Broadly, Professor Pierce’s research interests are at the intersection of family, health, and gender. Specifically, she focuses on mother and child well-being. This primary research interest is grounded in the idea that child birth, marriage, and family are universal experiences but drastically differ based on location, community characteristics, social norms, policy, and the status of women. Her research shows how the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities, and constraints are inextricably intertwined with individual health and well-being outcomes, and further suggests a path towards improved health outcomes. These factors are most often national, community-level, or individual phenomena, and they drastically affect the lives of women and children around the world.
Closely aligned with her interests in the intersection between household characteristics and child well-being, Dr. Pierce is working on a series of papers, with Dr. Jones and other co-authors, that uses an established framework (Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs) to examine early life experiences and subsequent outcomes in adolescence. These papers look at ACEs with the following outcomes: delinquency, suspension/expulsion, self-control, social behavior, and fertility intentions.
Additionally, Dr. Pierce is working on collaborative projects that examine the #MeToo hashtag by analyzing Twitter data and another that seeks to holistically examine refugees, immigrants, and US-born Americans’ experiences with integration and community change.