Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Understanding Social Problems, 9th Edition

  • Linda A. Mooney, Ph.D.
  • David Knox, Ph.D.
  • Caroline Schacht, M.A.
  • ISBN-10: 1285746503
  • ISBN-13: 9781285746500
  • 608 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2011, 2009
  • COPYRIGHT: 2015 Published
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About the Product

This thoroughly revised edition of Mooney, Knox, and Schacht's text uses a theoretically balanced, student-centered approach to provide a comprehensive exploration of social problems. UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL PROBLEMS, Ninth Edition, progresses from a micro to macro level of analysis, focusing first on such problems as health care, drugs and alcohol, and family problems, and then broadening to the larger issues of poverty and inequality, population growth, aging, environmental problems, and conflict around the world. The social problem in each chapter is framed in a global as well as U.S. context. In every chapter, the three major theoretical perspectives are applied to the social problem under discussion and the consequences of the problem, as well as alternative solutions, are explored. Pedagogical features such as “Animals and Society,” “The Human Side,” and “Self and Society” enable students to grasp how social problems affect the lives of individuals and apply their understanding of social problems to their own lives.


  • The text organizes topics into four primary sections: Sociology and the Study of Social Problems, Problems of Well-Being, Problems of Inequality, and Problems of Globalization, supporting seamless progress from micro- to macro-level analysis and helping students to steadily build their knowledge and confidence with the material.

  • Full coverage of social problem issues related to race, class, gender, and sexual orientation is included, along with integrated coverage of feminist theory, ensuring that material will likely be relevant and interesting to students with a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests.

  • “Self and Society” features throughout the text present social surveys designed to help students assess their own attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, or behavior regarding some aspect of a social problem, while “The Human Side” features provide other perspectives by describing the personal experiences of individuals affected by social problems.

  • “Social Problems Research Up Close” features provide examples of social science research to demonstrate the sociological enterprise from theory and data collection to findings and conclusions, offering students a valuable understanding of how research in the social sciences occurs in the real world.

  • A running glossary highlights key terms in the text and provides concise definitions in the margin, making it easier for students to learn important terminology, understand words in context, and review for assignments or exams.

  • Several “What Do You Think?” features in each chapter present questions designed to elicit critical thinking on key topics and encourage students to discover and clarify their own opinions.

  • The “Animals in Society” boxes expose readers to the qualitative assessments that researchers make in sociology. This exciting emerging area of study examines the relationship between humans and animals in the sociological context.

About the Author

Linda A. Mooney, Ph.D.

Linda A. Mooney, Ph.D., is an associate professor of sociology at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. In addition to social problems, her specialties include law, criminology, and juvenile delinquency. She has published over 30 professional articles in such journals as Social Forces, Sociological Inquiry, Sex Roles, Sociological Quarterly, and Teaching Sociology, in addition to authoring several books. She has won numerous teaching awards, including the University of North Carolina, Board of Governor's Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award.

David Knox, Ph.D.

David Knox, Ph.D., is professor of sociology at East Carolina University, where he teaches courtship and marriage; marriage and the family; and sociology of human sexuality. He is a marriage and family therapist as well as the author or co-author of 12 books and over 100 professional articles.

Caroline Schacht, M.A.

Caroline Schacht, M.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Child Development and Family Relations, is Instructor Emeritus at East Carolina University. She retired from a career teaching sociology to become a certified Romana's Pilates instructor. She is co-author of several textbooks and balances her time writing and revising, teaching Pilates in her home studio, and writing children's verses and songs for her grandchildren.

Table of Contents

1. Thinking about Social Problems.
2. Physical and Mental Health and Health Care.
3. Alcohol and Other Drugs.
4. Crime and Social Control.
5. Family Problems.
6. Economic Inequality, Wealth, and Poverty.
7. Work and Unemployment.
8. Problems in Education.
9. Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration.
10. Gender Inequality.
11. Sexual Orientation and the Struggle for Equality.
12. Population Growth and Aging.
13. Environmental Problems.
14. Science and Technology.
15. Conflict, War, and Terrorism.

