College of Business and Behavioral Science


Ellen Granberg

Associate Professor

Office: 123B Brackett Hall
Phone: 864-656-3812
Fax: 864-656-1252

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Sociology
Vanderbilt University 2001

M.A. Sociology
Vanderbilt University 1997

B.A. History
University of California at Davis 1984

 Courses Taught

Self and Society (Soc 350)
Research Methods (Soc 303)
Human Systems (Soc 830)


I am a social psychologist interested in health and mental health. My research focuses on two key questions. First, how do people navigate experiences that involve dramatic change in health related identities such as overweight or obese? Second, how can families help adolescents and young adults cope effectively with the transition between childhood and adulthood? Currently, I am investigating the role of family racial socialization as a buffer assisting children when coping with the mental health consequences of social stress and discrimination. I study these questions using both qualitative and quantitative data.

 Research Interests

Self and identity processes involving obesity and weight loss; mental health consequences of obesity; mental health consequences of racial discrimination.

 Research Publications

Granberg, Ellen M. In Press. “Depression and Obesity.” Handbook of Obesity in the Social Sciences. John Cawley, ed. Oxford University Press.

Granberg, Ellen M. 2011. “’Now My Old Self Is Thin’: Stigma Exits after Weight Loss.” Social Psychology Quarterly. Vol. 74(1).

Granberg, Ellen M., Leslie G. Simons, Ronald L. Simons. 2009. “Exploring a Body Image Paradox: The Impact of Family Racial Socialization on the Relationship between Body Size and Social Self Esteem among Adolescent African American Girls.” Youth and Society. Vol. 41(2):256-277.

Simons, Leslie G., Ellen M. Granberg, Yi-Fu Chen, Ronald L. Simons, Rand D. Conger, Frederick X. Gibbons, Gene R. Brody, Velma M. Murry. 2008. “Differences between European Americans and African Americans in the Association between Child Obesity and Disrupted Parenting.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies Vol. 39(4):589-610.

Granberg, Ellen M., Ronald L. Simons, Frederick X. Gibbons, Janet N. Melby. 2008. “The Relationship between Body Weight and Depressed Mood: Findings from a Sample of African American Middle School Girls.” Youth and Society. Vol. 39(3):294-315.

Granberg, Ellen M. 2008. "Social Change." Social Structure and Emotion. Dawn T. Robinson and Jody Clay-Warner, eds. Elsevier