Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Stroke / 28.02.2017 Interview with: Emily C. Maxwell, Ph.D. Pediatric Neuropsychology Bugher Fellow Division of Neurology Instructor | Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research has found increased psychological problems and significantly higher rates of psychiatric disorders after pediatric stroke. However, past studies have mainly used global indices, without comparison to age-based norms. Thus, little is known about the discrete symptomatology exhibited by these children and how discrepant these symptoms may be from normative expectations. At the University of Colorado Denver and Children’s Hospital Colorado, we studied 50 patients who suffered an arterial ischemic stroke during childhood. The parents of these patients completed the Child Behavior Checklist, a questionnaire assessing emotional and behavioral problems. We found that children with stroke had higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, physical complaints, and behavioral difficulties compared to a normative sample of same-aged peers. Additionally, levels of anxiety were higher in children who had a stroke at an early age (before 6 years of age) compared to children who had a stroke at a later age (after 10 years of age). (more…)
Author Interviews, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues, Stroke / 26.02.2017 Interview with: Matthew D. Holtkamp, D.O. CPT, MC, USA Medical Director, Intrepid Spirit, Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic Staff Neurologist, Department of Medicine Teaching Fellow, Uniformed Services University Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Fort Hood, Texas 76544 What is the background for this study? Response: Racial and Socioeconomic disparities in the outcomes of stroke patients is well documented in the US Civilian Healthcare system. That Healthcare system has wide variations in access to care and in the levels of available care. In contrast, the Military Healthcare system is a single payer system meaning that every member has the same healthcare benefits. (more…)
Author Interviews, Sexual Health, Social Issues / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Nicholas H. Wolfinger PhD Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Studies Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: W. Bradford Wilcox and I have been studying marriage and divorce for fifteen years. Last year we published Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos (Oxford University Press). We’re always looking for opportunities to present our findings to the public, so Valentines Day is a great excuse! It’s probably too strong a statement to call our new research brief a study, as we’re not offering any novel findings. Instead, we’re just compiling data from different sources—some published by other scholars, some based on our own analysis of national data—to reaffirm a basic point: marriage is good for men in myriad ways (Marriage is also good for women, but they await their own research brief.) In particular, marriage offers these benefits to men:
  • Higher earnings, greater assets and more job stability. Married men make about $16,000 a year more than their single peers with otherwise similar backgrounds.
  • Better sex lives compared to both single and cohabiting men. According to data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, 51 percent of married men report they are extremely emotionally satisfied with sex, compared to 39 percent of cohabiting men and 36 percent of single men.
  • Longer and happier lives. Men who get and stay married live almost 10 years longer than their unmarried peers. Also, young married men are about twice as happy: 43 percent of married men report they are “very happy” with life, compared to 20 percent of single men and 24 percent of cohabiting men.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues, University of Pittsburgh / 21.02.2017 Interview with: Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH Pediatric Resident Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) American Academy of Pediatrics What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Poverty influences the well-being of children and adolescents in a negative way. Poor children are often exposed to toxic health stressors, including violence, environmental toxins, and inadequate nutrition. Children in poverty with chronic health conditions also are more likely to have higher rates of secondary disorders and worse outcomes. We studied children with asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to describe the how much disease and if the children had multiple (comorbid) conditons and how these vary by poverty status. Parents reported through the National Survey of Children's Health that asthma and ADHD rose 18% and 44% from 2003-2011/2012, respectively, whereas the lifetime prevalence of ASD rose 32% from 2007-2011/2012 in all income levels. For asthma, the rise was most among the poor at 25.8%. For ADHD, the percent change among the poor was similar, however the rise in autism spectrum disorder was associated with being non-poor. Publicly insured children with asthma, ADHD, and ASD also had a significant higher chance (1.9×, 1.6×, 3.0×, respectively) of having higher more than one chronic condition. In addition, kids who were poor with asthma and ADHD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 20.02.2017 Interview with: James K. Rilling, PhD Professor, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Emory University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It has been known for a long time that female mammals experience hormonal changes during pregnancy that prepare them to care for their offspring. More recently, it has been shown that some mammalian males, including humans, can also experience hormonal changes that prepare them to care for their offspring. For example, oxytocin levels can increase in human fathers and studies have shown that oxytocin facilitates paternal physical stimulation, play and emotional synchrony with their children. We examined the effects of intranasal oxytocin on brain function in human fathers. We found that intranasal oxytocin increased activation in brain areas involved with reward and empathy when human fathers viewed pictures of their children, but not unknown children. