Courtney Boen


  • Congratulations to Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate), on getting funding from the Network on Life Course Health Dynamics and Disparities in 21st Century America (NLCHDD) for a pilot project titled, “The Roles of State and Local Immigration Policy in Shaping Patterns of Health Inequality”. The project will expand understanding of the links between state and local policy, institutional practice, and population health by examining how state-level restrictive immigration policies and state- and county-level immigration enforcement activities shape patterns of health inequality from birth through late life.

  • Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was recently named "Member of the Month" by the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science.

  • Courtney Boen was quoted in a Penn Today article about the United States having the worst maternal mortality rate of any developed country and that rate steadily rising, increasing by 26% between 2000 and 2014. Experts across the University are addressing the crisis head-on, creating programs and conducting research to understand and address the role that social determinants, socioeconomics, and racism play.

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Ph.D., Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2017

My research focuses primarily on the social determinants of population health inequality, with particular attention to the social factors producing racial and socioeconomic health inequities. Utilizing biomarkers of physiological functioning and cellular aging and a variety of analytic techniques, my work aims to improve scientific understanding how macro-level social inequality “gets under the skin” to produce health disparities from birth through late life. Currently, I am engaged in several projects that examine how exposure to racism-related stress in various domains of social life (e.g., in neighborhoods, in contacts with the criminal justice system, and in interpersonal interactions) contributes to racial disparities in pre-disease biological markers of health and aging. My other ongoing and previous studies further investigate the social factors producing racial and socioeconomic health disparities. I have examined how disparities in socioeconomic conditions—including differential access to wealth and exposure to early-life socioeconomic disadvantage—contribute to population health inequality. I have also collaborated on projects that assess how access to social relationships and exposure to relationship strain contribute to disparities in health and disease risk. My research has been published in Social Science and Medicine, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Biodemography and Social Biology, and the Journal of Aging and Health.


  • Penn Anthropology Colloquium: Courtney Boen on Population Health Inequality in the Carceral State