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My research spans several distinct areas linked by their relationship with wellbeing: migration, war, development, and gender. My migration research looks at refugee and immigrant reception, integration, and wellbeing, paying special attention to novel forms of discrimination and the reasons for anti-immigrant attitudes. Closely tied to this line of research is my work investigating the lasting effects of early life exposure to armed conflict. In this line of research I work to disentangle the effects of armed conflict and war-related displacement on physical, emotional, social, and economic wellbeing. I also investigate the interplay of gender and social capital in development contexts cross-nationally. Gender is a thread that runs through all of my research. In each area, I evaluate how gender shapes opportunity, colors experience, and conditions outcomes.



Korinek, Kim, Yvette Young, Bussarawan Teerawichitchainan, Nguyen Thi Kim Chuc, Miles Kovnick, Zachary Zimmer. Forthcoming. “Is War Hard on the Heart? Gender, Wartime Stress and Late Life Cardiovascular Conditions in a Population of Vietnamese Older Adults.” Social Science & Medicine.

Reynolds, Megan, Ashley Fox, Yvette Young. Forthcoming. “State-Level Social Safety-Nets for Families Coping with Job Loss.” Poverty & Public Policy

Yvette Young. 2019. “‘Making Do’ in the Land of Opportunity: A Quantitative Analysis of the Economic Integration of Refugees in Utah.” Journal of International Migration and Integration. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-019-00673-0.

Yvette Young, Peter Loebach, Kim Korinek. 2018. “Building Walls or Opening Borders? Global Immigration Policy Attitudes across Economic, Cultural and Human Security Contexts.” Social Science Research 75:83-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.06.006.

Young, Yvette, Claudia Geist. 2017. “The Gender of Joiners: Exploring the Impact of Gender, Development, and Inequality on Membership in Voluntary Associations.” Sociology of Development. 3(4): 346-376. DOI: 10.1525/sod.2017.3.4.346

Young, Yvette. 2014. “Social Context and Social Capital: Governance, Inequality, and the Individual Experience.” International Journal of Sociology 44(2): 37-62. DOI: 10.2753/IJS0020-7659440202

Kovnick, Miles O., Yvette Young, Nhung Tran, and Kim Korinek. “Impact of Early Life War Exposure on Late Life Mental Health in a Vietnamese Population.” Under review; revision and resubmission requested.

Zimmer, Zach, Kathryn Fraser, Kim Korinek, Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel, Yvette Young, Tran Khan Toan. “War across the life course: Examining the impact of conflict exposure on a comprehensive inventory of health measures in an aging Vietnamese population.” Under review; revision and resubmission requested.

Young, Yvette, Kim Korinek, Nguyen Huu Minh. “A Life Course Perspective on the Wartime Migrations of Northern Vietnamese War Survivors.” Under review; revision and resubmission requested.

Young, Yvette, Kim Korinek, Kathryn Fraser, Zachary Zimmer, Tran Khan Toan. “Assessing Exposure to War-Related Traumatic Events in Older Vietnamese Adults.” Under review.

Young, Yvette and Kim Korinek. April 2020. “A Life Course Perspective on War Exposure and the Migration Histories of Northern Vietnamese War Survivors.” Paper accepted to the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America. Washington, D.C.

Abstract Poster

Korinek, Kim, Yvette Young, Bussarawan Teerawichitchainan, Nguyen Thi Kim Chuc, Miles Kovnick, Zachary Zimmer. April 2020. “Wartime Stress Exposure and Cardiovascular Disease in Later Life: An Analysis of War Survivors in the Vietnam Health and Aging Study.” Paper accepted to the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America. Washington, D.C.

Abstract Presentation

Korinek, Kim, Eleanor Brindle, Jefferson Schmidt, Toan Khanh Tran, Yvette Young, and Zachary Zimmer. 2020. "How Do War and Stress Contribute to Subjective Age? An Analysis of Biological, Psychosocial and Life Course Stress Factors in the Vietnam Health and Aging Study." Paper presented at the National Institute on Aging Biomarker Network Meeting.

Abstract Presentation

Young, Yvette. 2019. “Policy Brief: Refugees Need Different Skills for Finding Jobs that Pay a Livable Wage than for Rapidly Finding Employment.” Scholars Strategy Network. Washington, D.C.

Young, Yvette. 2018. “Policy Brief: Fighting Subtle Forms of Employment Discrimination against Muslim Refugees.” Scholars Strategy Network. Washington, D.C.

Young, Yvette. 2015. "Refugee Employment Project: Phase I Report." Salt Lake City.

Stewart, Julie, Neal Caren, Tom Quinn, Yvette Young. 2013. “An Exploration of Immigrant Political Participation: Placing a Life Course Perspective in Context.BORDERS Awards in Immigration Research: New Immigrant Survey Final Report. Tuscon: National Center for Border Security and Immigration.