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Social Issues / 18.02.2017 Interview with: Andrew Fenelon PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration University of Maryland School of Public Health. College Park, MD 20742 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite the relatively large public investment in housing assistance at the federal level, there have been few nationwide analyses of the impacts of these programs on health and well-being. And as policymakers seek solutions to health disparities that incorporate some of the non-medical determinants of health (such as housing quality), our study can make an important contribution to both health and housing policy. We use an innovative data linkage program which links individuals in a federal household health survey and administrative housing records from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We examine the health impacts of three HUD housing programs: public housing, housing choice vouchers, and multifamily housing. We find that public housing and multifamily housing lead to an improvement in self-reported health status, and public housing leads to a reduction in serious psychological distress. We do not find health impacts associated with housing choice vouchers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Psychological Science, Social Issues / 15.02.2017 Interview with: Brian Chin, B.S. PhD Student Doctoral Student Department of Psychology Carnegie Mellon University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Numerous studies demonstrate that married people tend to be healthier than those who are single, divorced, or widowed. However, less clear are the psychological and biological mechanisms through which this occurs. To this end, recent research has focused on how the unmarried may experience either greater amounts of stress or different types of stressful situations that put them at increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Models linking stress and disease often implicate the HPA axis as one pathway through which these stressful experiences can affect health. One way to index HPA axis activity is by measuring cortisol, a hormone that plays a regulatory role for many immunological and metabolic processes in the body. The primary aim of our study was to examine whether cortisol could be one biological mechanism through which marital status impacts health. Over three non-consecutive days, 572 healthy adult participants between 21-55 years old provided multiple saliva samples that were used to measure cortisol. Relative to their never married or previously married counterparts, married people had both lower cortisol outputs and steeper daily declines – both of which have been shown to be associated with better health outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Social Issues / 20.01.2017 Interview with: Sanne Peters, PhD Research Fellow in Epidemiology The George Institute for Global Health University of Oxford Oxford United Kingdom What is the background for this study? Response: People from disadvantaged backgrounds are, on average, at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases than people with more affluent backgrounds. Some studies have suggested that these socioeconomic inequalities in cardiovascular disease are more consistent and stronger in women than in men. However, the literature is inconsistent. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 15.01.2017 Interview with: PD Dr. René Proyer Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Institut für Psychologie Abteilung Differentielle Psychologie und Psychologische Diagnostik What is the background for this study? Response: I got interested in the study of playfulness and adult playfulness in particular while I was working in the Psychology Department at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. There we worked with the so-called Values-in-Action (VIA) classification of strength and virtues (developed by Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman). In this classification humor and playfulness are being used synonymously. One of my first aims was testing whether this reflects their relation or whether they should be used separately. Overall, findings suggest that there is a relationship, but that the two are not redundant and should be studied separately. From there my interest in the field grew and I started reading more and more. It soon was clear that playfulness is an understudied individual differences variable and that current conceptualizations focus primarily on the facets of playfulness that are associated with fun and entertainment, while disregarding others. My research is aimed at narrowing some gaps in the literature and developing a structural model of how adult playfulness could be understood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Lancet, Medical Imaging, MRI, Social Issues / 12.01.2017 Interview with: Dr Ahmed Tawakol MD Co-Director, Cardiac MR PET CT Program Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While the link between stress and heart disease has long been established, the mechanism mediating that risk hasn’t been clearly understood. Animal studies showed that stress activates bone marrow to produce white blood cells, leading to arterial inflammation.  This study suggests an analogous path exists in humans. Moreover, this study identifies, for the first time in animal models or humans, the region of the brain (the amygdala) that links stress to the risk of heart attack and stroke. The paper reports on two complementary studies. The first analyzed imaging and medical records data from almost 300 individuals who had PET/CT brain imaging, primarily for cancer screening, using a radiopharmaceutical called FDG that both measures the activity of areas within the brain and reflects inflammation within arteries.  All participants in that study had no active cancer or cardiovascular disease at the time of imaging and each had information in their medical records on at least three additional clinical visits after imaging. The second study enrolled 13 individuals with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder, who were evaluated for their current levels of perceived stress and received FDG-PET scanning to measure both amygdala activity and arterial inflammation. