Mary Clare Lennon

Mary Clare Lennon faculty photo

Research Interests

  • Housing And Neighborhoods
  • Inequality
  • Children and Families
  • Health
  • Statistics And Methods


  • Ph.D., Columbia University

Mary Clare Lennon is a sociologist, trained in public health, with deep interest in the life chances of disadvantaged families.

Lennon has spent much of her career examining the relationship between gender, socioeconomic status, and health problems. Her recent work has focused on the health and well-being of low-income women and children. She is co-director of the Health and Society Research Group at the GC’s Center for Human Environments and the associate editor of the journal Sociology of Mental Health. The coeditor of Policy into Action: Implementation Research and Welfare Reform (2003) and editor of Welfare, Work, and Well-Being (2001), she also has contributed to several other books that examine the mental health of low-income women. Her research has been published in the American Sociological Review, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and the American Journal of Sociology as well as in public health journals.
Lennon's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. Lennon has been visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, Columbia University, Princeton University, and University College London. She is currently a trustee and (elected) member of the Executive Committee, Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, and has served as chair of the American Sociological Assn.'s section on the sociology of mental health. Lennon earned a B.A. in sociology from Fordham University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology, as well as an M.S. in biostatistics, from Columbia. She was formerly professor of Sociomedical Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and director of social science research at Columbia’s National Center for Children in Poverty.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • American Sociological Association
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
  • Eastern Sociological Society
  • Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies
  • Urban Affairs Association

Courses Taught

  • Seminar on Gender and Health Causal Inference
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Urban Health
  • Research Sociology of Childhood Topics in Multivariate Methods
  • Proseminar I & II Advanced Research Methods and Analysis: Women and Health Sociology of Gender and Health Introductory
  • Social Data Analysis


  • Elliott-Negri, L., Tu, S., Zheng, W. and Lennon, M.C., forthcoming.
  • Hope, Emotional Charges, and Online Action: An Experimental Study of the DREAM Act. Social Problems.
  • Vesselinov E., Lennon, M.C., and Le Goix, Renaud. 2018. Is it all in the eye of the beholder? Benefits of living in mixed income neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles. Journal of Urban Affairs 40(2):163-185.
  • Limonic L, Lennon MC. Work and unemployment as stressors. 2017. Pp. 224-238 in A Handbook for the Study of Mental Health: Social Contexts, Theories, and Systems. 3rd ed. (T.L. Scheid and E.R. Wright, eds.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lennon, M.C., Clark, W.A.V., and Joshi, H. 2016. Guest Editorial: Residential mobility and well- being: Exploring children’s living situations and their implications for housing policy. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies 7(3):197-200.
  • Beck, B., Buttaro, A., and Lennon, M.C. 2016. Home moves and child well-being in the first five years of life in the United States. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies 7(3):240-264.
  • Beharie, N., Lennon, M.C. & McKay, M. 2015. Assessing the Relationship between the Perceived Shelter Environment and Mental Health among Homeless Caregivers. Behavioral Medicine 41 (3): 107-114.
  • Gambaro, L., Joshi, H., Lupton, R., Fenton, A. & Lennon, M.C. 2015. Developing better measures of neighbourhood characteristics and change for use in studies of residential mobility. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy 9: 569–590.