Sarah O. Meadows

Photo of Sarah Meadows
Sociologist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology, Duke University; B.A. in sociology and psychology, University of Virginia

Media Resources

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Sarah O. Meadows is a sociologist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research areas include families and children (both civilian and military) and defense manpower issues, with a particular focus on mental health and well-being and on diversity. Her recent work has focused on family structure and perceptions of social support, diversity in the retention of servicemembers, and the well-being of Air Force spouses and their families. Her work has been published in RAND reports as well as in numerous academic journals. Meadows received her B.A. in sociology and psychology from the University of Virginia and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.

Recent Projects

  • The Deployment Life Study
  • Resilience among servicemembers and families
  • Diversity in the military
  • Neighborhood effects on military personnel

Selected Publications

Meadows, Sarah O., "The Association Between Perceptions of Social Support and Maternal Mental Health Problems: A Cumulative Perspective," Journal of Family Issues, 2010

Meadows, Sarah O., "Family Structure and Fathers' Well-Being: Trajectories of Mental and Physical Health," Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 50(2):115-131, 2009

Cooper, Carey C., Sara S. McLanahan, Sarah O. Meadows, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, "Family Structure Transitions and Maternal Parenting Stress," Journal of Marriage and Family, 71:558-574, 2009

Meadows, Sarah O., "Is It There When You Need It? Mismatch in Perception of Future Availability and Subsequent Receipt of Instrumental Social Support," Journal of Family Issues, 30(8):1070-1097, 2009

Dupre, Matthew E., Audrey N. Beck, and Sarah O. Meadows, "Marital Trajectories and Mortality Among U.S. Adults," American Journal of Epidemiology, 170:546-555, 2009

Meadows, Sarah O., Sara S. McLanahan, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, "Stability and Change in Family Structure and Maternal Health Trajectories," American Sociological Review, 73(April):314-334, 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Reuben Hill Award, National Counsel on Family Relations


  • A returning U.S. soldier getting hugged by his family

    Military Families: What We Know and What We Don't Know

    Never before in our nation's history have our service members and their families been so challenged and never before have their struggles (and successes) been the topic of so much scholarly attention, writes Sarah O. Meadows.

    Mar 2, 2012 National Council on Family Relations Report Magazine