Michael S. Pollard

Michael S. Pollard

Senior Sociologist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


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Michael S. Pollard is a senior sociologist at RAND and a professor of policy analysis at 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 a six-year project tracking adult social networks and alcohol use using nationally representative data. He has conducted work on demographics and well-being, particularly in the context of migration or population projection. He also studies public attitudes and beliefs, including voter beliefs and behaviors; he 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. His work has been published in numerous academic journals and peer-reviewed RAND reports. Pollard received his Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.


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

Selected Work

  • Armour, Philip, Michael S. Pollard, Yael Katz, Katie Feistel, Christina Panis, and Mariah Brennan, Projections of Disability in the Department of Defense Workforce Through 2031: Estimating Future Assistive Technology Requirements for Department of Defense Civilian Employees and Service Members, RAND Corporation (RR-A1359-1), 2024
  • 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
  • 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

Authored by Michael S. Pollard

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