Colter Mitchell

Address: Wallace Hall, Princeton University,

Princeton, NJ  08544-5804

Email: cmitchel at princeton dot edu

Phone: (609) 258-2772 fax: (609) 258-5804


Link to C.V.


Current Position:

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing

Office of Population Research, Princeton University




2009 Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Michigan

2007 M.A. in Statistics, University of Michigan

2003 M.S. in Sociology, Brigham Young University

2001 B.S. in Sociology, Brigham Young University


Research Interests:

Currently my research focuses on the causes and consequences of family formation behavior. Concerning causes of family formation, I examine how social context such as neighborhood resources and values influence family processes. Regarding the consequences of family formation, I examine how family processes interplay with an individualís genetic and epigenetic makeup to influence behavior, wellbeing, and health.



Thornton, Arland, Dirgha J. Ghimire, and Colter Mitchell. Forthcoming. The Measurement and Prevalence of Developmental Thinking about the Family: Evidence from Nepal. Population Studies (Paper


Heaton, Tim B. and Colter Mitchell. Forthcoming. Changing Intergroup Boundaries in Intermarriage in Brazil: 1991-2008. Journal of Comparative Family Studies. (Paper)


Mitchell,Colter, Daniel Notterman, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Iulia Kotenko, Kate Jaeger, John Hobcraft, Irwin Garfinkel, and Sara McLanahan. 2011. The Role of Motherís Genes and Environment on Postpartum Depression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (20): 8189-8193. (Abstract) (Access to paper) (In this issue) (Press Release)


Mitchell, Colter. 2011. Biosocial Foundations of Family Processes Edited by Alan Booth, Susan M. McHale and Nancy S. Landale. Biodemography and Social Biology 57:258-260. (Review)


Mitchell, Colter, Xuaning Fu, Tim B. Heaton, and Cardell K. Jacobson. Urbanization, Education and Racial Intermarriage in Brazil International Journal of Contemporary Sociology 47 (2): 273-294.


Mitchell, Colter. 2010. Are Divorce Studies Trustworthy? The Effects of Survey Nonresponse and Response Errors Journal of Marriage and Family 72 (4): 893-904. (Access to paper


Mitchell, Colter (with A.Thornton (first author), S. Achen, J. Barber, G. Binstock, W. Garrison, D. Ghimire, W. Guangzhou, R. Inglehart, R. Jayakody, Y. Jiang, J. de Jong, R. Lesthaeghe, S. Mehenna, M. Moaddel, M.B. Ofstedal, N. Schwarz, Y. Xie, L.S. Yang,L. Young-DeMarco, and K. Yount. 2010 Process and Method for Creating Questions and Protocols for an International Study of Developmental Idealism, Developmental Thinking, and Family Life. In Survey Methods in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts, edited by M. Braun, B. Edwards, J. Harkness, T. Johnson, L. Lyberg, P. Mohler, B.E. Pennell, and T.W. Smith. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. (Book)


Axinn, William G. Amie Emens and Colter Mitchell. 2008. Ideational Influences on Family  Change in the United States Pp. 119-149 in International Family Change: Ideational Perspectives, edited by R. Jayakody, A. Thornton, and W. Axinn. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (Paper) (Book)


Bahr, Howard M., Colter Mitchell, Xiaomin Li, Alison Walker, and Kristen Sucher. 2004. Trends in Family Time/ Space, Conflict and Solidarity: Middletown: 1924-1999. City and Community 3(3): 263-291. (Paper)


Mitchell, Colter and John P. Hoffmann. 2004. Solution Manual to Accompany Generalized Linear Models: An Applied Approach by John P. Hoffmann. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. (Book)


Manuscripts under Review: 


Mitchell, Colter The Influence of the Modernization Paradigm on Peopleís Beliefs about Family and Social Change (Paper


Mitchell, Colter. Whose Will Dominates: Individual, Family and Community Influences on Participation in Spouse Selection. (Paper)


Mitchell, Colter and Vaughn R.A. Call. Respondent Cooperation and Requests for Contacts in Longitudinal Research. (Paper


Mitchell, Colter, Mile Kimball, Arland Thornton, and Linda Young-DeMarco. The Reciprocal Relationship between College Major and Values: Family, Careers, and Society. (Paper


Mitchell, Colter, Sara McLanahan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Daniel Notterman, John Hobcraft and Irwin Garfinkel. Genes, Biological Parent Relationship Instability, and Externalizing Behaviors


Thornton, A, G. Binstock, M. Abbasi-Shavazi-D. Ghimire, A. Gjonca, C. Mitchell, A. Melegh, M. Moaddel, Y. Xie, L. Yang, L. Young-DeMarco and K. Yount Knowledge and Beliefs of Ordinary People about Developmental Hierarchies. (Paper



Manuscripts in Progress:


Binsotck, G., A. Thornton, C. Mitchell, Y. Xie, L. Young-DeMarco, and K. Yount. Evaluating the Measurement Reliabilities of Developmental Idealism Measures.


Boardman, Jason D., Colter Mitchell, and Daniel Notterman. Genetic Effects on Obesity for Mothers and Children in Three Racial Groups.


Call, Vaughn R.A., Colter Mitchell and Cassandra Dorius. The Accuracy of Public Mailing Lists: The Middletown Community Study Experience. (Paper)


Kimball, Miles, Colter Mitchell, Arland Thornton, and Linda Young-DeMarco. College Major and Preferences: The Case of Religion. (NBER Working Paper) (Press Release


Mitchell, Colter. Land Quality, Perceptions of Environmental Change and the Spouse Selection Process


Mitchell, Colter and Daniel Notterman. Allele frequencies of common DNA markers in a population based survey.


Mitchell, Colter. Nonresponse, measurement error, and data quality for Salivary DNA collection and analysis.


Mitchell, Colter. The Effects of Overpopulation Concerns on U.S. Fertility


Mitchell, Colter. Land Quality, Perceptions of Environmental Change and the Spouse Selection Process


Mitchell, Colter and Dirgha Ghimire. Changing Family Formation Ideals: the role of neighborhood, family and individual experiences


Mitchell, Colter, John Hobcraft, Arthur Berg, Willard Freeman Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Irwin Garfinkel, Sara McLanahan, and Daniel Notterman Genome-wide Epigenetic Signatures of Family Environment in 9 Year Old Children

Mitchell, Colter, Sara McLanahan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Irwin Garfinkel, and Daniel Notterman The Influence and Interplay of Family Instability and Genes on Childrenís Prosocial Behavior


Mitchell, Colter, Sara McLanahan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Daniel Notterman, and Irwin Garfinkel Life Course and Biological Susceptibility: Implications and Examples for Gene and Social Environment Interplay


Links of Interest:

Center for Research on Child Wellbeing

Princeton - Office of Population Research

Michigan Department of Sociology

Institute for Social Research

UM - Population Studies Center

BYU Sociology Department

Population and Ecology Research Lab

Survey Research Center

Quantitative Methods Program

Developmental Idealism Studies