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Social Issues / 25.12.2016 Interview with: Sonja Hilbrand MSc Department of Psychology University of Basel Basel, Switzerland. What is the background for this study? Response: Grandparenting is a topic of both great practical and theoretical interest. For instance, grandparents in industrialized societies invest substantial amounts of time and money in their grandchildren and there are many studies examining the potential benefits for these grandchildren. Other studies have focused on potentially negative effects on grandparental mortality associated with providing custudial care for grandchildren. In addition to previous research we wanted to ask whether there are tangible benefits to the donors (grandparents) of the resources. In other words, is caring a one-way street or not. In our study we examined whether moderate amounts of caregiving were associated with the longevity of older adults. For our analysis we used longitudinal data of over 500 German individuals aged between 70 and 103 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Genetic Research, PLoS, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 25.12.2016 Interview with: Connie J. Mulligan, PhD Professor, Department of Anthropology University of Florida Gainesville, FL What is the background for this study? Response: Lance Gravlee (UF Dept of Anthropology, UF Genetics Institute) started this research over 10 years ago. As a cultural anthropologist, Lance uses ethnographic (open-ended questions) interviews and discovered that over half of the participants in our study talked about experiences of discrimination that happened to people close to them. As a geneticist (UF Dept of Anthropology, UF Genetics Institute), I came into the project because I was interested in seeing how genetics and sociocultural stressors, like discrimination, interact. In our project, we look at blood pressure because hypertension is a disease that shows racial disparities and also because it is a complex disease that is caused by both genetic and environmental factors (like discrimination). (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Duke, Social Issues, Stroke / 19.12.2016 Interview with: Matthew E. Dupre, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Community and Family Medicine & Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) Duke University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There have been a handful of recent studies showing how divorce and widowhood increase one’s risk of suffering a serious health event such as a heart attack or stroke. Our research is the first to show that an individual’s marital history can have significant consequences for their prognosis after having a stroke. We found that people who never married and those with a history of marital loss were significantly more likely to die after suffering a stroke than those who were stably married. We also found that adults who experienced more than one divorce or widowhood in their lifetime were about 50% more likely to die after having a stroke than those in a long-term stable marriage. We were also somewhat surprised to find that remarriage did not seem to reduce the risks from past marital losses. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 09.12.2016 Interview with: Jonathan Y. Bernard, PhD Inserm UMRS 1153 – Centre for research in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité (CRESS) Team ORCHAD: early Origin of the Child Health And Development Hôpital Paul Brousse What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite the World Health Organization’s recommendations promoting breast feeding, wide variations in breast feeding initiation rates are observed among Western countries: some reach >95%, while others remain <80%. Many individual-level determinants of breast feeding are known, including maternal age, education, ethnicity, smoking and employment status. Less is known regarding cultural determinants, such as religion, which could be underlying and explain rate differences between and within countries. We aimed at comparing countries’ breast feeding rates with the proportions of Catholics and Protestants. We thus carried out an ecological study by collating publicly available online data for 135 countries. We additionally gathered within-country data for 5 Western nations: France, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the USA. We found that, in Western countries, the proportion of Catholics was negatively correlated with the rate of breast feeding. This was also observed within countries in France, Ireland, the UK and Canada. In the USA, where breast feeding rates vary hugely between states, race was an important confounder. Interestingly, we also found the correlation in non-Hispanic whites. All our findings hold even when we account for wealth indicators, such as gross domestic product per capita. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Ophthalmology, Social Issues / 02.12.2016 Interview with: Antoine Coutrot PhD CoMPLEX University College London London, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The human face is central to our everyday social interactions. Recent studies have shown that while gazing at faces, each one of us has a particular eye-scanning pattern, highly stable across time. Although variables such as culture or personality have been shown to modulate gaze behavior, we still don't know what shapes these idiosyncrasies. Moreover, most previous observations rely on analyses of small-sized eye-position datasets, often from the WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic) population. Here we use a very large and diverse dataset (400+ participants from 58 nationalities) and show that among many observer characteristics, gender is the one that best explains the differences in gaze behaviour. When looking at faces, women are more exploratory than men and more biased toward the left side. We even trained a classifier able to infer the gender of observers only based on their gaze. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 22.11.2016 Interview with: Charles Opondo, BPharm MSc PhD. Researcher in Statistics and Epidemiology National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford Oxford What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study measured fathers’ involvement in their child’s upbringing in infancy by looking at their emotional response to their child (e.g. feeling confident with the child, making a strong bond with the child), how involved they were in childcare (e.g. changing nappies, playing, night feeding, and also general care tasks around the house such as meal preparation) and their feelings of being a secure in their role as a parent (e.g. feeling included by mother in childcare, not feeling inexperienced with children). We found that the children of fathers who scored highly in terms of their emotional response and feeling like a secure parent were less likely to have symptoms of behavioural problems when they were 9 or 11 years. However, fathers being more involved in direct childcare did not seem to affect the child’s risk of having later behavioural problems. (more…)
