I joined the Human Development & Family Sciences program at Oregon State University in January 2016. Prior to OSU, I was an Associate Professor at the McGill School of Social Work. I study poverty, social policy, and families. My research is motivated by the following questions:

  • What are the levels and trends of poverty in society and across the life course?
  • What are the causes and consequences of poverty and how do these vary across family structure?
  • How can social policy reduce poverty?
  • How can social policy reduce the health consequences of poverty and economic inequality?

This work is supported by research grants from the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC). Findings have been published in leading journals including Journal of Marriage and Family, Children and Youth Services Review, Family Relations, and Child Indicators Research. For a full list see publications page.

I am currently recruiting graduate students under my supervision.


David-Rothwell-web-400pxCurrent CV

College of Public Health and Human Sciences
462 Waldo Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331

Phone: 541-737-1081

Schedule a meeting during my office hours.

Email: david [dot] rothwell @ oregonstate.edu


My background: Born and raised in Oregon, I attended Pitzer College for undergraduate studies. After teaching English in Japan, I finished my MSW at Tulane University and worked as a social worker in adult mental health at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Orleans. I went on to earn a doctorate in social welfare from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National University of Singapore.