Her research investigates the interrelated roles of social networks, biomarkers, social psychology, and social inequality in health and illness, with a particular focus on mental illness and substance use disorders. She has a strong interest in longitudinal research, dynamic social processes, and quantitative methods, especially personal social network analysis. Perry's current projects (funded by NIH and NSF) examine: 1) the social dynamics of high-risk opioid-seeking behavior; 2) the social safety nets of healthcare “super utilizers” with complex, comorbid conditions; 3) cognitive reserve and social network moderation of neurodegeneration in the aging brain; 4) stigma as barrier to recovery from opioid dependence in rural and urban communities; and 5) contributions of acculturation, social networks, and cultural health capital to the immigrant health paradox.
- social networks
- medical sociology
- mental health
Her research and teaching interests include social networks, medical sociology, mental illness, biosociology, social genetics, and quantitative methodology. One line of research focuses on complex interactions between genotypes, social statuses, and social environmental conditions (GxExE) in substance use pathways. Dr. Perry also studies personal social network dynamics and processes that accompany progression through illness careers.
- medical sociology; social networks; biosociology; mental illness; quantitative methods