Research Associate Professor, Population Studies Center and Research Associate Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
Dr. Fomby’s research focuses on family structure change, family complexity, and child well-being. Her perspective considers families as embedded in broader social contexts and considers how extended kin relationships, neighborhood and community cohesion, and school quality condition the ways children experience family change. Broadly, her work emphasizes the causes and consequences of residing in specific family arrangements in the context of high economic inequality, with particular attention to how prior socioeconomic disadvantage constrains family formation and family process.
- A New Public Data Archive for the PSID Child Development Supplement
- Collaborative Research: Socioeconomic Inequalities in Technology Use and Health Lifestyles among Children and Youth
- Family Complexity, Resources, and the Transition to Adulthood
- PSID, CDS, and TA: Data Enhancements and User Training, Support, and Outreach
- Transition to Adulthood within its Life Course & Intergenerational Family Context
- Transitions from Preschool through High School: Family, Schools & Neighborhoods
- Fomby, Paula, Ariane Ophir, Marcia J. Carlson. 2021. Family Complexity and Children’s Behavior Problems over Two U.S. Cohorts. Journal of Marriage and Family 83(2):340-357.
- Sastry, Narayan, Fomby, Paula, McGonagle, Katherine A. 2021. Effects on Core Panel Attrition and Fieldwork Outcomes from Selection for a Supplemental Study: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Advances in Longitudinal Survey Methodology :74-99.
- Stefanie Mollborn, Fomby, Paula, Goode,Joshua, Adenife Modile. 2021. A life course framework for understanding digital technology use in the transition to adulthood. Advances in Life Course Research 47:100379.
- Goode,Joshua, Fomby, Paula, Stefanie Mollborn, Aubrey Limburg. 2020. Children’s Technology Time in Two US Cohorts. Child Indicators Research 13:1107-1132.
- Sastry, Narayan, McGonagle, Katherine A, Fomby, Paula. 2020. Effects of the COVID-19 Crisis on Survey Fieldwork: Experience and Lessons From Two Major Supplements to the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Survey Research Methods 14(2):241-245.
- Fabian T. Pfeffer, Fomby, Paula, Insolera, Noura Elise. 2020. The Longitudinal Revolution: Sociological Research at the 50-Year Milestone of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Annual Review of Sociology 46:83-108.
- Fomby, Paula, Cavanagh, Shannon E. 2019. Family Instability in the Lives of American Children. Annual Review of Sociology 45:493-513.
- Fomby, Paula, Goode, Joshua A, Mollborn, Stefanie , Limburg, Aubrey . 2019. Children's Technology Time in Two US Cohorts. Child Indicators Research
- Fomby, Paula, Kravitz-Wirtz, Nicole D.. 2019. Family Systems and Parents' Financial Support for Education in Early Adulthood. Demography 56(5):1875-1897.
- Fomby, Paula, Goode, Joshua A, Truong-Vu, Kim-Phuong , Mollborn, Stefanie . 2019. Adolescent Technology, Sleep, and Physical Activity Time in Two U.S. Cohorts. Youth & Society
- Fomby, Paula, Sastry, Narayan. 2019. Data Collection on Sensitive Topics with Adolescents Using Interactive Voice Response Technology. methods, data, analyses 13(1)
- Fomby, Paula. 2018. Motherhood in Complex Families. Journal of Family Issues 39(1):245-270.
- Fomby, Paula, Musick, Kelly . 2018. Mothers' Time, the Parenting Package, and Links to Healthy Child Development. Journal of Marriage and Family 80(1):166-181.
- Sastry, Narayan, Fomby, Paula, McGonagle, Katherine A. 2018. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to Conduct Life Course Health Development Analysis. Handbook of Life Course Health Development :579-599.
- Fomby, Paula, Sastry, Narayan, McGonagle, Katherine A. 2017. Effectiveness of a Time-limited Incentive on Participation by Hard-to-reach Respondents in a Panel Study. Field Methods 29(3):238-251.
- Fomby, Paula, Dunifon, Rachel , Musick, Kelly . 2017. Siblings and children's time use in the United States. Demographic Research 37:1611-1624.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, S . 2017. Ecological Instability and Children's Classroom Behavior in Kindergarten. Demography 54(5):1627-1651.
- Fomby, Paula, Osborne, C . 2017. Family Instability, Multipartner Fertility, and Behavior in Middle Childhood. Journal of Marriage and Family 79(1):75-93. HIHMS: NIHMS826658.
- Fomby, Paula, Goode, Joshua A, Mollborn, Stefanie . 2016. Family Complexity, Siblings, and Children's Aggressive Behavior at School Entry. Demography 53(1):1-26.