Author Interviews, Psychological Science, Social Issues / 18.11.2016 Interview with: Carlota Batres, Ph.D. Perception Lab School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St Andrews UK What is the background for this study? Response: The background for this study is that previous research had found that people in different environments prefer different faces, which suggests that preferences change according to the environment. However, because previous research had never tracked the same participants across environmental changes, such a link could not be confirmed. Therefore, we sought to determine if, and to what extent, face preferences were malleable by repeatedly testing participants whose environment was not changing as well participants undergoing intensive training at an army camp. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, Social Issues / 19.10.2016 Interview with: Adam L. Beckman Yale College, New Haven, CT (at the time this work was completed) Erica S Spatz MD MHS Assistant Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation Yale-New Haven Hospital Yale University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? Beckman: Despite the expansion of insurance coverage, young adults face major challenges to obtaining affordable healthcare. We suspected women may experience greater challenges than men — they often have lower income and less complete medical coverage than men, and care for multiple generations of family, and that this may in part explain why young women have worse outcomes following a heart attack as compared with similarly-aged men. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 14.10.2016 Interview with: Anita P. Barbee, MSSW, Ph.D. Professor and Distinguished University Scholar President-Elect, International Association for Relationship Research Kent School of Social Work University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292 What is the background for this study? Response: In 2010, our team at the University of Louisville with colleagues from Spalding University, were awarded a Tier 2 grant from the Office of Adolescent Health to study innovative teen pregnancy prevention interventions. We assembled a fantastic team of staff, students, community members and twenty three community based organizations to work together collaboratively to recruit and retain close to 1450 youth from the most distressed areas of our metropolitan area in order to conduct a randomized controlled trial. We tested the efficacy of two interventions compared to a control condition. Our reason for this was to see how a new type of teen pregnancy intervention would perform compared to a more typical comprehensive sex education program, Reducing the Risk, which was already on the OAH list of evidence based interventions as well as to a control condition, which focused on community building but had no content on personal self esteem building, healthy relationships, dating violence or sexuality. The new program that was tested was Love Notes. Love Notes is a healthy relationship curriculum that addresses the context of sexual exploration as well as key points in preventing problematic outcomes of sexual activity such as the spread of disease, pregnancy and emotional heartache. The groups of youth that continue to have high rates of pregnancy tend to be disconnected from society through poverty and discrimination (minority and poor youth) or from family as a result of leaving home countries (refugees and immigrants), being removed from their homes due to child abuse or neglect (foster youth) or being rejected from families due to their LGBTQ orientations. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Social Issues / 21.09.2016 Interview with: Lisa Harnack, DrPH, RD | Professor and Director Nutrition Coordinating Center Division of Epidemiology and Community Health School of Public Health, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55454-1087 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is interest in considering ways to reshape SNAP so that it better meets meet its objective to help families buy the food they need for good health. Prohibiting the purchase of foods such as soft drinks with SNAP benefits is one of the proposed program changes. Offering an incentive for the purchase of fruits and vegetables is another program change that is being discussed. Little is known about the effects of prohibitions and restrictions on food purchasing and consumption. Consequently, we carried out an experimental trial to evaluate effects. In our study we found that a food benefit program that includes both prohibitions on the purchase of less nutritious foods and incentives for purchasing nutritious foods may lead to a number of favorable changes in diet. To elaborate, we found those enrolled in a food benefit program that prohibited the purchase of sugar sweetened beverages, sweet bakes goods, and candies with food program benefits and provided a 30% financial incentive for fruit and vegetable purchases had a number of favorable dietary changes that were significantly different from changes among those enrolled in a food benefit program that had neither prohibitions or incentives. These favorable changes included reduced consumption of calories, sugar sweetened beverages, sweet baked goods, and candies; and increased consumption of fruit. The overall nutritional quality of the diet also improved. Fewer nutritional improvements were observed among those enrolled in food benefit programs that included prohibitions or incentives only. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Toxin Research / 17.09.2016 Interview with: Dr. Katherine Ahrens PhD Office of Population Affairs Rockville, MD 20852 What is the background for this study? Response: Lead exposure among children is linked to many adverse effects on health and cognitive development, which can be irreversible. