Sara S. McLanahan

Sara McLanahan is the William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She directs the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing.  She is the principal investigator on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and Editor-in-Chief of The Future of Children, a journal dedicated to providing research and analysis to promote effective policies and programs for children. 

She is the author of many articles and books including Fathers Under Fire: The Revolution in Child Support Enforcement (1998); Social Policies for Children (1996); Growing Up with a Single Parent (1994); Child Support and Child Wellbeing (1994); Child Support Assurance: Design Issues, Expected Impacts, and Political Barriers, as Seen from Wisconsin (1992); and Single Mothers and Their Children: A New American Dilemma (1986). She received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association Family Section in 2004.

Dr. McLanahan currently serves on the Board of Trustess for the W.T. Grant Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation and the Advisory Boards for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars program, the National Poverty Center, and the Pew Charitable Trust Economic Mobility Project. She is a Past-President of the Population Association of American and has served on the Boards of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. She also served on the Institute of Medicine Board on Children, Youth, and Families. McLanhaan was named the James S. Coleman Fellow of the American Academy of Political Science in 2005 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011.

Dr. McLanahan earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979.

Sara McLanahan, Ph.D.
Center for Research on Child Wellbeing
Princeton University
265 Wallace Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544