Molly Copeland

Molly  Copeland
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD, Duke University, 2020
  • Berkey Hall
  • 509 E. Circle Drive Room 316
  • East Lansing, MI 48824


Molly Copeland


Molly Copeland is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. Her research joins social network analysis and medical sociology to examine how social relationships can benefit or introduce risks to health across the life course. Most of her work examines how patterns of connections with others relate to mental health in ways that vary by gender, by network context, and for at-risk groups, such as isolated youth. Current research projects examine how adolescent peer networks relate to depression, self-harm, physical health, and substance use in adolescence, with persistent effects on adult health. She received her doctoral degree in sociology from Duke University.


Copeland, Molly and Christina Kamis. Forthcoming. “Who Does Cohesion Benefit? Race, Gender, and Peer Networks Associated with Adolescent Depressive Symptoms.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Copeland, Molly. 2022.“Embedded Distress: Social Integration, Gender, and Adolescent Depression.” Social Forces, Online First,

Kamis, Christina*, Allison Stolte*, and Molly Copeland. “Parental Death and Mid-Adulthood Depressive Symptoms: The Importance of Life Course Stage and Parent’s Gender.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Online First, 

Copeland, Molly, Rajaa T. Alqahtani, James Moody, Brent Curdy, Mohammad Alghamdi & Fathiya Alqurashi (2021) When Friends Bring You Down: Peer Stress Proliferation and Suicidality, Archives of Suicide Research, 25:3, 672-689, DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2020.1746939 

Copeland, Molly. 2021. “The Long Shadow of Peers: Adolescent Networks and Young Adult Mental Health.” Social Sciences, 10(6), 231. DOI:10.3390/socsci10060231 

Kamis, Christina and Molly Copeland. 2020. “The Long Arm of Social Integration: Gender, adolescent social networks, and adult depressive symptom trajectories.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 61(4): 437-452, DOI:10.1177/0022146520952769. Featured on WWJ 950 AM – Detroit NewsRadio 

 Copeland, Molly, Sonja E. Siennick, Mark E. Feinberg, James Moody, and Daniel T. Ragan. 2019. “Social Ties Cut Both Ways: Self-Harm and Adolescent Peer Networks.” Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 48(8), 

 Copeland, Molly, Jacob C. Fisher, James Moody, and Mark E. Feinberg. 2018. “Different Kinds of Lonely: Dimensions of Isolation and Substance Use in Adolescence.” Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 47(8): 1755-1770. 

Copeland, Molly, Bryce Bartlett*, and Jacob C. Fisher*. 2017. “Dynamic Associations of Network Isolation and Smoking Behavior.” Network Science, 5(3): 257–277.