• Adjunct Professor, Sociology Department
  • Adjunct Professor, Family And Consumer Studies
  • Professor, Family And Consumer Studies


Research Statement

I am currently involved in three research projects.  With Matthew McKeever (Mount Holyoke College) I am studying trends in the economics of single motherhood.  Mary Ann Mason, Marc Goulden (both at the University of California, Berkeley) and I are studying the effects of children on women’s academic careers.  W. Bradford Wilcox (University of Virginia) and I are investigating the relationship between religious participation, marriage, and well-being.

Much of my previous research examined the intergenerational transmission of divorce--why people from divorced families are likely to end their own marriages.  Articles based on this work have been published in Demography, Journal of Family Issues, Social Forces, and Social Science Research; a book, Understanding the Divorce Cycle, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2005.

Most of my work involves multivariate analysis of data from national sample surveys.  I also use ethnographic methods


  • "Having it All: Gender Equity and Work-life Balance in Science" Keynote address at the Santa Cruz Developmental Biology conference. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/14/2016.
  • "Did Welfare Reform Work? The Future Of The Safety Net" Manhattan Institute. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/16/2016.
  • "Faith and family life among African Americans and Latinos in America" Book panel, Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC. Panel, Presented, 01/19/2016.
  • Author-meets-critic session, "Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower," annual meeting of the Work Family Researchers Network. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2014.
  • "Do Babies Matter? Gender & Family in the Ivory Tower." Edie Kochenour Memorial Lecture, University of Utah. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/28/2014.
  • Matthew McKeever and Nicholas H. Wolfinger. "Income Trends for Married, Divorced, and Never-Married Mothers, 1979-2006." Paper presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Las Vegas. Presentation, Presented, 08/2011.
  • Christopher G. Ellison, Nicholas H. Wolfinger, and Aida Ramos-Wada. “Attitudes toward Marriage, Divorce, Cohabitation, and Casual Sex among Working-Age Latinos: Does Religion Matter?" Paper presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Washington, DC. Presentation, Presented, 03/2011.
  • McKeever, Matthew and Nicholas H. Wolfinger. 2008. "Changing Determinants of Income for Married, Divorced, and Never-Married Mothers." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Boston. Conference Paper, Presented, 2008.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • United States of America