Dr. William McConnell
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Office: CU 250
Will R. McConnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Florida Atlantic University. His areas of expertise include social networks, aging, mental health, culture, and quantitative methods. One line of Will’s research focuses on the dynamic relationship between supportive social networks and chronic mental illness. For example, a recent article in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (McConnell 2017) explores how health-related cultural beliefs shape the availability of social support for new mental health patients. He demonstrates that distrust of doctors among a patient’s network members is associated with not only less support but also more conflict for patients. A second line of research focuses on the use of administrative medical records to study professional relationships among physicians. Will's work in this area uses network analysis and big data to examine the structure and treatment-related consequences of coordinated care within the U.S. medical system.
Will completed his doctorate in Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington, where he also obtained an MS in Applied Statistics. Prior to that, he studied sociology and suicide at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. His dissertation, Caregivers and Critics: Examining Patterns of Social Network Engagement during the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, examines the link between social interaction and neurocognitive disorders. Among the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease, over half live in the community among caregivers whose unpaid assistance constitutes their primary form of care. In a series of projects, Will examines how social inequalities affect the availability of caregiver support, how support evolves during the progression of Alzheimer's disease, and whether or not support moderates loss of cognitive function over time. This research contributes to community-based care initiatives through identifying how, when, and why caregivers are effective intervention partners for medical professionals.
More information about Will's research, teaching, and other activities is available on his website, www.WRMcConnell.com.
McConnell, William R. 2017. “Cultural Guides, Cultural Critics: Distrust of Doctors and Social Support during Mental Health Treatment.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 54(4), 503-519.
McConnell, William R., and Brea Perry. 2016. “The Revolving Door: Patient Needs and Network Turnover during Mental Health Treatment.” in Brea L. Perry (ed.), 50 Years after Deinstitutionalization: Mental Illness in Contemporary Communities (Advances in Medical Sociology, 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 119-145.
Maupome, Gerardo, William R. McConnell, and Brea Perry. 2016. “Dental Problems and Familismo: Social Network Discussion of Oral Health Issues among Adults of Mexican Origin Living in the United States.” Community Dental Health, 33, 303-308.
Maupome, Gerardo, William R. McConnell, Brea Perry, R. Mariño, and Eric R. Wright. 2016. “Psychological and Behavioral Acculturation in a Social Network of Mexican-Americans in the United States, and their Use of Dental Services.” Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 44, 540-548.
An, Weihua, and William R. McConnell. 2015. “The Origins of Asymmetric Ties in Friendship Networks: From Status Differential to Self-perceived Centrality.” Network Science, 3(2), 269-92.
Resh, William, Saba Siddiki, and William R. McConnell. 2014. “Does the Network Centrality of Government Actors Matter? Examining the Role of Government Organizations in Aquaculture Partnerships.” Review of Policy Research, 31(6), 584-609.