Jennifer Buher Kane

Picture of Jennifer Buher Kane
Assistant Professor, Sociology
School of Social Sciences
Assistant Professor, by courtesy, Public Health
Public Health
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2011, Sociology and Demography
Phone: (949) 824-9594
University of California, Irvine
4171 Social Science Plaza A
Mail Code: 5100
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Social inequality, demography, population health, family, fertility, intergenerational transmission of health and wellbeing, quantitative methods
Academic Distinctions
Kane was recently named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences.
Research Abstract
Dr. Kane's research, currently funded by an NICHD K99/R00 grant, identifies modifiable risk factors of adverse birth outcomes (low birth weight, fetal growth restriction, preterm birth) by examining not only social stressors encountered during the prenatal period, but also stressors encountered during the preconception period—across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood—that can alter physiologic functioning and ultimately degrade perinatal health.

Adverse birth outcomes hold a unique sociological importance -- they represent one mechanism through which social inequality is transmitted across generations, given that these outcomes are highly stratified by race and class, and can negatively impact long-term health and well-being. Dr. Kane's work further illuminates this process, contributing to broader literatures in population health, social stratification, and social inequalities in health.

She has published her work in journals such as Demography, Journal of Marriage & Family, Population Research and Policy Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Science & Medicine.

Prior to joining the faculty at UCI, she was a postdoctoral scholar at University of North Carolina, received her PhD in Sociology and Demography from The Pennsylvania State University, and worked for several years in the nonprofit sector as a social worker and public health educator.
Kane, Jennifer B, Kathleen Mullan Harris, & Anna Maria Siega-Riz. In Press. Intergenerational Pathways Linking Maternal Early Life Adversity to Offspring Birthweight. Social Science & Medicine (
Kane, Jennifer B., Kathleen Mullan Harris, S. Philip Morgan, and David Guilkey. Forthcoming. “Pathways of Health and Human Capital from Adolescence into Young Adulthood.” Social Forces.
Kane, Jennifer B., Gandarvaka Miles, Jennifer Yourkavitch, and Katherine King. 2017. “Neighborhood context and birth outcomes: Going beyond neighborhood disadvantage, incorporating affluence.” SSM – Population Health 3(December): 699-712.
Kane, Jennifer B. & Claire Margerison-Zilko. 2017. “Theoretical Insights into Preconception Social Conditions and Perinatal Health: The Role of Place and Social Relationships.” Population Research and Policy Review 36(5): 639-669.
Kramer, Michael, Eric B. Schneider, Jennifer B. Kane, Claire Margerison-Zilko, Jessica Jones-Smith, Katherine King, Pamela Davis-Kean, & Joseph Grzywacz. 2017. “Getting Under the Skin: Children’s Health Disparities as Embodiment of Social Class” Population Research and Policy Review 36(5): 671–697.
Kane, Jennifer B. Forthcoming. “The Nuclear Family” in M.H. Bornstein (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development.
Kane, Jennifer B. 2016. “Marriage Advantages in Perinatal Health: Evidence of Marriage Selection or Marriage Protection?” Journal of Marriage and Family 78(1): 212-229.
King, Katherine, Jennifer B. Kane, Peter Scarbrough, Cathrine Hoyo, & Susan Murphy. 2016. “Neighborhood and Family Environment of Expectant Mothers May Influence Prenatal Programming of Adult Cancer Risk: Discussion and an Illustrative DNA Methylation Example.” Biodemography and Social Biology 62(1): 87-104.
Kane, Jennifer B. 2015. “An Integrative Model of Inter- and Intragenerational Preconception Processes Influencing Birthweight in the United States.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 56(2): 246-261.
• Invited to contribute blog post for NIH’s “The OBSSR Connector” (appearing in October 2016)
• Featured in news outlets including The Sacramento Bee,, and Science Newsline
Kane, Jennifer B., Timothy Nelson, & Kathryn Edin. 2015. “How Much In-Kind Support Do Low-Income Nonresident Fathers Provide? A Mixed Method Analysis.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77(3): 591-611.
• Featured in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Time, MarketWatch,, Bustle, Futurity, and The Epoch Times
• Interviewed by
Mesen, Tolga, Jennifer Mersereau, Jennifer B. Kane, & Anne Steiner. 2015. “Optimal Timing for Elective Egg Freezing.” Fertility and Sterility 103(6): 1551–1556.
• Featured in national news outlets including Science, New York Magazine, Women's Health, The Washington Post, Health Medicine Network, and
Kane, Jennifer B., S. Philip Morgan, Kathleen Mullan Harris, & David Guilkey. 2013. “The Educational Consequences of Teen Childbearing.” Demography 50(6): 2129–2150.
Kane, Jennifer B. 2013. “A Closer Look at the Second Demographic Transition in the US: Evidence of Bidirectionality from a Cohort Perspective (1982-2006).” Population Research and Policy Review 32(1): 47-80.
Kane, Jennifer B. & Michelle Frisco. 2013. “Obesity, School Obesity Prevalence, and High School Childbearing among Young Women.” Social Science & Medicine 88: 108-115.
• Featured in Futurity, Medical News Today and Medical Daily
Amato, Paul & Jennifer B. Kane. 2011. “Life-Course Pathways and the Psychosocial Adjustment of Young Adult Women.” Journal of Marriage and Family 73(1): 279 – 295.
Kane, Jennifer B. & Chun Bun Lam. 2011. “A Promising Approach to Future Biosocial Research on the Family: Considering The Role of Temporal Context.” Pp. 247-264 in A. Booth, S.M. McHale, and N.S. Landale (Eds.) Biosocial Foundations of Family Processes.
Amato, Paul & Jennifer B. Kane. 2011. “Parents’ Marital Distress, Divorce, and Remarriage: Links with Daughters’ Early Family Formation Transitions.” Journal of Family Issues 32(8): 1073-1103.
Scheitle, Chris, Jennifer B. Kane, & Jennifer Van Hook. 2011. “Demographic Imperatives and Religious Markets: Considering the Individual and Interactive Roles of Fertility and Switching in Group Growth.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50(3): 470-482.
Amato, Paul, Jennifer B. Kane, & Spencer James. 2011. “Reconsidering the ‘Good Divorce’.” Family Relations 60(5): 511-524.
2014 – 2018 “The Maternal Life Course Origins of Infant Health” Principal Investigator. NICHD, Pathway to Independence Award K99/R00 ($911,095)
2016 — 2018 “Using Record Linkage to Generate the Add Health Children Study Database,” Principal Investigator, along with Kathleen Mullan Harris and Jon Hussey; co-PI, Robert Hummer. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), R21. $432,086.
Other Experience
Postdoctoral Scholar
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2011—2015
Graduate Research Fellow
Pennsylvania State University 2006—2011
Research Consultant
Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania 2005—2008
Senior Research Coordinator
University of Pennsylvania 2004—2006
Qualitative Fieldworker
University of Pennsylvania 2005
Director of After-School Programs
Community-based Nonprofit Organization, Philadelphia
Public Health Eductor
County Health Department, North Carolina
Social Worker
Community-based Nonprofit Organization, Philadelphia
Research Centers
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Demographic and Social Analysis
Affiliate, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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