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Erin McCauley is an advanced doctoral candidate in Sociology in the Departments of Sociology and Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University where she is an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Inequality and the Cornell Population Center. Erin is also a visiting graduate student and research assistant in the Department of Sociology at Duke University this academic year.
Her research agenda has two primary foci: 1) how parental incarceration stigma shapes institutional experiences and processes in a way that contributes to health inequity and 2) the experiences of individuals with disabilities in the education system, criminal justice system, and child welfare system and how this contributes to racial inequality in health and wellbeing. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation, and Policy Research Associates, among others, and has been featured in the American Journal of Public Health, Socius, Health & Justice, and the Journal of Disability Policy Studies.
Erin's dissertation explores the intergenerational consequences of incarceration on teachers’ expectations and evaluations of children with incarcerated parents. The project relies on an experimental design where high school teachers are given a student biography with randomly assigned parental incarceration status and complete tasks related to evaluating student work, student competency, and student behavior. Initial results suggest that teachers evaluate students with incarcerated fathers less rigorously while providing more positive but less specific or useful feedback.