Department of Comparative Human Development and the College
Anna Mueller’s research examines how social relationships and social contexts shape adolescent health and well-being over the transition to adulthood. She is also interested in how schools, as social organizations, shape social relationships and opportunities to learn, thereby affecting the life chances of children. Her conceptual research interests are matched by her methodological interests in social network analysis, multi-level modeling, and in-depth case studies of adolescent societies. Currently, she has three ongoing and interrelated research projects on suicide in adolescence and young adulthood. These projects examine how exposure to the suicide deaths of significant others (e.g., friends, family, or schoolmates) shape adolescent mental health and vulnerability to suicide by drawing on insights from social psychology, cultural sociology, sociology of emotions, and social network theories.
Mueller’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, and her articles on suicide have received the Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award from the Section on Medical Sociology of the American Sociological Association (ASA), as well as best publication awards from the ASA Sections on Sociology of Mental Health, Children and Youth, and Emotions.
She received her PhD in sociology in 2011 from the University of Texas at Austin, with a traineeship from its Population Research Center.