Robin W. Simon

Robin Simon

B.A. – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.A. – Indiana University, Bloomington
Ph.D. – Indiana University, Bloomington

Telephone: (336) 758-3053
Office: 012 Kirby Hall




Professor Simon’s research examines the ways in which gender shapes women’s and men’s social roles and relationships, identities and emotions as well as mental health in the U.S.  Her scholarship analyzes the social determinants of emotional well-being through a social psychological lens and falls into two distinct though interrelated lines of work.  One identifies social structural, sociocultural and social psychological factors that underlie gender differences in the impact of marriage and parenthood on adults’ mental health.  The other focuses on the importance of our emotion culture, which contains gendered emotion norms, for understanding the etiology of gender disparities in both the experience and expression of emotions as well as internalizing and externalizing mental health problems among children, adolescents and adults.  She draws on insights from several areas of sociology to elucidate why profound social change in women’s roles and the family has not closed the gender gap in emotions and mental health.

Dr. Simon’s publications appear in the American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Health & Social Behavior, Social Psychology Quarterly, Social Forces and Contexts.  A recent article in Society & Mental Health ( provides a synopsis of her work.  She has received multiple national awards for her scholarship – most recently, two lifetime achievement awards for contributions to the sociological understanding of both gender and society and mental health.  Because her studies often debunk cultural beliefs about gender, social relationships, emotions and mental health, her research has received considerable media attention.  She welcomes opportunities to share her findings with the public to increase their understanding of social forces affecting them and policy solutions to seemingly intractable social problems – especially the consequences of systemic gender inequality for emotional well-being.  Dr. Simon teaches courses on Mental Health, Emotions, Health Inequalities, Social Psychology of Inequality as well as Gender, Social Relationships and Well-Being Over the Life Course.




SOC 151:  Principles of Sociology
SOC 305: Gender in Society
SOC 327: Sociology of Emotion
SOC 335:  Sociology of Health and Illness
SOC 348: Sociology of the Family
SOC 386:  Social Psychological 
Perspectives on Social Inequality
Sociology of Mental Health 

Health Disparities