Sophia Catsambis

Professor of Sociology



Born in Greece, Sophia Catsambis received her B.A. in Sociology from Deree College in Athens, and continued her studies at New York University where she received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. She holds the position of Professor of Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York where she teaches graduate courses in Quantitative Research and Sociological Theory, and undergraduate courses in Gender and Education and the Sociology of Education. At the CUNY Graduate Center, she has taught courses in Statistics, Analysis of Longitudinal Data, and Educational Policy Analysis at the departments of Sociology and Educational Psychology.

Sophia Catsambis has received research awards from the National Institute of Health,  National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The American Educational Research Foundation and the City University of New York Research Foundation. She has also served as the Jeanne Griffith Senior Research Fellow at the National Center of Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education and as a research associate at the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR), Johns Hopkins University. Her work has been reported in various national educational newspapers and has been published in peer reviewed journal such as Sociology of EducationSocial Psychology of Education, Journal of Research on AdolescenceResearch in Sociology of Education and Socialization.

Dr. Catsambis’ research agenda aims to expand knowledge of the interrelationships of gender, race/ethnicity, and social class as they affect equal educational opportunities. She brings equity concerns into the arena of educational research through the analysis of major longitudinal survey data. Her work focuses on issues that include: the efficacy of public and private schooling, gender and race/ethnic differences in mathematics and science, the effects of school tracking and ability grouping, the effects of parental involvement on children’s secondary education as well as the interrelationships of family, neighborhood and school as they relate to educational opportunities of at-risk children.


Sociology of Education, Social Stratification, Gender Inequality, Research Methodology, Statistics


Buttaro, Jr., A., Catsambis, S., Mulkey, L. M. & Steelman, L. C. (2010). An Organizational Perspective on the Origins of Instructional Segregation: School Composition and Use of Within-Class Ability Grouping in American Kindergartens.Teachers College Record, 112(5).

Suazo deCastro, B., & Catsambis, S. (2009). Parents Still Matter: Parental Links to the Behaviors and Future Outlook of High School Seniors. In N. E. Hill, & R. K. Chao (Eds.),Families, Schools and the Adolescent: Connecting Research, Policy and Practice (pp. 91-109). New York: Teachers College Press.

Mulkey, L. M., Catsambis, S., Steelman, L. C., & Hames-Ramos, M. (2009). Keeping Track or Getting Offtrack: Issues in the Tracking of Students. In L. Saha, & G. Dworkin (Eds.), International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching (pp. 1081-1100). New York: Springer Press.

Koch, P. R., Steelman, L. C., Mulkey, L. M., & Catsambis, S. (2008). Naughty or Nice? Equity, Gender and Behavior. Social Psychology of Education, 11(4), 409-430.

Kahl, S. F., Steelman, L. C., Mulkey, L. M., Koch, P. R., Dougan, W. L., & Catsambis, S. (2007). Revisiting Reuben Hill’s Theory of Familial Response to Stressors: The Mediating Role of Mental Outlook for Offspring Divorce. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 36(1), 5-21.

Catsambis, S. (2006). Parental Involvement. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Mulkey, L. M., Catsambis, S., Steelman, L. C., & Crain, R. (2005). The Longt Term Effects of Ability Grouping on Mathematics Achievement. Social Psychology of Education, 8(2), 137-177.

Catsambis, S. (2005). The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Merely a Step Function?. In A. M. Gallagher, & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), In Mind the Gap: Gender Differences in Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Catsambis, S. (2001). Expanding Knowledge of Parental Involvement in Children’s Secondary Education: Connections with High School Seniors’ Academic Success. Social Psychology of Education, 5(2), 149-177.

Catsambis, S., & Beveridge, A. (2001). Does Neighborhood Matter? Family, Neighborhood and School Influences on Eighth-Grade Mathematics Achievement.Sociological Focus, 43(4), 435-457.

Catsambis, S., Mulkey, L. M., & Crain, R. (2001). For Better or for Worse: A Nationwide Study of the Social Psychological Effects of Gender and Ability Grouping in Mathematics.Social Psychology of Education, 5(1), 83-115.

Catsambis, S. (2001). Higher Education and Social Equality. In D. L. Levinson, P. W. Cookson Jr., & A. R. Sadovnik (Eds.), Education and Sociology: An Encyclopedia (pp. 335-342). New York: Routledge Falmer.

Catsambis, S., Mulkey, L. M., & Crain, R. (1999). To Track or not to Track: The Social Effects of Gender and Ability Grouping. Journal for Research in Education and Socialization, 12, 135-163.

Catsambis, S., & Garland, J. E. (1997). “Parental Involvement in Students’ Education: Changes from Middle Grades to High School. Center for the Education of Students Placed at Risk, Johns Hopkins University, Report #18.

Catsambis, S. (1995). Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Science Education in the Middle Grades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(3), 243-257.

Catsambis, S. (1994). The Path to Math: Gender and Racial-Ethnic Differences in Mathematics Participation from Middle School to High School.” Sociology of Education, 67(3), 199-215. [Rreprinted in L. A. Pepleau, S. Chapman DeBro, R. C. Veniegas, & P. L. Taylor (Eds.), Gender, Culture and Ethnicity (pp. 102-119). Mayfield Publishing.

Persell, C. H., Catsambis, S., & Cookson, P. W. (1992). Differential Asset Conversion: Class and Gendered Pathways to Selective Colleges. Sociology of Education, 65(3), 208-225.

Heyns, B. & Catsambis, S. (1986). Mother’s Employment and Children’s Achievement: A Critique. Sociology of Education, 59(3), 140-151


Ph.D  (Sociology) New York University, 1988
M.A. (Sociology), New York University, 1980
B.A. (Sociology) Deree College (Greece), 1978.


Office: Powdermaker Hall 252G
Tel: (718) 997-2801
Fax: (718) 997-2820