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Timothy J. Owens

Timothy J. Owens

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My research interests revolve around questions of self-concept and identity (particularly self-esteem and personal identity); life course contexts, development, and transitions; and the mental health and social well-being of children and youth. My publications have appeared in such journals as the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Sociology Psychology Quarterly, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Currently, my research has focused on three specific topics: (1) The role that one's emerging identity as an engineer plays in retention/attrition in an undergraduate engineer program, with special attention on women; (2) applying identity theory to predict the timing and likelihood of combat mortality among American infantrymen in Vietnam; and (3) assessing the reciprocal relationships of self-esteem and depression on adolescent alcohol use.

I teach both poles of university education: introductory sociology and graduate courses in social psychological theory and self and identity. In 2000 I received Indiana University’s Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, and in 2007 I received Purdue University’s Daryl Evans Teaching Award.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Health Psychology
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Self and Identity
  • Sociology, Social Networks


Journal Articles:

  • Mortimer, J. T., Finch, M. D., Owens, T. J., & Shanahan, M. (1990). Gender and work in adolescence. Youth and Society, 22, 201-224.
  • Owens, T. J. (1994). Two dimensions of self-esteem: Reciprocal effects of positive self-worth and self-deprecation on adolescent problems. American Sociological Review, 59, 391-407.
  • Owens, T. J. (1993). Accentuate the positive-and the negative: Rethinking the use of self-esteem, self-deprecation, and self-confidence. Social Psychology Quarterly, 56, 288-299.
  • Owens, T. J. (1992). The effect of post-high school social context on self-esteem. Sociological Quarterly, 33, 553-577.
  • Owens, T. J. (1992). Where do we go from here? Post-high school choices of American men. Youth and Society, 23, 452-477.
  • Owens, T. J., Mortimer, J. T., & Finch, M. D. (1996). Self-determination as a source of self-esteem in adolescence. Social Forces, 74, 1377-1404.
  • Wright, E. R., Gronfein, W. P., & Owens, T. J. (2000). Deinstitutionalization, social rejection, and the self-esteem of former mental patients. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 41, 68-90.

Other Publications:

  • Hofferth, S., & Owens, T. J. (2000). Advances in life course research: Children at the Millennium--Where have we come from, where are we going? Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
  • Owens, T. J. (2000). Advances in life course research: Self and identity through the life course in cross-cultural perspective. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
  • Owens, T. J., & Aronson, P. J. (2000). Self-concept as a force in social movement involvement. In S. Stryker, T. J. Owens, & R. W. White (Eds.), Self, Identity and Social Movements (pp. 132-151). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Social Psychological Theory
  • Sociology of Children and Adolescents
  • Theory and Reseach in Self and Identity (Graduate)

Timothy J. Owens
Department of Sociology
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio 44242
United States of America

  • Phone: (330) 672-9809
  • Fax: (330) 672-4724

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