Photo of Kathleen Mullan Harris
Kathleen Mullan Harris

Kathleen Mullan Harris

2013 Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences

Kathleen Mullan Harris (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is the James Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor of Public Policy. She is the director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) at the Carolina Population Center, a position she has held since 2004; she was deputy director for Add Health from 1998-2004. The Add Health study involves more than 20,000 teenagers who are being followed into young adulthood. In addition, Harris was interim director of the CPC from 2010-2011.

Her research interests include adolescent health and risk behavior, nonmarital childbearing, immigrant children, transition to adulthood, family formation, poverty and social policy, and social inequality.

Under her leadership, Add Health is expanding its biological data collection to connect biological and social sciences. Add Health has become a global data resource for over 10,000 researchers; most of them work in North America, but many others are in Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. Add Health researchers have obtained more than 500 independently funded research grants and produced nearly 2,000 peer-reviewed research articles that appear in over 300 different journals. Since the Wave IV Program Project began in 2006, there have been 1,000 publications. In addition, 19 books, 80 reports, 75 book chapters, and more than 450 master's theses and doctoral dissertations are based on Add Health data.

Harris has served as president of the Population Association of America and as a member of the Sociological Research Association. She also participates in several other scholarly and professional organizations, and advisory boards. She received the Rachel Rosenfeld Graduate Student Association Award for Excellence in Mentoring at University of North Carolina, and the Clifford C. Clogg Award for Early Career Achievement in Population Studies and Demography from the Population Association of America and the Population Research Institute of Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of the U.S. Census Bureau's National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC).

She has served on the editorial board of Social Forces since 1990 and on the editorial board of Biodemography and Social Biology since 2006. Also, she was deputy editor of Demography from 1998-2001. She is an occasional reviewer for several professional journals. Harris has more than 65 publications and an extensive list of invited talks and presentations.

Harris was a Council member of the ICPSR from 2006-2010. She also was a member of the ICPSR Council Strategic Planning Committee from 2007-2008.

She has received funding for her research from several federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Aging, as well as from foundations including the Russell Sage Foundation and the W.T. Grant Foundation.