Christina J. Diaz

Dr. Christina Diaz earned a Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Demography and Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of social demography, immigration, and family formation. Many of these projects shed light on the health and well-being of Latin American immigrants who reside in the U.S. or have returned to their country of origin. In her most recent work, Dr. Diaz examines whether—and to what extent—immigration-origin populations influence social, cultural, and economic change in the U.S. She is particularly interested in understanding how “American” culture contracts and expands in response to immigration.

Dr. Diaz is a 2018 Career Enhancement Fellow through the (formerly named) Woodrow Wilson National Foundation and has received recognition for her scholarship from the American Sociological Association, the Population Association of America, and the National Council for Family Relations. She is a current Council member of the Population Section for the American Sociological Association. Before joining Rice University in 2021, Dr. Diaz was an assistant professor in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona.


Diaz, Christina J., and Jennifer Hyunkyung Lee. Forthcoming. Segmented Assimilation and Mobility among Men in the Early 20th Century. Demographic Research.

Flores Morales, Josefina, Christina J. Diaz, Jenna Nobles, and Jason M. Fletcher. 2022. “Network Resources and Educational Outcomes among Mexican-origin Youth.” Social Science Research.

Diaz, Christina J. and Peter D. Ore. 2022. “Landscapes of Appropriation and Assimilation: The Impact of Immigration-Origin Populations on U.S. Cuisine.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Diaz, Christina J. 2021. “Foreign-Language Curricula and the Influence of Immigrant-origin Groups.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World.

Diaz, Christina J. and Jeremy E. Fiel (equal authorship). 2021. “When Size Matters: IV Estimates of Sibship Size on Educational Attainment in the U.S.” Population Research and Policy Review.

Diaz, Christina J. 2020. “Educational Expectations among Immigrant Youth: An Inter- and Intra-
generational Test of Segmented Assimilation.” Social Currents 7(3):252-278.

O’Connell, Heather A. and Christina J. Diaz. 2020. “Hispanic Population Change and Black-White Inequality: Changing Demographics, Changing Social Positions?” Spatial Demography 8(1): 33-61.

Diaz, Christina J. and Michael D. Niño (equal authorship). 2019. “Familism and the Hispanic Health Advantage: The Role of Generational Status.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 60(3): 274-290.

Research Areas

Immigration, assimilation, fertility, social demography


Ph.D, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015

M.S., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011

M.A., Sociology, DePaul University, 2009

B.A.., Sociology, DePaul University, 2007

Advisory Role

Faculty Advisor, Hermes Telehealth Committee, 2022

Teaching Areas

Sociology of Family (Undergraduate)

Sociology of Immigration (Undergraduate)

Quantitative Data Analysis (Graduate)

Linear Models, Statistical Training and Research (STaRT)

Honors & Awards

Reuben Hill Award, National Council on Family Relations, 2017

Student Paper Award, Sociology of Population Section, American Sociological Association, 2015

Best Poster Award, Population Association of America, 2014

CTE Faculty Fellow, 2024-27


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