- Agriculture, Health, and the Environment
- Modern Global History/Science, Technology, and Nationalism
- U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
- Ph.D. in Sociology, University of California, San Francisco
- Master of Public Health, Institute for Public Health Genetics at the University of Washington, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
- B.S. in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Jennifer S. Singh is associate professor in the School of History and Sociology. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco and specializes in medical sociology and science and technology studies. Her research investigates the intersections of genetics, health and society, which draws on her experiences of working in the biotechnology industry in molecular biology and as a public health researcher at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Her book, Multiple Autisms: Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science, explores a range of perspectives from scientists, activists, parents, and people living with autism surrounding the rise and implementation of autism genetics research. In addition to research on the social and scientific understandings of diseases based on emerging medical technologies, Singh is also conducting research on the structural inequities to autism diagnosis and services based on race, class and gender. She is also co-founder of the Break the Cycle of Autism Disparities Working Group that brings together different areas of expertise across academic and private institutes in Atlanta, GA who are dedicated to investigating and addressing autism service disparities across the lifespan.
- North America
- United States
- United States - Georgia
- Bioethics, Bioscience, Biotechnology
- Community engagement
- Emerging Technologies - Innovation
- Inequality and Social Justice
- Perspectives on technology
- Science and Technology
Awards & Distinctions
- Serve Learn Sustain (SLS) Award for Excellence in Sustainability Teaching https://serve-learn-sustain.gatech.edu/professor-jennifer-singh-winner-2019-sls-award-excellence-community-engaged-sustainability-teaching
Multiple Autisms: Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science
Book – 2016
Is there a gene for autism? Despite a billion-dollar, twenty-year effort to find out—and the more elusive the answer, the greater the search seems to become—no single autism gene has been identified. In Multiple Autisms, Jennifer S. Singh sets out to discover how autism emerged as a genetic disorder and how this affects those who study autism and those who live with it. This is the first sustained analysis of the practices, politics, and meaning of autism genetics from a scientific, cultural, and social perspective.
Singh, Jennifer S. Multiple Autisms: Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science University of Minnesota Press, 2016, 284 pages.
"Contextualizing the Social and Structural Constraints of Accessing Autism Services among Single Black Female Caregivers in Atlanta, Georgia"
Journal Article – 2020
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 59 children and represent the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. However, disparities in ASD evaluation, diagnosis, and services exist based on social factors such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. To date, limited qualitative research has been conducted that focuses on the experiences of single black female caregivers of children with ASD who live in low-income, minority, and underserved communities in the United States. Objective: This study aimed to understand interrelated social and structural factors that place children and their families with limited resources at risk of delayed ASD diagnostic services and limited therapeutic services. Methods: The study design is based on in-depth interviews conducted with single black female caregivers of children with ASD who rely on state Medicaid health insurance in metro Atlanta, Georgia (N = 21). A grounded theory analysis of the interviews was used to systematically identify themes and multi-level barriers to ASD services. Results: Despite improvements over the past several decades in diagnosing children with ASD, this study identified multiple and interacting social, economic, and residential barriers to accessing ASD services. Two themes were identified that contextualize barriers to ASD services: bureaucratic processes and geographic location of services. These barriers were compounded by the consequences of being a single female parent, including having limited income, employment options, and social capital. Practical recommendations to break the cycle of ASD service disparities are discussed.
"Autism Disparities: A Systematic Review and Meta-Ethnography of Qualitative Research"
Journal Article – 2019
Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are evident across many
service domains including access to early assessment, diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions. To better understand
the complex social and structural factors contributing to these disparities, this article offers a systematic review
of peer-reviewed qualitative research conducted from 2010 to 2016 in the United States that investigates autism
disparities experienced by marginalized communities. Based on these criteria, we identified 24 qualitative research
studies and conducted an analysis using meta-ethnography and an intersectional interpretive lens. We identified three
interdependent themes contributing to autism disparities, including familial, cultural, and structural barriers. Omissions
in the literature were also evident, including a lack of research on underserved adults with ASD and the gendered
inequities of caregiving. We discuss the implications of our findings and offer new questions that take an intersectional
approach using qualitative research to investigate autism disparities.