Marcy Carlson

Position title: Sewell-Bascom Professor, Sociology


Phone: (608) 262-1085

4452 Sewell Social Sciences

Department of Sociology
More information
Curriculum vitae


I am currently the Sewell-Bascom Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE)  Development Core Director and Research Director of the Fertility, Families, and Households Research Area in CDE. I previously served as the CDE Director from 2016 to 2021. From 2012-2016, I served as CDE’s Associate Director for Training. As a family demographer, my primary research interests center on the associations between family contexts and the wellbeing of parents and children. My recent work has focused on aspects of family change (especially nonmarital childbearing) as linked to growing family complexity and inequality in the U.S. and increasingly in other industrialized countries; I have especially explored aspects of fathers’ roles in family life.

CDE research theme area affiliations

Demography of Inequality; Fertility, Families, and Households

Selected Publications

Fomby, Paula, Ariane Ophir and Marcia Carlson. “Family Complexity and Children’s Behavior Problems over Two U.S. Cohorts.” Journal of Marriage and Family. Forthcoming.

Berger, Lawrence M. and Marcia Carlson. 2020. “Family Policy and Complex Contemporary Families: A Decade in Review and Implications for the Next Decade of Research and Policy Practice.” Journal of Marriage and Family 82 no. 1 (2020):478-507.

Ellerbe, Calvina, Jerrett Jones, and  Marcia Carlson. “Race/Ethnic Differences in Nonresident Fathers’ Involvement after a Nonmarital Birth.” Social Science Quarterly 99, no. 3 (2018): 1158-82. NIHMS ID 938006.

Carlson, Marcia, Alicia VanOrman, and Kimberly Turner. “Fathers’ Investments of Money and Time across Residential Contexts.” Journal of Marriage and Family 79, no. 1 (2017): 10-23. PubMed Central ID 5909825.

Carlson, Marcia, and Alicia VanOrman. “Trajectories of Relationship Supportiveness after Childbirth: Does Marriage Matter?” Social Science Research 66 (2017): 102-17. PubMed Central ID 5512449.

Raymo, James, Marcia Carlson, Alicia VanOrman, So-jung Lim, Brienna Perelli-Harris, and Miho Iwasawa. “Educational Differences in Early Childbearing: A Cross-National Comparative Study.” Demographic Research 33 (2015): 65-92. PubMed Central ID 6075669.

Goldberg, Julia, and Marcia Carlson. “Patterns and Predictors of Coparenting after Unmarried Parents Part.” Journal of Family Psychology 29, no. 3 (2015): 416-26. PubMed Central ID 6057872.