Core Department Faculty Member

  • Portrait
  • Lei, Lei
  • Assistant Professor
  • Ph.D. University at Albany-SUNY
  • Email:
  • Office: Davison Hall, 039
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Lei earned her Ph.D. degree in sociology at the University at Albany-SUNY. Before joining Rutgers, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Population Research Center at the University of Maryland.

    Lei's research and teaching interests include health, family, demography, and urban sociology. She teaches Introduction to Statistics in Sociology, Global Health, Statistical Methods in Sociology II, and Multilevel and Longitudinal Data Analysis.

    Her research focuses on social determinants of health, family dynamics, and social inequality in different societies, including China, India, and the US. One line of her research seeks to understand how social factors, such as residential contexts, working conditions, family dynamics, and gender roles, get under the skin to produce and perpetuate health inequalities. She has published articles examining the impact of neighborhood environments on children's health, nutritional status, and academic achievement in China. Currently, she employs longitudinal data from the Indian Human Development Survey to analyze how male absence due to outmigration influences the health of left-behind wives and children in India.

    Another strand of her research investigates the determinants and consequences of young adults' prolonged dependence on parents. She examined the role of gender, race, class, life-course events, and non-standard employment in determining the timing of home-leaving and home-returning among young adults in the US. She also explores why Black and Hispanic young adults are less likely than Whites to move out of the parental home and more likely to return. More recently, she investigates the impact of coresidence with parents on young adults' demographic behaviors, including residential mobility, romantic relationships, and sexual activities.

  • Faculty Article(s): The Effect of Neighborhoods on Children’s Educational Achievement in China: Exploring Mediating Mechanisms
    The Impact of Community Context on Children’s Health and Nutritional Status in China
  • Program Areas:
  • Health, Population, and Biomedicine