My research centers broadly on the nature, determinants, and consequences of trends and differentials in family patterns. I am particularly interested in the economic underpinnings of family life. Sometimes I directly investigate the association between economic and family processes, such as in my work on cohort change in marriage formation or my research on the work-family interface in later life. Other lines of research are motivated instead by puzzles resulting from the inability of economic factors to explain trends or differentials in family life, as in my projects on racial, ethnic, and nativity-status differences in marriage and marital stability, the association between stepfamilies and youth well-being, or my newest project on variability in patterns of contraceptive use across individuals, countries, and time periods.
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin – Madison (Ph.D. Minor in Economics).
M.S., Sociology, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
B.A., Sociology/Anthropology, Carleton College, Northfield, MN.
Johnsen, Sara and Megan M. Sweeney. Forthcoming. Female Sterilization in the Life Course: Understanding Trends and Differentials. Demographic Research.
Sweeney, Megan, Mieke Eeckhaut, and Jessica Gipson. 2020. “Reconsidering (In)equality in the Use of IUDs in the United States: A Closer Look Across the Reproductive Life Course.” Demographic Research 43(35): 1049-1066.
Raley, R. Kelly and Megan M. Sweeney. 2020. “Divorce, Repartnering, and Stepfamilies: A Decade in Review.” Journal of Marriage and Family 82(1): 81-99.
Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W. and Megan Sweeney. 2018. “Understanding Sterilization Regret in the United States: The Role of Relationship Context.” Journal of Marriage and Family 80:1259-1270.
Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W., Megan Sweeney, and Lei Feng. 2018. “Desire for Sterilization Reversal Among U.S. Females: Increasing Inequalities by Educational Level.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 50(3): 139-145.
Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W. and Megan Sweeney. 2018. “What Place Does Female and Male Sterilization Have in the Contraceptive Regimes of Europe.” GGP Discussion Paper No. 10, Gender (In)Equality over the Life Course: Evidence from the Generations & Gender Programme. A. H. Gauthier, I. E. Kotowska, and D. V. de Vilhena (eds.)
Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W. and Megan M. Sweeney. 2016. “Class and Contraception in Comparative Context: The Perplexing Links between Sterilization and Disadvantage.” Population Studies 70(1): 39-58.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2016. “Socioeconomic Standing and Variability in U.S. Marriage Timing across the 20th Century.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 663(1): 270-291.
Raley, R. Kelly, Megan M. Sweeney, and Danielle Wondra. 2015. “The Growing Racial and Ethnic Divide in U.S. Marriage Patterns.” Future of Children 25(2): 89-109.
Sweeney, Megan M., Teresa Castro Martin, and Melinda Mills. 2015. “The Reproductive Context of Cohabitation in Comparative Perspective: Contraceptive Use in the United States, France, and Spain.” Demographic Research 32:147-182.
Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W., Sweeney, Megan M., and Jessica D. Gipson. 2014. “Who is Using Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive Methods? Findings from Nine Countries.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 46(3).
Sweeney, Megan M. and R. Kelly Raley. 2014. “Race, Ethnicity, and the Changing Context of Childbearing in the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology 40:539-558.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2011. “Family-Structure Instability and Adolescent Educational Outcomes: A Focus on Stepfather Families.” Pp. 229-252 In Whither Opportunity: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances, G. Duncan and R. J. Murnane (eds.). Russell Sage Foundation.
Raymo, James M., John R. Warren, Megan M. Sweeney, Robert M. Hauser, and Jeong-Hwa Ho. 2011. “Precarious Employment, Bad Jobs, Labor Unions, and Retirement.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 66B:249-259.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2010. “The Reproductive Context of Cohabitation in the United States: Recent Change and Variation in Contraceptive Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 72:1155-1170.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2010. “Remarriage and Stepfamilies: Strategic Sites for Family Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century.” Journal of Marriage and Family 72:667-684.
Coursolle, Kathryn, Megan M. Sweeney, James M. Raymo, and JeongHwa Ho. 2010. “The Association between Retirement and Emotional Well-Being: Does Work-Family Conflict Matter?” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 65B:609-620.
Raymo, James M., John R. Warren, Megan M. Sweeney, Robert M. Hauser, and Jeong-Hwa Ho. 2010. “Later-Life Employment Preferences and Outcomes: the Role of Midlife Work Experiences.” Research on Aging 32:419-466.
Raley, R. Kelly and Megan M. Sweeney. 2009. “Explaining Race and Ethnic Variation in Marriage: New Directions for Future Research.” Race and Social Problems 1:132-142.
Sweeney, Megan M., Hongbo Wang, and Tami Videon. 2009. “Reconsidering the Association between Stepfamilies and Adolescent Well-Being.” In H.E. Peters and C. M. Kamp Dush (Eds.), Marriage and Family: Perspectives and Complexities (pp. 177-225). New York: Columbia University Press.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2007. “Stepfather Families and the Emotional Well-Being of Adolescents.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 48:33-49.
Phillips, Julie A. and Megan M. Sweeney. 2006. “Can Differential Exposure to Risk Factors Explain Recent Racial and Ethnic Variation in Marital Disruption?” Social Science Research 35:409-434.
Raymo, James and Megan M. Sweeney. 2006. “Work-Family Conflict and Retirement Preferences.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 61B:S161-S169.
Phillips, Julie A. and Megan M. Sweeney. 2005. “Premarital Cohabitation and the Risk of Marital Disruption among White, Black, and Mexican American Women.” Journal of Marriage and Family 67:296-314.
Sweeney, Megan M. and Maria Cancian. 2004. “Placing Patterns of Economic Assortative Mating in Context: A Reply to Press and England.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66:1038-1041.
Sweeney, Megan M. and Maria Cancian. 2004. “The Changing Importance of Economic Prospects for Assortative Mating among White Women in the United States.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66:1015-1028.
Sweeney, Megan M. and Julie A. Phillips. 2004. “Understanding Racial Differences in Marital Disruption: Recent Trends and Explanations.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66:239-250.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2002. “Two Decades of Family Change: The Shifting Economic Foundations of Marriage.” American Sociological Review 67:132-147.
Sweeney, Megan M. 2002.“Remarriage and the Nature of Divorce: Does It Matter Which Spouse Chose to Leave?” Journal of Family Issues 23:410-440.
Sweeney, Megan M. and Allan V. Horwitz. 2001. “Infidelity, Initiation, and the Emotional Climate of Divorce: Are There Implications for Mental Health?” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 42:295-309.
Awards & Grants
Chair, American Sociological Association Family Section, 2016-17.
Elected to Sociological Research Association, 2014.
UCLA Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, 2013.
Delivered Charles B. Nam Lecture in Sociology of Population, Florida State University, 2013.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Sterilization Patterns in the United States.” Three-year F32 postdoctoral training award for Mieke Eeckhaut.
Elected to Board of Directors, Population Association of America (2012 – 2014 term).
Elected to Council, Section on Sociology of the Family, American Sociological Association (2007 – 2010 term).
Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Stanford CA, 2005-06.
National Science Foundation, Sociology Program, 2002 – 2004. “The Impact of Stepfamilies on the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents.” Principal Investigator.
William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Award, 2001 – 2006. “The Impact of Stepfamilies on the Well-Being of Children.” Principal Investigator.