|Current Research Activities:|
Maureen Waller is a sociologist who studies families, poverty, and social policy. Her research has examined how inequality shapes the experiences of disadvantaged families, and how recent family and income support policies correspond to their lived realities. One current research project is drawing on qualitative interviews and survey data to explore unmarried parents' interactions with the family court system around parenting time. A second project with collaborators at BU and Rutgers, is investigating whether fathers can reduce disparities in outcomes for low and high income children, and which social and economic policies are effective levers for supporting disadvantaged men's involvement.
Waller's previous research also took a mixed method approach to examine social and policy issues which have deeply impacted the lives of poor families. This work has drawn on hundreds of qualitative interviews she conducted with low-income mothers and fathers as well as national survey data to provide new insight into these issues. Among other things, this research has examined: how low-income men and women frame the decision to have a child, to marry, and to coparent outside of marriage, how they define the meaning and obligations of fatherhood, how they view fathers' formal and informal support of children; how they navigate welfare and child support regulations; how incarceration shapes family relationships and stability, and the consequences of debt for disadvantaged men and their families.
Funding for Waller's research has been provided by the NICHD, NSF, NIFA, the WT Grant Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Cornell Population Center, the Institute for Social Sciences, and the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center at Cornell University.
Waller, Maureen R. (2002). My Baby's Father: Unmarried Parents and Paternal Responsibility. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. [book]
[Google book preview]
Turner, Kimberly and Maureen R. Waller (2017, online 2016). "Indebted Relationships: Child Support Arrears and Nonresident Fathers' Involvement with Children." Journal of Marriage and Family, 79(1): 24-43.
Katzenstein, Mary Fainsod and Maureen R. Waller (2015). "Taxing the Poor: Incarceration, Poverty Governance, and the Seizure of Family Resources." Perspectives on Politics, 13(3): 638-656.
Waller, Maureen R. and Maggie R. Jones. (2014). "Who is the Residential Parent? Understanding Discrepancies in Unmarried Parents' Reports." Journal of Marriage and Family, 76: 73-93.
Waller, Maureen R. and Allison Dwyer Emory. (2014) "Parents Apart: Differences between Unmarried and Divorcing Parents in Separated Families." Family Court Review, 52: 686-703.
Waller, Maureen R. (2012) "Cooperation, Conflict, or Disengagement? Coparenting Styles and Father Involvement in Fragile Families. Family Process, 51: 325-342.
McHale, James, Waller, Maureen R. and Pearson, Jessica. (2012). "Coparenting Interventions for Fragile Families: What Do We Know and Where Do We Need to Go Next?" Family Process, 51: 284-306.
Waller, Maureen R. (2010). "Viewing Low-Income Fathers' Ties to Families through a Cultural Lens: Insights for Research and Policy." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 629: 102-124. [abstract]
Waller, Maureen R. (2009). "Family Man in the Other America: New Opportunities, Motivations, and Supports for Paternal Caregiving." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol 624, No. 1, 156-176 (2009) [abstract]
Waller, Maureen R. and H. Elizabeth Peters. (2008) "The Risk of Divorce as a Barrier to Marriage among Parents of Young Children." Social Science Research 37(4): 1188-1199. [paper]
Waller, Maureen R. (2008). "How Do Disadvantaged Parents View Tensions in their Relationships? Insights for Relationship Longevity among At-Risk Couples." Family Relations 57(2): 128-143. [abstract]
Waller, Maureen R. and Marianne Bitler. (2008). "The Link between Couples’ Pregnancy Intentions and Behavior: Does It Matter Who Is Asked?" Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 40(4): 194-201. [abstract]
Swisher, Raymond and Maureen Waller. (2008). “Confining Fatherhood: Incarceration and Paternal Involvement among Nonresident White, African-American and Latino Fathers.” Journal of Family Issues 29(8): 1067-1088. [abstract]
Crowley, Jocelyn E., Margaret Watson, and Maureen R. Waller. (2008). Understanding "Power Talk:" Language, Public Policy, and Democracy. Perspectives on Politics 6(1): 71-88. [abstract]
Waller, Maureen R. and Raymond Swisher. (2006). Fathers' Risk Factors in Fragile Families: Implications for "Healthy" Relationships and Father Involvement. Social Problems. 53 (3): 392-420. [paper]
Waller, Maureen R. and Sara S. McLanahan. (2005). "His" and "Her" Marriage Expectations: Determinants and Consequences. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67: 53-67. [abstract]
Waller, Maureen R. and Robert Plotnick. (2001). "Effective Child Support Policy for Low-Income Families: Evidence from Street Level Research". The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 20(1): 89-110. [abstract]
Waller, Maureen R. (2001). "High Hopes: Unwed Parents' Expectations about Marriage." Children and Youth Services Review, 2