Stewart, Julie, Neal Caren, Tom Quinn, Yvette Young. 2012. “An Exploration of Immigrant Political Participation: Towards a Life Course Perspective.BORDERS Awards in Immigration Research: New Immigrant Survey Final Report. Tuscon: National Center for Border Security and Immigration.


Research Areas

Migration Research

Refugee Economic Integration

This project explores the work-readiness skills and personal characteristics that help shape employment, wage levels, and opportunities for occupational advancement of refugees living in Utah. We engage a three-pronged approach to understanding refugee employment outcomes first, analyzing employer perspectives of refugee employees; second, comparing the employment outcomes of refugees who participated in training programs with those who did not; and third, comparing the job search and employment experiences of refugees from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

This project takes a mixed methods approach, combining administrative data, survey data, and in-depth interviews to generate a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of refugee economic and social wellbeing and mobility after resettlement.

Attitudes Toward Refugees in Europe

The early 21st century influx of refugees into the European Union has generated a new round of speculation about the effect of immigrants on the receiving economies. While refugees may have many positive effects on the receiving nations, it is the perceived negative effects, specifically the burden they place on the receiving economy, that garner the most discussion and attention. In this study, I use the immigration module for multiple waves of the European Social Survey to explore changing attitudes toward refugees. Specifically, I investigate how public perceptions of immigrant threat relate to opinions about whether governments should be “generous in judging people’s applications for refugee status.” I rely on two theoretical perspectives to help explain attitudes toward refugees. Using a political economy perspective I argue that political structure and modes of resource allocation affect attitudes regarding refugees. Using a typology of immigrant threat I explore several different types of perceived threat—economic threat, group size, threat of violence, and cultural threat. Based on this perspective I argue that changing global political circumstances contribute to changes in the types of threat perceived by the public, which in turn, affect attitudes toward refugees.

Consequences of War

War-related Displacement

This research uses survey data from the Vietnam Health and Aging Study to examine how exposure to armed conflict during the American War in Vietnam (1965 - 1975) influenced migration and postmigration wellbeing among older residents of four districts in northern and north-central Vietnam. This research addresses: 1) the effects of war on wartime and on lifetime migration patterns, specifically, how and why war disrupts the traditional life course patterning of migration; 2) how war and migration jointly affect psychological wellbeing and direct and indirect paths of influence; 3) the direct and indirect effects of war and displacement on later life economic and physical wellbeing. These investigations disaggregate migration by the respondent's stated reason for migrating in order to understand how war exposure, life course stage, and socioeconomic factors differentially combine to influence early life migration and later life wellbeing.

War Exposure and Health

Using a combination of survey and biomarker data from the Vietnam Health and Aging Study to investigate a broad spectrum of late life health effects stemming from early life exposure to armed conflict. This body of research explores the connection between war exposure and a variety of physical health conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, pulminary disorders, and other measured or medically diagnosed conditions. We also examine how war exposure affects overall frailty, subjective age, functional limitations, and mental health, with attention to the roles of military participation and gender.

War and Socioeconomic Mobility

This project uses retrospective survey data from the Vietnam Health and Aging Study to investigate how war affects socioeconomic and occupational mobility. Prior to the 1980s, common pathways to socioeconomic advancement in Vietnam involved joining the military or migration, whether for work, education, or marriage. However, migration for work was somewhat limited in this era due to Vietnam's household registration system (ho khau), and government restrictions on rural-to-urban migration. In the 1980s, in conjuction with Vietnam's shift to a market economy (doi moi), government assigned migration from cities to rural "new economic zones" shifted labor migration patterns. The new migration patterns transferred laborers to new locations where they engaged in their existing occupation in order to promote development in rural areas of the country. This research examines how patterns of mobility, constrained by structural forces such as ho khau and doi moi, and influenced by individual characteristics such as early life economic status, gender, and military participation, were further altered by the historical contexts of war.

Development and Gender

Social Capital and Economic Development

This research examines how social capital varies across nations based upon level of development, polity type, inequality, and corruption. Social capital can be a tool for community development. This research seeks to understand how and why unequal levels of social capital persist by exploring the role of both country- and individual-level factors. It analyzes data from the World Values Survey for thirty-three low- and middle-income countries, finding that even after controlling for a wide variety of country characteristics, social capital varies dramatically between countries. In addition, aggregate levels of social capital are higher in democraties and in highly corrupt countries, revealing a perverse instantiation in corrupt locales that may, in fact, be detrimental to economic development.

Social Capital and Gender

Memberships in voluntary associations can provide access to valuable social resources. Generally focusing on high- and middle-income countries, research has demonstrated that to varying degrees in different societies, women have fewer memberships in voluntary associations than men. This study examines membership in voluntary associations globally and thereby the national characteristics that drive the gender disparity. The national characteristics we examine include development and inequality. We find that macro-level resources such as the level of development, as well as macro-level heterogeneity in the form of economic inequality and indicators of gender inequality, significantly predict membership. Social structures of inequality reproduce and create inequality at the individual level, specifically, inequality in memberships and in the resources afforded to members.



© Yvette Young. All Rights Reserved. Version Date 2020.