- Fomby, Paula, McGonagle, Katherine A. 2016. Effectiveness of a Time-limited Incentive on Participation by Hard-to-reach Respondents in a Panel Study. Field Methods 29(3):238-251.
- Fomby, Paula, James-Hawkins, Laurie , Mollborn, Stefanie . 2015. Family Resources in Two Generations and School Readiness Among Children of Teen Parents. Population Research and Policy Review 34(5):733-759.
- Fomby, Paula, Krueger, Patrick M, Wagner, Nicole M. 2014. Age at Childbearing over Two Generations and Grandchildren's Cognitive Achievement. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 35(March):71-88.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, Stefanie , James-Hawkins, Laurie , Lawrence, Elizabeth . 2014. Health Lifestyles in Early Childhood. Journal of health and social behavior 55(4):386-402.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, Stefanie , Lawrence, Elizabeth , James-Hawkins, Laurie . 2014. How Resource Dynamics Explain Accumulating Developmental and Health Disparities for Teen Parents' Children. Demography 51(4):1199-1224.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, Stefanie , Lawrence, Elizabeth , James-Hawkins, Laurie . 2014. When do socioeconomic resources matter most in early childhood?. Advances in Life Course Research 20:56-69.
- Fomby, Paula, Sennott, Christie A. 2013. Family structure instability and mobility: The consequences for adolescents' problem behavior. Social science research 42(1):186-201.
- Fomby, Paula, Bosick, Stacey J. 2013. Family Instability and the Transition to Adulthood. Journal of Marriage and the Family 75(5):1266-1287.
- Fomby, Paula. 2013. Family Instability and College Enrollment and Completion. Population Research and Policy Review 32(4):469-494.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, Stefanie , Dennis, Jeff A. 2012. Extended household transitions, race/ethnicity, and early childhood cognitive outcomes. Social science research 41(5):1152-1165.
- Fomby, Paula, Cavanagh, Shannon E. 2012. Family Instability, School Context, and the Academic Careers of Adolescents. Sociology of Education 85(1):81-97.
- Fomby, Paula, Estacion, Angela . 2011. Cohabitation and Children's Externalizing Behavior in Low-Income Latino Families. Journal of Marriage and the Family 73(1):46-66.
- Fomby, Paula. 2011. Changes in Family Structure. Encyclopedia of Family Health
- Fomby, Paula, Chase-Lansdale, P Lindsay, Cherlin, Andrew J, Guttmannova, Katarina , Ribar, David C, Coley, Rebekah Levine. 2011. Long-term implications of welfare reform for the development of adolescents and young adults. Children and Youth Services Review 33(5):678-688.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, Stefanie , Dennis, JeffA . 2011. Who Matters for Children's Early Development? Race/Ethnicity and Extended Household Structures in the United States. Child Indicators Research 4(3):389-411.
- Fomby, Paula. 2011. Family Instability and School Readiness in the United Kingdom. Family Science 2(3):171-185.
- Fomby, Paula, Osborne, Cynthia . 2010. The influence of union instability and union quality on children's aggressive behavior. Social science research 39(6):912-924.
- Fomby, Paula, Mollborn, Stefanie , Sennott, Christie A. 2010. Race/Ethnic Differences in Effects of Family Instability on Adolescents' Risk Behavior. Journal of Marriage and the Family 72(2):234-253.
- Fomby, Paula, Cherlin, Andrew J. 2007. Family Instability and Child Well-Being. American Sociological Review 72(2):181-204.
- Fomby, Paula. 2005. Mexican Migrants And Their Parental Households In Mexico (The New Americans).
- Fomby, Paula, Cherlin, Andrew . 2005. Data from a two-wave survey of low-income families in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio are used to replicate recent reports of a modest increase in the number of low-income children living in two-adult families and to analyze the increase. We find that most of the increase occurred through the addition of a man other than the biological father to the household and that more of it occurred through cohabitation than through marriage. Moreover, across the two waves, cohabiting and marital unions were highly unstable. We review research on stepfamilies and on instability in children's living arrangements, and we conclude that the kinds of two-adult families being formed in these low-income central-city neighborhoods may not benefit children as much as policy-makers hope. In addition, we investigate the associations between marital and cohabiting transitions, on the one hand, and transitions into and out of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, employment, and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) usage between the two waves on the other. We find that marital transitions are related to TANF and employment transitions but that cohabiting transitions are not. We suggest that low-income mothers may view marriage as more of an economic partnership than cohabitation and may expect more of an economic contribution from a husband than from a cohabiting partner.. Population Research and Policy Review 23(5):543-565.
- Fomby, Paula, Cherlin, Andrew J. 2004. Public Assistance Use among U.S.-Born Children of Immigrants. International Migration Review 38(2):584-610.