Janel Benson | Colgate University - Faculty Directory

Colgate Directory


Janel Benson

Associate Professor of Sociology
Sociology & Anthropology, 425 Alumni Hall
p 315-228-6095


BA, Franklin and Marshall College; MA, PhD, University of Pennsylvania


My research investigates sources of risk and resiliency in the transition from early adolescence to young adulthood. I am particularly interested in how contexts of development in early life shape attainment, family formation, identity, and health in adulthood.


Adolescence and the transition to adulthood, life course, family, education, race/ethnicity, qualitative and quantitative methods


Benson, Janel. In Press. Re-evaluating the “Subjective Weathering Hypothesis”:  An Examination of Subjective Aging in the Stress Process.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Benson, Janel. 2013. “The Transition to Adulthood.” In The Handbook of Child Well-being: Theories, Methods, and Policies in Global Perspective (pp. 1763-1783)edited by Asher Ben-Arieh, Ferran Casas, Ivar Frones, and Jill Korbin. Dorcrecht: Springer.

Benson, Janel, Monica K. Johnson, and Glen H. Elder. 2012. "The Implications of Young Adult Identity for Educational and Work Attainment in Young Adulthood." Developmental Psychology, 48(6): 1752-1758.

Johnson, Monica and Janel Benson. 2012. “Family Context, Parent-Child Relationships, and Achievement in Young Adulthood.” In Early Adulthood in a Family Context, edited by Alan Booth, Susan L. Brown, Nancy Landale, Wendy Manning, and Susan M. McHale. New York: Springer.

Benson, Janel and Glen Elder, Jr. 2011. “Young Adult Identities and Their Pathways: A Developmental and Life Course Model.” Developmental Psychology, 14(6): 1646-1657.

Burdette, Amy; Wang, Victor; Elder, Glen H.; Hill, Terrence; Benson, Janel. 2009. “Serving God and Country? Religious Involvement and Military Service among Young Adult Men.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(4): 794-804.

Benson, Janel and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. 2009. “Adolescent Family Context and Adult Identity Formation.” Journal of Family Issues, 30(9): 1265-1286.

Benson, Janel. 2007. “Make New Friends but Keep the Old: Peers and the Transition to College.” Advances in Life Course Research, 12: 309-334.

Benson, Janel and Frank F. Furstenberg. 2006. “Entry into Adulthood: Are Adult Role Transitions Meaningful Markers of Adult Identity?” Advances in Life Course Research, 11: 199-224.

Benson, Janel. 2006. “Exploring the Racial Identities of Black Immigrants in the United States.” Sociological Forum, 21: 219-247.

Media Coverage

Radio interview with Nikki Medoro of KGO Radio in San Francisco about the consequences of growing up too fast (11/30/2012) Listen Here

Contribution to the New York Times Room for Debate Discussion on Family Values (April, 24, 2012): "Regulating Sex is a Distraction."


Principal Investigator, Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute Grant, Colgate University."The Implications of Maturational Timing and Racial Stressors on the Mental Health of Racial Minority Young Adults.” 2011-2013.

Team Leader, Mellon Technology and Teaching Grant, Colgate University. “Quantitative Literacy in the Humanistic Social Sciences.” 2013.

Teaching Experience

  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • Sociology of Education
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Senior Research Seminar
  • Transition to Adulthood in Contemporary Society


Committee on Athletics, Colgate University

Academic Liaison, Colgate University Women's Softball Team

Institutional Review Board, Colgate University

Board Member, A Better Chance Fayetteville-Manlius