Elizabeth Lawrence

Associate Professor of Sociology
Expertise: Health and Social Inequality, Education, Social Demography, Life Course Theory


Elizabeth Lawrence is an expert on the trends, causes, and consequences of social inequality, with a particular focus on health disparities by educational attainment. 

Her research examines the social origins of both educational and health inequalities in order to better understand why more educated individuals lead longer and healthier lives. She has also studied the socioeconomic disparities in child health and mortality, social patterns in adolescent vaping, and the educational differences in health behaviors across the transition to adulthood. 

Prior to joining UNLV, Lawrence earned her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Most recently, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her research has been published in Maternal and Child Health Journal, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science & Medicine, and Demography, among others.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Master of Arts, Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

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health & medicine, social issues

Elizabeth Lawrence In The News

Population Reference Bureau
A mental health crisis is contributing to American children and youth dying from preventable causes, and we can and should take action to reverse the trend.
Las Vegas Review Journal
Children whose parents have lower levels of education have a significantly higher risk of dying young, according to a new study by researchers at UNLV.
Science Daily
A new study reveals substantially higher risks of death between ages 1-24 for children living in families with lower levels of parental education, lower levels of family income, and/or for those living in a single parent family -- all independent of one another.

Articles Featuring Elizabeth Lawrence

a female student sits in the grass by a tree reading a book
Campus News | September 1, 2022

A roundup of prominent news stories highlighting university pride, research, and community collaboration.

u.n.l.v. professor arya udry looks at a meteorite that she is holding up to the light
Research | December 26, 2019

A collection of stories featuring interesting discoveries driven by UNLV that have made news in 2019.