Michael S. Pollard

Michael S. Pollard
Senior Sociologist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


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

Media Resources

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Michael S. Pollard is a senior sociologist at RAND and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His primary research areas include social networks and health (physical, mental, and health behaviors), demography, and family. His recent work has focused on the health implications of different types of friendship and romantic relationships, including an ongoing six-year project tracking adult social networks and alcohol use using nationally representative data. He also studies voter beliefs and behaviors, and led the RAND 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey project, tracking voter beliefs and intentions for a year leading up to the election, as well as leading 2014 and 2018 midterm election studies. He has conducted work on veteran demographics and well-being, and has an additional line of research on recruiting individuals for the Army and Reserve Components. His work has been published in numerous academic journals and peer-reviewed RAND reports. Pollard received his Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.

Recent Projects

  • Adult Social Networks and Well-Being
  • RAND 2016 Presidential Election Panel Survey and RAND 2014 & 2018 Midterm Election Opinion Study
  • Current and Future Demographics of the Veteran Population: 2014-2024
  • Exploring the Formation of an American Veterans Panel
  • Context of Adolescent Risk Behaviors In Networks (CARBIN)

Selected Publications

Pollard, Michael S., J.S. Tucker, & H.D. Green., "Adult Alcohol Use and Consequences During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US.," JAMA Network Open, 3(9), 2020

Ernesto F.L. Amaral, Michael S. Pollard, Joshua Mendelsohn, and Matthew Cefalu., "Current and Future Demographics of the U.S. Veteran Population: 2014-2024. ," Population Review, 57, 2018

Pollard, Michael S., Joan S. Tucker, Harold D. Green, Kayla de la Haye, and Dorothy L. Espelage, "Adolescent Peer Networks and the Moderating Role of Depressive Symptoms on Developmental Trajectories of Cannabis Use," Addictive Behaviors, 76, 2018

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, 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, 2012

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, 2010

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

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

Honors & Awards

  • Bronze Medal, 2021, RAND
  • Blue Ribbon Award, 2004, 2008, Population Association of America