CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Ryan Masters (he/him/his)

Executive Committee Member

Fellow, Institute of Behavioral Science

Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder

Ph.D., Sociology with Demography Specialization, University of Texas at Austin

I am a social demographer by training with interests in examining long-term trends in US morbidity, chronic diseases, and mortality rates. My research spans three substantive areas related to these topics. First, I am interested in cohort-based changes in life course mechanisms of health outcomes. Early-life environments (e.g., nutrition), resources in adulthood (e.g., education), and health risk behaviors (e.g., smoking) have all substantively changed across US birth cohorts. These social and historical changes from decades past continue to shape present-day US health and longevity. Much of my research looks at how these cohort-based forces affect adult health beyond present-day policies, behaviors, and medical/pharmacological technologies. Second, I am interested in the health consequences of the US obesity epidemic, especially as it relates to premature mortality among the US adult population. Finally, I have been involved in advancing and testing new methodological approaches to studying period-based factors (e.g., health-promoting policies and new medical technologies) and cohort-based factors (e.g., early-life disease exposure) related to adult health. Use of Age-Period-Cohort (APC) models are contentious but common in demography and public health, and I am involved in many projects testing the applicability of these models in many research designs and data structures.