Ph.D. University at Albany-SUNY
Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Office: Davison Hall, 039
Lei Lei is an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She earned her Ph.D. degree in sociology at the University at Albany-SUNY. Before joining Rutgers, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Population Research Center at the University of Maryland. She studies social determinants of health, family dynamics, and social inequality in different societies, including China, India, and the U.S. One line of her research seeks to understand how social factors, such as residential context, working conditions, family dynamics, and gender roles, get under the skin to produce and perpetuate health inequalities. She has published several articles examining the impact of neighborhood environment on children’s health, nutritional status, and academic achievement in China. A book chapter of her examined the impact of working conditions, housing conditions, and victimization on the mental health of migrant workers in China.
Another strand of her research investigates contemporary changes in family behaviors in different societies undergoing social, economic, and demographic transitions. One of her paper explored the gender differences in providing financial, instrumental and emotional support to older parents in rural and urban China. She has also used longitudinal data from the Penal Study of Income Dynamics-Transition to Adulthood study to examine the phenomenon of “boomerang kids” in the U.S. Her work provides a comprehensive explanation for both the timing of home-leaving and home-returning and explains why Black and Hispanic young adults in the U.S. are less likely than Whites to move out of the parental home and more likely to return.
Currently, she employs longitudinal data from the Indian Human Development Survey to analyze how the health of wives and children changes after male out-migration and whether the health effects depend on remittances, duration of migration, and frequency of home visit.