Indiana University Bloomington

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Brea L. Perry

Brea L. Perry

Brea L. Perry is an Associate Professor of Sociology and an affiliated faculty of the Indiana University Network Institute. She came to Indiana University in 2014 after received her PhD at Indiana University in 2008 and then serving on the faculty at the University of Kentucky. Her research focuses on the intersections of medical sociology, biosociology, and social networks.

Brea Perry's recent research has examined the interrelated roles of dynamic social networks, peer and family relationships, social structure, culture, and biological systems in disease etiology and the illness career. She has focused largely on mental illness and at-risk youth, and has a strong interest in longitudinal research, dynamic social processes, and quantitative methods. Some of her work examines how and why social network structure and function evolve in response to the onset of mental illness, focusing on stigma and the activation of supportive ties. She has also published on public attitudes toward mental health services, as well as the effects of cultural conceptions of mental illness on relationships and life chances. Other research examines interactions between genetic risk and social factors in complex disease pathways, focusing on the ways that social context can attenuate or exacerbate genetic predisposition.

Brea Perry has published her research in journals such as American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, and Social Problems. She is currently on the editorial boards of American Journal of Sociology and Society and Mental Health, and is the series editor of Advances in Medical Sociology. When she is not being a professor, Brea enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, playing and coaching soccer, and singing karaoke.

Selected Publications

Perry, Brea L., Bernice A. Pescosolido, Kathleen Bucholz, Howard Edenberg, John Kramer, Samuel Kuperman, Marc Alan Schuckit, and John I. Nurnberger, Jr. 2013. "Gender-Specific Gene-Environment Interaction in Alcohol Dependence: The Impact of Daily Life Events and GABRA2." Behavior Genetics 43:402-14.

Perry, Brea L. and Bernice A. Pescosolido. 2012. "Social Network Dynamics in the Face of Biographical Disruption: The Case of “First Timers” with Mental Illness." American Journal of Sociology 118:134-75.

Perry, Brea L., Erin Pullen, and Carrie B. Oser. 2012. “Too Much of a Good Thing? Psychosocial Resources, Gendered Racism, and Suicidal Ideation among Low-Socioeconomic Status African American women.” Social Psychology Quarterly 75:334-59.

Perry, Brea L. 2012. “Coming Untied? Narrative Accounts of Social Network Dynamics   From First-Time Mental Health Clients.” Sociology of Health and Illness 34:1-15.

Perry, Brea L. 2011. “The Labeling Paradox: Stigma, the Sick Role, and Social Networks in Mental Illness.”Journal of Health and Social Behavior 52:460-77.

Perry, Brea L. and Bernice Pescosolido. 2010. “Functional Specificity in Discussion Networks:  The Influence of General and Problem-Specific Networks on Health Outcomes.” Social Networks 32:345-57.

Pescosolido, Bernice, Brea L. Perry, J. Scott Long, Jack K. Martin, John I. Nurnberger, and Victor Hesselbrock. 2008. “Under the Influence of Genetics: How Transdisciplinarity Leads Us to Rethink Social Pathways to Illness.” American Journal of Sociology 114(S1):S171-201. Winner of the Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award.