Christopher Wildeman


Christopher Wildeman

Associate Professor
137 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: 607-255-2069 Fax: 607-255-4071
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Christopher Wildeman is an Associate Professor of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM) in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, where he is also co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) and a faculty fellow at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), the Center for the Study of Inequality (CSI), Court-Kay-Bauer Hall, and the Cornell Population Center (CPC). Since 2013, he has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Washington, D.C. Since 2015, he has also been a Senior Researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit in Copehagen, Denmark.

Prior to joining Cornell’s faculty in 2014, Christopher was an Associate Professor of Sociology, a faculty fellow at the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), and a faculty fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) at Yale University, as well as the co-director of the New Haven Branch of the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN). He received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from Princeton University in 2008. From 2008-2010, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar and postdoctoral affiliate in the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan.

His research and teaching interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children. He is also interested in child welfare, especially as relates to child maltreatment and the foster care system. He is the 2013 recipient of the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology.

Teaching and Advising Statement:

I currently teach three courses: PAM 2080 (Confinement!); PAM 3610 (Orange Is the New Black); and PAM 4080/6060 (Demographic Techniques II). This year, I am especially excited about teaching my first course in the Learning Where You Live Curriculum.

Current Professional Activities:

My current research emphasizes the prevalences, causes, and consequences of parental incarceration and child welfare contact for families in Denmark and the United States.


Current Research Activities:

My current research emphasizes the prevalences, causes, and consequences of parental incarceration and child welfare contact for families in Denmak and the United States.

Current Public Engagement Activities:

Christopher is currently a member of the steering committee of a National Academy of Sciences workshop on Improving Collection of Indicators of Criminal Justice System Involvement in Population Health Data Programs.


B.A. Philosophy, Sociology, and Spanish, Dickinson College (2002)
M.A., Sociology and Demography, Princeton University (2006)
Ph.D., Sociology and Demography, Princeton University (2008)

Courses Taught:

PAM 2080: Confinement! (Spring 2016)
PAM 3160: Orange Is the New Black (Fall 2014, Fall 2015)
PAM 4080/6060: Demographic Techniques II (Spring 2015, Spring 2016)

Related Websites:

Google Scholar page:

Administrative Responsibilities:

Co-Director, National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect

Selected Publications:

Wildeman, Christopher, Sara Wake field, and Hedwig Lee, eds. Forthcoming. Tough on Crime, Tough on Families? Criminal Justice and Family Life in America. Special Issue of ANNALS of
the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Wildeman, Christopher, Vesla Weaver, and Jacob S. Hacker, eds. 2014. Detaining Democracy? Criminal Justice and American Civic Life. Special Issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 653.

Wakefield, Sara, and Christopher Wildeman. 2013. Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Lee, Hedwig, Tyler McCormick, Margaret T. Hicken, and Christopher Wildeman. 2015. "Inequalities in Connectedness to Imprisoned Individuals in the United States." Du Bois Review

Fallesen, Peter, and Christopher Wildeman. 2015. "The Eff ect of Medical Treatment of Attention De cit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Foster Care Caseloads: Evidence from Danish Registry Data." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 56:398-414.

Wildeman, Christopher, and Kristin Turney. 2014. “Positive, Negative, or Null? The Effects of Maternal Incarceration on Children's Behavioral Problems.” Demography 51:1041-1068.

Wildeman, Christopher, and JaneWaldfogel. 2014. “Somebody's Children or Nobody's Children? How the Sociological Perspective Could Enliven Research on Foster Care.” Annual Review of Sociology 40:599-618.

Wildeman, Christopher, Natalia Emanuel, John M. Leventhal, Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Jane Waldfogel, and Hedwig Lee. 2014. “The Prevalence of Confirmed Maltreatment Among US Children, 2004-2011.” JAMA Pediatrics 168:706-713.

Wildeman, Christopher, and Natalia Emanuel. 2014. “Cumulative Risks of Foster Care Placement for American Children, 2000-2011.” PLOS ONE 9:e92785.

Wildeman, Christopher, Signe Hald Anderson, Hedwig Lee, and Kristian Bernt Karlson. 2014. “Parental Incarceration and Child Mortality in Denmark.” American Journal of Public Health 104:428-433

Wang, Emily A., Jenerius A. Aminawung, Christopher Wildeman, Joseph S. Ross, and Harlan M. Krumholz. 2014. “High Incarceration Rates Among Black Men Enrolled in Clinical Studies May Compromise Ability to Identify Disparities.” Health Affairs 33:848-855.

Turney, Kristen, and Christopher Wildeman. 2013. “Redefining Relationships: Explaining the Countervailing Consequences of Paternal Incarceration for Parenting Quality.” American Sociological Review 78:949-979.

Lee, Hedwig, and Christopher Wildeman. 2013. “Things Fall Apart: Health Consequences of Mass Imprisonment for African American Women.” Review of Black Political Economy 40:39-52

Wildeman, Christopher, and Christopher Muller. 2012. “Mass Imprisonment and Inequality in Health and Family Life.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 8:11-30.

Wildeman, Christopher, Jason Schnittker, and Kristin Turney. 2012. “Despair by Association? The Mental Health of Mothers with Children by Recently Incarcerated Fathers.” American Sociological Review 77:216-243.

Wakefield, Sara, and Christopher Wildeman. 2011. “Mass Imprisonment and Racial Disparities in Childhood Behavioral Problems.” Criminology and Public Policy 10:791-817.

Wang, Emily A., and Christopher Wildeman. 2011. “Studying Health Disparities by Including Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals.” JAMA 305:1708-1709.

Wildeman, Christopher. 2010. “Paternal Incarceration and Children’s Physically Aggressive Behaviors: Evidence from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study.” Social Forces 89:285-310.

Wildeman, Christopher 2009. “Parental Imprisonment, the Prison Boom, and the Concentration of Childhood Disadvantage.” Demography 46:265-280.

Western, Bruce, and Christopher Wildeman. 2009. “The Black Family and Mass Incarceration.” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 621:221-242.

Selected Keywords:
parental incarceration, child welfare, inequality

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.