Christina M. Gibson-Davis

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Sociology, and Psychology and Neuroscience; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Sanford School of Public Policy; Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy

Christina Gibson-Davis is an associate professor of public policy, sociology and psychology and neuroscience. As of July 2018, she is also the director of undergraduate studies at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Her research focuses on causes and consequences of changing fertility and marriage patterns, including single mothers and marriage versus cohabitation. She is an expert on the causes and consequences of marriage among low-income parents and the health and well-being of low-income children.

Research Interests:

  • Family Structure
  • Poverty and Inequality


  • Ph.D. Northwestern University - 2001
  • M.A. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL - 2001
  • B.A. Bates College - 1992

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Gibson-Davis, C (2014) Magic moment? Maternal marriage for children born out of wedlock. Demography, 51, 1345-1356, [repository], [doi], [abs]
  • Gibson-Davis, C; Rackin, H (2014) Marriage or carriage? Trends in union context and birth type by education Journal of Marriage and the Family, 76, 506-519, [repository], [doi], [abs]
  • Gassman-Pines, A; Ananat, EO; Gibson-Davis, CM (2014) Effects of statewide job losses on adolescent suicide-related behaviors. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1964-1970, [repository], [doi], [abs]
  • Rackin, H; Gibson-Davis, CM (2012) The Role of Pre- and Postconception Relationships for First-Time Parents Journal of Marriage and the Family, 74, 526-539, [repository], [doi], [abs]
  • Ananat, EO; Gassman-Pines, A; Gibson-Davis, C (2013) Community-wide job loss and teenage fertility: evidence from North Carolina. Demography, 50, 2151-2171, [repository], [doi], [abs]
  • Gibson-Davis, C (2011) Mothers but not wives: The increasing lag between nonmarital births and marriage Journal of Marriage and the Family, 73, 264-278, [repository], [doi], [abs]
  • Gibson-Davis, CM; Gassman-Pines, A (2010) Early childhood family structure and mother-child interactions: variation by race and ethnicity. Developmental Psychology, 46, 151-164, [20053014], [doi], [abs]
  • Gibson Davis, CM (2008) The Effect of Family Structure on Maternal and Paternal Parenting Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 452-465, [pdf], [doi], [abs]
  • Gibson-Davis, CM (2009) Money, marriage, and children: Testing the financial expectations and family formation theory Journal of Marriage and the Family, 71, 146-160, [pdf], [doi], [abs]
  • Gibson-Davis, CM; Edin, K; McLanahan, S (2005) High hopes but even higher expectations: The retreat from marriage among low-income couples Journal of Marriage and the Family, 67, 1301-1312, [pdf], [doi], [abs]

Grant Support

  • Marriage and Parenthood in the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults, William T. Grant Foundation, 07/01/2007 - 06/30/2012.
  • Beyond Test Scores: Schooling and Life-Course Outcomes in Early Adulthood, Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc., - 00/00/0000.
  • Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research, EPA, 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2011.