Faculty Biography - Mick Cunningham

Professor and Chair
Sociology Department
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9081
Arntzen Hall 514
Phone: (360) 650-4881
Fax: 360-650-7295

Mick Cunningham is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Western. He came to Western after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1999. Professor Cunningham teaches courses inresearch methods (306), statistics (304), family sociology (Sociology 326; Sociology 460) and gender (Sociology 268).

Professor Cunningham is interested in contemporary family life, with a particular focus on the changing roles and responsibilities of women and men in families. He is also interested in the causes and consequences of the beliefs people hold about family life. Professor Cunningham’s research is currently focused on two areas. In one project, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, he is investigating reciprocal influences between women’s employment and the allocation of household labor over the life course. A second project, in collaboration with Arland Thornton from the University of Michigan, is devoted to understanding how parental characteristics influence adult children’s attitudes toward marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and related issues.

Professor Cunningham is a native of Washington State. You might see him out running or bicycling. He has been the captain of a “Ski-to-Sea” team for the past three years. He also enjoys reading fiction and traveling to new places. He spends most of his non-school time, however, hanging out with his two kids.

External Research Funding

Principal Investigator, 2003-2006. “Reciprocal Influences of Family Work and Employment.” R03 grant funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD42449-01).

Recent Publications

Cunningham, Mick, and Kelly Skillingstead. 2015. “Narratives of Socialization: Perceptions of Parental Influence after Childhood Divorce.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 56:137-154.

Cunningham, Mick. 2008. “Changing Attitudes toward the Male Breadwinner, Female Homemaker Family Model: Influences of Women’s Employment and Education over the Life Course.Social Forces 87:299-323.

Cunningham, Mick. 2008. “Influences of Gender Ideology and the Gendered Division of Household Labor on Women’s Employment over the Life Course.Social Science Research 37:254-267.

Cunningham, Mick. 2007. “Influences of Women’s Employment on the Gendered Division of Household Labor over the Life Course: Evidence from a 31-Year Panel Study.” Journal of Family Issues 28:422-444.

Cunningham, Mick, and Arland Thornton. 2006. “The Influence of Parents’ Marital Quality on Adult Children’s Attitudes toward Marriage and its Alternatives: Main and Moderating Effects.Demography 43:659-672.

Cunningham, Mick, and Arland Thornton. 2006. “Direct and Indirect Influences of Parents’ Marital Instability on Children’s Attitudes Toward Cohabitation in Young Adulthood.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. 46: 125-143.

Cunningham, Mick, Ann Beutel, Jennifer Barber, and Arland Thornton. 2005. “Reciprocal Relationships between Attitudes about Gender and Social Contexts during Young Adulthood.Social Science Research 34:862-892.

Cunningham, Mick, and Arland Thornton. 2005. “The Influence of Parents’ and Offsprings’ Experience with Cohabitation, Marriage, and Divorce on Attitudes Toward Divorce in Young Adulthood.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 44:119-144.

Cunningham, Mick. 2005. “Gender in Cohabitation and Marriage: The Influence of Gender Ideology on Housework Allocation over the Life Course.Journal of Family Issues 1037-1061.

Cunningham, Mick, and Arland Thornton. 2005. “The Influence of Union Transitions on White Adults’ Attitudes toward Cohabitation.” Journal of Marriage and Family 67:710-720.

Cunningham, Mick. 2001. “Parental Influences on the Gendered Division of Housework.American Sociological Review 66:184-203.  [2002. Profiled in “Discoveries: New and Noteworthy Social Research,” Contexts 1(1):7.]   [2002. Nominated for Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research.]

Cunningham, Mick. 2001. “The Influence of Parental Attitudes and Behaviors on Children’s Attitudes toward Gender and Household Labor in Early Adulthood.Journal of Marriage and the Family 63:111-122.

Book Chapters and Other Publications

Cunningham, Mick. 2008. Review of The Changing Rhythms of American Family Life. Gender & Society 22:524-525.

Cunningham, Mick. “Housework.” In Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Publications.

Page Updated 11.18.2015