Cassandra Cotton

Asst Professor
TEMPE Campus


Cassandra Cotton is a family demographer and sociologist whose work primarily investigates the intersections between migration and family dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa. Her current research examines the association between women's migration, child fostering, and mother-child relationships in urban informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Her additional ongoing projects explore the influence of migration in adolescence on young migrant women's maternal and reproductive health outcomes and the impact of mothers' migration patterns on child residence and child well-being across sub-Saharan Africa. 


PhD Sociology, McGill University, 2017

BA International Relations, Mount Allison University, 2008

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Family demography, migration, kinship, child fostering, transitions to adulthood, adolescent motherhood, maternal and child health, global health, sub-Saharan Africa, slum settlements, development & urbanization, sexual & reproductive health, mixed methods, qualitative methods 


Cotton, C. & D. Beguy. “Long-distance mothering in urban Kenya.” Journal of Marriage and Family. Available online ahead of issue, September 4th, 2020.

Clark, S. C. Cotton, R. Margolis & H-P Kohler. 2020. "The psychological benefits of marriage and children in rural Malawi." Studies in Family Planning 51(3): 251-272.. 

Cotton, C. 2019. "Migration and young women's access to maternal healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa." Health & Place 55: 136-144.

Clark, S., S. Madhavan, C. Cotton, D. Beguy & C. Kabiru. 2017. “Who helps single mothers in Nairobi?: The role of kin support.” Journal of Marriage and Family 79(4): 1186-1204. 

Clark, S., C. Cotton & L. Marteleto. 2015. “Family ties and young fathers' engagement in Cape Town, South Africa.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77(2): 575-589.

Clark, S. & C. Cotton. 2013. “Transitions to adulthood in urban Kenya: A focus on adolescent migrants.” Demographic Research, Vol. 28, Article 37: 1053-1092.


Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
SOC 333 Population
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
SOC 333 Population
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
SOC 333 Population
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
SOC 333 Population

Professional Associations

Population Association of America

Unions for African Population Studies