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Brea Perry

Associate Director

(812) 855-4127
IU Bloomington


Brea Perry is a Professor of Sociology and an affiliated faculty of the Indiana University Network Science Institute. She began her career at the University of Kentucky before returning to Indiana University in 2014, where she received her PhD in 2008. Her research investigates the interrelated roles of social networks, biomarkers, social psychology, and social inequality in health and illness, with a particular focus on mental illness and substance use disorders. She has a strong interest in longitudinal research, dynamic social processes, and quantitative methods, especially personal social network analysis.

Perry’s current projects (funded by NIH and NSF) examine: 1) the social dynamics of high-risk opioid-seeking behavior; 2) the social safety nets of healthcare “super utilizers” with complex, comorbid conditions; 3) cognitive reserve and social network moderation of neurodegeneration in the aging brain; 4) stigma as barrier to recovery from opioid dependence in rural and urban communities; and 5) contributions of acculturation, social networks, and cultural health capital to the immigrant health paradox.

Brea Perry has published her research in journals such as American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Science and Medicine. She is currently on the editorial board of Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and is the series editor of Advances in Medical Sociology. Perry recently authored a book on ego network methodology (Cambridge University Press) with Bernice Pescosolido and Steve Borgatti. She has received funding from multiple National Institutes of Health, including NIDA, NIDCR, NIA, and NCRR, as well as the National Science Foundation and several charitable foundations.

When she is not being a professor, Brea enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, playing soccer, and singing karaoke.