Karen Van Gundy

Faculty Fellow
Phone: (603) 862-2500
Office: Sociology, McConnell Hall Rm 341D, Durham, NH 03824
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Karen Van Gundy is a sociologist at the University of New Hampshire and a Carsey Faculty Fellow. Her research applies theories of stress and coping to study variations in health, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in youth and adulthood. Her most recent work considers the effects of family, school, and community contexts on depression, substance use problems, and delinquency among rural and urban youth. Her recent work includes a National Science Foundation funded panel study of middle and high school students that examines the effects of cognitive developmental factors on rule-violating behaviors.

At the Carsey School of Public Policy, Karen is co-investigator on the ongoing Rural Youth Panel Survey (Coos County Youth Survey) in rural New Hampshire. Also through Carsey, she published a report, Substance Abuse in Rural and Small Town America, which used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to document substance abuse patterns among rural and urban U.S. youth, young adults, and adults. Other published work appears in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Health and Social BehaviorSocial Psychology Quarterly, and Social Science and Medicine. Karen earned bachelor's degrees in psychology and sociology from Virginia Tech, her master's degree in sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and her doctorate degree in sociology from the University of Miami.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Miami
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Cincinnati
  • B.S., Psychology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Research Interests

  • Gender
  • Life course
  • Sociology of mental health
  • Substance use

Courses Taught

  • SOC 440A: Honors/Addiction & Society
  • SOC 599: Sociological Analysis
  • SOC 620: Drugs and Society
  • SOC 697: Spc Top/Reefer Research
  • SOC 699: Senior Thesis
  • SOC 720/820: Sociology of Drug Use
  • SOC 900: Pro-seminar
  • SOC 999: Doctoral Research

Selected Publications

Van Gundy, K. T., & Staunton, M. S. (2017). Marijuana Examining the Facts. ABC-CLIO.

Van Gundy, K. T., Rebellon, C. J., Jaffee, E. M., Stracuzzi, N. F., Sharp, E. H., & Tucker, C. J. (2016). Perceived Local Job Prospects and School Connectedness in a Struggling Rural Economy: A Life-Course Perspective. Peabody Journal of Education, 91(2), 224-245. doi:10.1080/0161956x.2016.1151748

Van Gundy, K. T., Tucker, C. J., Stracuzzi, N. F., Sharp, E. H., & Rebellon, C. J. (2016). The rural context of substance misuse in the United States Emerging adult patterns and local perceptions following the Great Recession. In ROUTLEDGE INTERNATIONAL HANDBOOK OF RURAL CRIMINOLOGY (pp. 253-263). Retrieved from http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/

Van Gundy, K. T., Stracuzzi, N. F., Rebellon, C. J., Tucker, C. J., & Cohn, E. S. (2011). Perceived Community Cohesion and the Stress Process in Youth. Rural Sociology, 76(3), 293-318. doi:10.1111/j.1549-0831.2011.00050.x

Van Gundy, K., & Rebellon, C. J. (2010). A Life-course Perspective on the “Gateway Hypothesis”. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51(3), 244-259. doi:10.1177/0022146510378238

Van Gundy, K., Schieman, S., Kelley, M. S., & Rebellon, C. J. (2005). Gender role orientations and alcohol use among Moscow and Toronto adults. Social Science & Medicine, 61(11), 2317-2330. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.07.033

van Gundy, K. (2002). Gender, the Assertion of Autonomy, and the Stress Process in Young Adulthood. Social Psychology Quarterly, 65(4), 346. doi:10.2307/3090107