New to this edition

  • Chapter 2, “Physical and Mental Health and Health Care,” has been completely revamped to describe the latest controversies in health care and draw more correlations between socioeconomic status and health. New sections include a discussion of life expectancy by income level and country, examination of health behaviors in the U.S., and an analysis of efforts to improve nutrition and sanitation in impoverished countries around the world.
  • The “Photo Essay” boxes visually depict aspects of social problems on a national and global scale, providing compelling and memorable presentations of topics such as food safety and global warming and climate change to inspire student interest and encourage class discussion. For this edition, the authors have added a new photo essay on Globesity, which illustrates how rising incomes and development are impacting weight around the world.
  • A new box, “Social Problems Research Up Close: Texting Healthy Lifestyle Messages to Teens,” follows a case in which researchers tested different ways to educate and spark enthusiasm for personal nutrition with high school students.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1285762681 | ISBN-13: 9781285762685)

This supplement offers the instructor learning objectives, key terms, lecture outlines, student projects, classroom activities, Internet activities, and video suggestions. Test items include multiple-choice and true/false questions with answers and page references, as well as short-answer and essay questions for each chapter. Each multiple-choice item has the question type (factual, applied, or conceptual) indicated. All questions are labeled as new, modified, or pickup, so instructors know if the question is new to this edition of the Test Bank, modified but picked up from the previous edition of the Test Bank, or picked up straight from the previous edition of the Test Bank. This supplement will also a include sample syllabus for both 12- and 16-week courses.

Online PowerLecture  (ISBN-10: 1285762959 | ISBN-13: 9781285762951)

Preassembled Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides make it easy for you to assemble, edit, and present custom lectures for your course.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285979583 | ISBN-13: 9781285979588)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero is a flexible, online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

Aplia, 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285770781 | ISBN-13: 9781285770789)

Aplia is an online interactive learning solution that helps students think critically and improve their comprehension-and their grade-by integrating a variety of tools such as video, tutorials, practice tests, and an interactive eBook.

LMS Integrated for Aplia, 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285871057 | ISBN-13: 9781285871059)

Aplia significantly improves outcomes and elevates thinking by increasing student effort and engagement. Developed by teachers and used by more than 1,000,000 students Aplia assignments connect concepts to the real world and focus on the unique course challenges facing students.

MindTap Sociology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Mooney/Knox/Schacht's Understanding Social Problems  (ISBN-10: 1305628063 | ISBN-13: 9781305628069)

MindTap SOCIOLOGY FOR MOONEY/KNOX/SCHACHT'S UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL PROBLEMS, 9th Edition is a personalized teaching experience with relevant assignments that guide students to analyze, apply, and improve thinking, allowing you to measure skills and outcomes with ease. Personalized teaching becomes yours through a Learning Path built with key student objectives and your syllabus in mind. Control what students see and when they see it. Relevant readings, multimedia, and activities are designed to take students up the levels of learning, from basic knowledge to analysis and application. Analytics and reports provide a snapshot of class progress, time in course, engagement and completion rates.

Student Supplements

Aplia, 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285770781 | ISBN-13: 9781285770789)

Aplia is an online interactive learning solution that helps you improve comprehension-and your grade-by integrating a variety of tools such as video, tutorials, practice tests, and an interactive eBook.

LMS Integrated for Aplia, 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285871057 | ISBN-13: 9781285871059)

One million+ students, one billion answers In just 10 years, more than one billion answers have been submitted through Aplia, the premier online assignment solution. Millions of students use Aplia to better prepare for class and for their exams. Join them today! Know what’s important Aplia assignments mean “no surprises”—with an at-a-glance view of current assignments organized by due date, you always know what’s due, and when. Discover real-world relevance Aplia ties your lessons into real-world applications so you get a bigger, better picture of how you’ll use your education in your future workplace. Master the content Automatic grading and immediate step-by-step feedback helps you master content the right way the first time. Student Testimonial: “I was very engaged; the content in Aplia is useful. The study tools and materials in Aplia most definitely help me feel more prepared. I understood more than I would have otherwise.” - Tia Student, Glendale Community College CTA: Ask your instructor about Aplia for this course.

MindTap Sociology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Mooney/Knox/Schacht's Understanding Social Problems  (ISBN-10: 1305628063 | ISBN-13: 9781305628069)

MindTap Sociology for Mooney/Knox/Schacht's Understanding Social Problems, 9th Edition provides you with the tools you need to better manage your limited time -- you can complete assignments whenever and wherever you are ready to learn with course material specially customized for you by your instructor and streamlined in one proven, easy-to-use interface. With an array of tools and apps -- from flashcards to note taking -- you'll get a true understanding of course concepts, helping you to achieve better grades and setting the groundwork for your future courses. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.