Karen Van Gundy

Associate Professor, Sociology
Faculty Fellow


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 Behavior, Social 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.