Courtney Boen


  • Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in a Washington Post article about a nursing home in a historic Black Atlanta neighborhood and the fight against COVID-19.

  • Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associates) was interviewed on the This Week In Sociological Perspective podcast about her article in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

  • Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in a Penn Today article about the impact COVID-19 has had on black and brown communities.

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