Academic Publications

Carroll, Jamie M., Chandra Muller, Eric Grodsky and John Robert Warren. 2017. “Tracking Health Inequalities from High School to Midlife.” Social Forces 96(2): 591-628.

Abstract: Educational gradients in health status, morbidity, and mortality are well established, but which aspects of schooling produce those gradients is only partially understood. We draw on newly available data from the midlife follow-up of the High School and Beyond sophomore cohort to analyze the relationship between students’ level of coursework in high school and their long-term health outcomes. We additionally evaluate the mediating roles of skill development, postsecondary attendance and degree attainment, and occupational characteristics. We find that students who took a medium- to high-level course of study in high school have better self-reported health and physical functioning in midlife, even net of family background, adolescent health, baseline skills, and school characteristics. The association partially operates through pathways into postsecondary education. Our findings have implications for both educational policy and research on the educational gradient in health.


Carroll, Jamie M., Melissa Humphries and Chandra Muller. 2018. “Mental and Physical Health Impairments at the Transition to College: Early Patterns in the Education-Health Gradient.” Social Science Research 74 (August): 121-131. 

Abstract: Part of the education-health gradient may be related to inequalities in the transition from high school to college by health impairment status. In this paper, we use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to investigate the link between health impairments beginning prior to high school completion and college-going, distinguishing between individuals with mental, physical, or multiple health impairments and between enrollment in 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions. We find that individuals with mental impairments or multiple impairments are less likely to initially enroll in 4-year postsecondary institutions than individuals without health impairments, controlling on background and high school preparation. We also find evidence that advanced math course-taking in high school, an important step on the pathway to a 4-year college for all students, does not provide students with mental impairments the same return as students without health impairments. We discuss implications for policy to address educational inequalities in health.


Carroll, Jamie M., Chandra Muller and Evangeleen Pattison.  2016. “Cooling Out Undergraduates with Health Impairments: The Freshman Experience.”  The Journal of Higher Education 87(6): 771-800.

Abstract: Students with health impairments represent a growing sector of the college population, but health-based disparities in bachelor’s degree completion persist. The classes students pass and the grades they receive during the first year of college provide signals of degree progress and academic fit that shape educational expectations, potentially subjecting students to a cooling out process (Clark, 1960). Using the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS 04/09), we compared signals of degree progress and academic fit and changes in educational expectations between students with and without health impairments during the first year of college. We found that net of academic preparation, type of institution, enrollment intensity and first year experiences, students with mental impairments were more likely to lower their educational expectations after the first year of college, due partially to negative signals of academic fit. We found limited evidence that gaps in learning are related to the use of academic accommodations for students with health impairments. Our results suggest that students with mental impairments are disadvantaged in reaching first year benchmarks of degree progress and academic fit and are disproportionately cooled out.


Other Publications

Thomason, David. and Jamie M. Carroll. 2019. “Commentary: Civics Education Legislation is Important For the Future of Texas.” Austin American Statesman

Carroll, Jamie M. and Chandra Muller.  2018  “Curricular Differences and Its Impact on Different Groups.” In Schneider, Barbara (Ed.) Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century. New York: Springer International.

 Carroll, Jamie M., Chandra Muller, Eric Grodsky and John Robert Warren. 2018. “Why are the courses you take in high school important for your health at midlife?” PRC Research Brief 3(9).

Carroll, Jamie M. 2017. “Echo Chamber America: Why Discourse is More Important Now than Ever.” Huffington Post. With Robert Ressler.

Carroll, Jamie M. 2015. “The Brutal Reality of the New Orleans Education Experiment.” Huffington Post: Education. With DJ Johnson.

Carroll, Jamie M. 2015. “What Do Changes in the Intended Majors of College-Bound Seniors Portend for the Humanities?” American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Academic Data Forum. With Chandra Muller.

Carroll, Jamie M. 2014. “The Social Construction of Laughter.” UT Austin Sociology Graduate Student Blog.