Michael Pollard

Photo of Michael Pollard
Sociologist
Santa Monica Office

Education

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

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Michael Pollard is a sociologist at the RAND Corporation. His research areas include family structure, adolescents, social relationships, and health (physical, mental, and health behaviors). His recent work has focused on the health implications of different types of friendship networks and romantic relationships for the well-being of adolescents and adults. His work has been published in RAND reports as well as in numerous academic journals. Pollard received a B.A. and M.A. in sociology from the University of Victoria and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.

Recent Projects

  • RAND 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey and RAND 2014 Midterm Election Opinion Study
  • Exploring the Formation of an American Veterans Panel
  • Nonmarital Cohabitation in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  • Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Mortality in Old Age
  • Context of Adolescent Risk Behaviors In Networks (CARBIN)

Selected Publications

Pollard, Michael S., Joan S. Tucker, Kayla de la Haye, Harold D. Green & David P., "A Prospective Study of Marijuana Use Change and Cessation Among Adolescents," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 144:134-140, 2014

Karney, Benjamin R., David S. Loughran, & Michael S. Pollard, "Comparing Marital Status and Divorce Status in Civilian and Military Populations," Journal of Family Issues, 22:1572-1594, 2012

Michael S. Pollard, Joan S. Tucker, Harold D. Green, David P. Kennedy & Myong-Hyun Go, & Harold D. Green, "Romantic Attraction and Adolescent Smoking Trajectories," Addictive Behaviors, 36:1275-1281, 2011

Pollard, Michael S., Joan S. Tucker, Harold D. Green, David Kennedy, & Myong-Hyun Go, "Friendship Networks and Trajectories of Adolescent Tobacco Use," Addictive Behaviors, 68:678-685, 2010

Collins, Rebecca L., Michael S. Pollard, Steven M. Asch, & Nicole K. Eberhart "Health Implications," in NDRI, Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study, RAND (MG-1056-OSD), 2010

Pollard, Michael S. and Kathleen Mullan Harris "Measuring Cohabitation in Add Health," in Hofferth, S.L. and L.M. Casper, eds, Handbook of Measurement Issues in Family Research (Hofferth, S.L. and L.M. Casper, eds.) pp 35-52, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum, 2007

Wu, Zheng, Margaret J. Penning, Michael S. Pollard, and Randy Hart, "In Sickness and in Health: Does Cohabitation Count?" Journal of Family Issues, 24:811-838, 2003

Pollard, Michael S. and S. Philip Morgan, "Emerging Parental Gender Indifference? Sex Composition of Children and the Third Birth," American Sociological Review, 67:600-613, 2002

Honors & Awards

  • Blue Ribbon Award, 2004, 2008, Population Association of America

Commentary

  • The cover of the New York Post newspaper is seen with other papers at a newsstand in New York, November 9, 2016

    Why the Polls Were Wrong

    RAND's Presidential Election Panel Survey, like other polls, overpredicted the popular vote. But since it focused on the decisionmaking process and how that translated into behaviors, the data could provide deep insights into what happened and how it took pollsters by surprise.

    Nov 14, 2016 U.S. News & World Report

  • Stickers are displayed at a polling station for the Wisconsin presidential primary election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 5, 2016

    The Latest from the RAND Presidential Election Panel Survey

    RAND's panel survey examines voter attitudes, intentions, and choices, and how these change throughout the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Some sizeable shifts in positions occurred in survey results from December to March.

    Apr 7, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • Elissa Wenthe (C) holds her 4-month-old son as she listens to U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, January 24, 2016

    RAND Kicks Off 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey

    RAND's panel survey examines voter attitudes, intentions, and choices, and how these change throughout the 2016 U.S. presidential election. What sets this effort apart from public opinion surveys and political polls is that it surveys the same people over the course of the election.

    Jan 27, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • Colleagues discussing ideas

    Do Young 'Elites' Favor Income Redistribution?

    Young 'elites' -- employed Americans who are 40 or younger, with high household incomes and graduate degrees -- and especially Democratic elites have a strong preference for income redistribution.

    Oct 8, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • A mask-wearing man walks past an apartment building where a child was taken to the hospital to be tested for Ebola, New York City, October 27, 2014

    How the Public Perceives Ebola Risk in the United States

    The Ebola outbreak in Africa and the cases in the United States weighed heavily on the minds of policymakers and the public. While the Ebola threat was (and is) certainly real, many Americans greatly overestimated their chances of contracting the deadly disease.

    Mar 30, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Man with a laptop at beach resort

    The Great American Working Vacation

    For years, vacations were a time for Americans to reset and renew, a time away from work. But more and more, Americans check their email, take calls, and work while on vacation.

    Jan 19, 2015 Newsweek

  • Sidney Plummer cheers during the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival, June 29, 2014

    Gay Marriage Gains Support, but It's Still a Partisan Issue

    Survey data provides evidence that the majority of American voters support the legalization of gay marriage and think it should be decided at the federal level. Republicans are substantially less likely to support legalization, and lower income, lower educational attainment, being older, and being non-white are significantly associated with lower levels of support.

    Dec 29, 2014 Newsweek

  • Gail Lopez-Henriquez wears an 'I Voted Today' sticker on Election Day morning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 4, 2014

    Republicans May Make Gains in Midterm Election, but Democrats Remain Strong Nationally

    The Republican Party has a strong chance of maintaining control of the House of Representatives and possibly even gaining control of the Senate. But survey results suggest that, while individual races may vary, support for Republican candidates nationwide may be less than support for Democratic candidates.

    Nov 4, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • A boy wearing a football helmet

    Adults Are Concerned About Sons Playing Football, Especially the More Highly Educated and Obama 2012 Voters

    According to new data, 44 percent of American adults wouldn't be comfortable letting their sons play football. Roughly the same percentage was uncomfortable with their sons playing ice hockey.

    Nov 4, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. residents in line to vote

    Survey Says: House, Senate Races Too Close to Call

    Recent survey data suggests competitions for both houses of Congress are too close to call. While reported probability of voting for a given party has remained constant overall, churn in individual responses indicates some voters are changing their minds.

    Oct 27, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Capitol in autumn

    Voters Give Republicans an Edge in Senate Races, House Too Close to Call

    Significantly more survey respondents anticipate Republicans will take the Senate for their state compared to those who anticipate Democrats will. However, there is not a clear difference in opinion regarding the race for the House.

    Oct 16, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • A teenage election volunteer helping a senior man use a touch screen

    With Midterm Elections Less Than a Month Away, New Survey Data Shows Many Voters Have Made Up Their Minds

    Survey responses indicate many U.S. voters already know how they'll cast their ballots in the upcoming midterm elections. But RAND's unique methodology provides an interesting perspective on those who don't lean strongly toward Republican or Democratic candidates.

    Oct 9, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • A justice scale with more money on one side than the other

    New Survey Data Indicates Increasing Polarization in the Ways Democrats and Republicans View the Role of Government in Reducing Income Inequality

    Today, Democrats are more than six times likelier than Republicans to believe the U.S. government should play a role in reducing income inequality. This is not due to differences in age, gender, education, or income distributions among the two parties.

    Oct 9, 2014 The RAND Blog

Publications