My research program examines debt and wealth inequality with a focus on family and relationships and higher education, and union formation and economic strain as a social determinant of health and well-being. I am also interested the role that consumer and family policies serve in reinforcing these relationships. 


Darity, William, Jr., Fenaba Addo, and Imari Smith. A Subaltern Middle Class: The Case of the Missing “Black Bourgeoisie” in AmericaContemporary Economic Policy.

Student Loan Debt and Racial Wealth Inequality

Addo, Fenaba and Xing Zhang. 2020. Consumer Debt Concordance and Relationship Quality: A Couple-Level AnalysisJournal of Family and Economic Issues

Houle, Jason and Fenaba Addo. 2018. “Racial Disparities in Student Loan Debt and the Reproduction of the Fragile Black Middle Class.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 5(4), 562–577.

Addo, Fenaba, Jason Houle, and Daniel Simon. 2016. Young, Black, and (Still) in the Red: Parental Wealth, Race, and Student Loan Debt. Race and Social Problems8(1), 64-76.

Battacharya, Jhumpa, Anne Price, and Fenaba Addo. 2019. Clipped Wings: Closing the Wealth Gap for Millennial Women .

Addo, Fenaba. 2018. Parents’ Wealth Helps Explain Racial Disparities in Student Loan Debt

Addo, Fenaba. 2016. “The Perpetuation and Persistence of Racial Wealth Inequality.” In People of Color in the United States: Contemporary Issues in Education, Work, Communities, Health, and Immigration, edited by P.B. Jackson. ABC-CLIO Corporate, Vol 2: 343-349.

Addo. Fenaba. 2013. “Focus on Economic Inequality.” RWJF Human Capitol Blog Contribution for “Health Care in 2013.” December 2012.

Research on Marriage, Cohabitation, and Economic Resources

Addo, Fenaba and Lowell Ricketts. 2018. As Fewer Young Adults Wed, Married Couples’ Wealth Surpasses Others’.

Addo, Fenaba, Jason Houle, and Sharon Sassler. 2018. “The Changing Nature of the Association Between Student Loan Debt and Marital Formation in Young Adulthood.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Addo, Fenaba. 2017. “Financial Integration and Relationship Transitions of Young Adult Cohabiters.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 38(1), 84-99.

Addo, Fenaba. 2014. Debt, Cohabitation, and Marriage in Young AdulthoodDemography. 51, 1688-1701.

Addo, Fenaba, and Daniel Lichter. 2013. Marriage, Marital History, and Black-White Wealth Differentials among Older WomenJournal of Marriage and Family, 75(2), 342-362.

Sassler, Sharon, Fenaba Addo, and Daniel Lichter. 2012. The Tempo of Sexual Activity and Later Relationship QualityJournal of Marriage and Family, 74(4), 708-725.

Addo, Fenaba. 2012. Ethnoracial Differences in Early Union Experiences among Young Adult WomenThe Review of Black Political Economy. 39(4), 427-444.

Addo, Fenaba and Sharon Sassler. 2010. Financial Arrangements and Relationship Quality in Low-Income CouplesFamily Relations, 59(4), 408-423.

Sassler, Sharon, Fenaba Addo, and Elizabeth Hartmann. 2010. The Tempo of Relationship Progression among Low-Income CouplesSocial Science Research, 39(5), 831-844.

Research on Family Structure, Relationship History and Well-Being

Su, Jessica H. and Fenaba Addo. 2018. “Born Without a Silver Spoon: Race, Wealth, and Unintended Childbearing.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Perelli-Harris, Brienna, Stephanie Hohertz, Fenaba Addo, Stefanie Hoherz, Trude Lappegard, Sharon Sassler, Ann Evans, and Marta Stryc. 2018. “Do Marriage and Cohabitation Provide Benefits to Health in Mid-Life? The Role of Childhood Selection Mechanisms and Partnership Characteristics Across Countries.” Population Research and Policy Review.

Addo, Fenaba. 2017. “How filing for bankruptcy affects women’s health.” Scholars Strategy Network.

Addo, Fenaba. 2017. “Seeking Relief? Bankruptcy and Health Outcomes of Adult Women.”  Social Science & Medicine: Population Health, 3, 326–334.

Addo, Fenaba, Sharon Sassler, and Kristi Williams. 2016. “Reexamining the Association Of Maternal Age and Marital Status at First Birth With Youth Educational Attainment” Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(5), 1252–1268.

Williams, Kristi, Sharon Sassler, Fenaba Addo, and Adrienne Frech. 2015. First-birth Timing, Marital History, and Women’s Health at MidlifeJournal of Health and Social Behavior, 56, 514-533.

Sassler, Sharon, Kristi Williams, Fenaba Addo, Adrienne Frech, and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2013. Family Structure and High School Graduation: How Children Born to Unmarried Mothers Fare.” Genus, 69, 1-33.

Williams, Kristi, Sharon Sassler, Adrienne Frech, Fenaba Addo, and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2013. “Policy Brief: Does Nonmarital Childbearing and Mother’s Later Marriage Influence Child Health in Adolescence?” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 54(3), 277.

Williams, Kristi, Sharon Sassler, Adrienne Frech, Fenaba Addo, and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2013. “Mothers’ Union Histories and the Mental and Physical Health of Adolescents Born to Unmarried MothersJournal of Health and Social Behavior, 54(3), 278-295.

Williams, Kristi, Sharon Sassler, Adrienne Frech, Fenaba Addo, and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2011. Nonmarital Childbearing, Union History, and Women’s Health at MidlifeAmerican Sociological Review, 76(3), 465-486.

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