniques used in the social sciences. The majority of the course focuses on the Ordinary Least Square model and on the extension of this model to nominal, ordinal and count dependent variables. Students analyze data of their choosing with statistical software packages including SPSS, SAS, and STATA. Department prerequisite: SOCY 5111 or equivalent.
  • SOCY 6821 - Graduate Sociology Forum 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Introduces first-year graduate students to the full range of substantive topics, research programs, and other projects in which graduate sociology faculty are engaged. Provides a forum in which issues of the discipline are presented and discussed. Features weekly presentations by graduate sociology faculty.
  • SOCY 6831 - Graduate Professional Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Offers guidance and instruction on topics related to advanced graduate study and academic life beyond graduation. Discussions will include writing journal articles; creating a vitae; writing dissertations; applying for grants and other sources of funding; the academic job search; and what to expect as a junior faculty member.
  • SOCY 7111 - Data III--Advanced Data Analysis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2023
    Denotes third graduate course in sequence of quantitative methods. Following basic inferential statistics (SOCY 5111) and multivariate regression analysis (SOCY 6111), students study advanced statistical techniques such as event history analysis, multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, and latent class analysis. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours when topics vary.
  • SOCY 7141 - Third-year Paper Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Guides graduate students through the creation of the required third-year paper and helps establish productive writing habits. Includes assigned readings, discussion, peer review, and specific tasks related to scholarly writing. Students will revise and defend the paper during the semester following the seminar. Department enforced prereqs., SOCY 5111 and SOCY 5201.


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