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Donald Reitzes


My research focuses on symbolic interaction theory and the implications and applications of identity and self-concept on well-being and behavior. Recent published research includes investigations of social and emotional engagement in adulthood, the importance of the racial-ethnic identity, parents’ social construction of their children’s ages, the impact of friendship and social support on adult role identity, and different ways that individuals organize their self-concepts and attribute significance to their roles. I am using data from my National Institute on Aging-funded study to investigate the grandparent identity and factors that influence satisfaction in the role of grandparent, as well as continuing to explore the social psychological consequences of retirement.

My primary teaching interests are in the areas of urban sociology and social psychology. In urban sociology I’m fascinated with neighborhood organizations as active community-building agents and with the process of developing a sense of neighborhood belonging and attachment. My social psychology classes focus on the key concepts of self, identity, and roles and their applications throughout the life course. I also thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to introduce students to sociology and sociological perspectives.

Curriculum Vitae


“Black Racial/Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Well-Being: Bridging Identity Theory and Racial/Ethnic Identity Research,” Donald C. Reitzes and Charles Jaret.  Pp. 147-170 in African American Identity: Racial and Cultural Dimensions of the Black Experience, edited by Jas M. Sullivan and Ashraf Esmail.  Lanham, MD.  Lexington Books  (2012).

“Sense of Place Among Atlanta Public Housing Residents,”  Griff Tester, Erin Ruel, Angela Anderson, Donald C. Reitzes, and Deirdre Oakley, Journal of Urban Health  88 (3) 436-453 (2011).

“Social Support and Social Network Ties Among the Homeless in a Downtown Atlanta Park,”  Donald C. Reitzes, Timothy J. Crimmins, Johanna Yarbrough, and Josie Parker, Journal of Community Psychology, 39 (3) 274-291 (2011).

“A Symbolic Interaction Approach to Cigarette Smoking: Smoking Frequency and the Desire to Quit Smoking,” Donald C. Reitzes, Lara DePadilla, Claire E. Sterk, and Kirk W. Elifson, Sociological Focus, 43 (3) 193-213 (2010).

“Currents in a Stream: College Student Identities and Ethnic Identities and their Relationship with Self-Esteem, Efficacy, and Grade Point Average in an Urban University,” Charles Jaret and Donald C. Reitzes, Social Science Quarterly, 90 (2):345-367 (2009).

“Identities and Social Psychological Well-Being Among African-American College Students,” Donald C. Reitzes and Charles Jaret, Sociological Focus, 40 (4):393-412 (2007).

“The Role of Religious Identity in the Mental Health of Older Working and Retired Adults,” Corey L. M. Keyes and Donald C. Reitzes, Aging and Mental Health, 11 (4):434-443 (2007).

“Lingering Identities in Retirement,” Donald C. Reitzes and Elizabeth J. Mutran, Sociological Quarterly, 47:333-359 (2006).