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has linked 1999 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to administrative data for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) largest rental assistance programs (1999 through 2014), and these linked data allow calculation of the first-ever national blood lead level estimates among children living in HUD-assisted housing. Here we compare blood lead levels among children 1 to 5 years of age in 2005 to 2012 who received housing assistance during 1999 to 2014 with levels among children who did not receive housing assistance during that period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Social Issues, Weight Research / 16.09.2016 Interview with: Professor Timothy Frayling PhD Professor of Human Genetics University of Exeter Medical School Exeter, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that genes and environmental factors influence our Body mass index. We know less about if and how they interact. We wanted to answer the question of whether or not aspects of the environment and our lifestyles accentuate any genetic predisposition to obesity. The question is important as it may highlight aspects of the environment that cause some people to be particularly susceptible to gaining weight. Previous, separate, studies have suggested that specific aspects of the environment are to blame. These included sugary drinks, fried food and TV watching. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Medical Imaging, MRI, PLoS, Psychological Science, Social Issues / 15.09.2016 Interview with: Kevin S. LaBar, Ph.D. Professor and Head, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience Program Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Duke University Durham, NC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Emotion research is limited by a lack of objective markers of emotional states. Most human research relies on self-report, but individuals may not have good insight into their own emotions. We have developed a new way to identify emotional states using brain imaging and machine learning tools. First, we induced emotional states using film and music clips while individuals were in an MRI scanner. We trained a computer algorithm to identify the brain areas that distinguished 7 emotions from each other (fear, anger, surprise, sadness, amusement, contentment, and a neutral state). This procedure created a brain map for each of the 7 emotions. Then, a new group of participants self-reported their emotional state every 30 seconds in an MRI scanner while no stimuli were presented. We could predict which emotion was spontaneously reported by the subjects by comparing their brain scans to each of the 7 emotion maps. Finally, in a large group of 499 subjects, we found that the presence of the fear map during rest predicted state and trait anxiety while the presence of the sadness map predicted state and trait depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues, UCSF / 12.09.2016 Interview with: Laura M. Gottlieb, MD, MPH Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2Center for Health and Community University of California, San Francisco What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Numerous studies have demonstrated that childhood exposures to social adversities, like family financial insecurity, food insecurity, and housing instability, lead to poorer health outcomes across the life course. These social adversities disproportionately affect low-income and racial minority populations. In response to this evidence there have been calls to address social needs in pediatric clinical care settings. For example, recently the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Childhood Poverty endorsed the promotion of evidenced-based strategies to reduce the negative health effects of poverty on low-income children, including by increasing the availability of clinic-based interventions addressing social risks. In response to these calls to action, a growing number of pediatric health care organizations are screening for and address families’ social needs. There is a critical need for more evidence on the effectiveness of these types of interventions. Many of the studies conducted so far have focused primarily on assessing program process outcomes or impacts on families’ social needs, but have not evaluated actual health outcomes resulting from program participation. To our knowledge, this study was the first randomized clinical trial evaluating the impacts of a pediatric social needs navigation program on child health. The reported number of social needs identified at baseline ranged from 0 to 11 out of 14 possible items, with a mean [SD] of 2.7[2.2] needs identified by participating families. Family participation in the navigation program intervention significantly decreased families’ reports of social needs by a mean (SE) of .39(0.13) vs. an increase of a mean (SE) of .22(0.13) in the active control arm. Participation in the navigation program also significantly improved parent-reported overall child health, with a mean (SE) change of -.036(0.05), compared to the active control arm with a mean (SE) change of -0.12(0.05). At 4 months post enrollment, the number of social needs reported by those that participated in the navigation program decreased by a mean (SE) of .39(0.13). (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Weight Research / 31.08.2016 Interview with: Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences State University of New York at Buffalo What is the background for this study? Response: Infant temperament, or individual behavior styles, can be reliably measured and is related to weight status. However, we know very little about the association of infants’ temperament and their motivation to eat versus engage in other activities (relative food reinforcement). Examining such associations is an important step given the need to use behavioral strategies in obesity prevention in early life. The purpose of our study was to determine if infant temperament, specifically the factors that have been linked with obesity risk, are associated with infant relative food reinforcement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Leukemia, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 22.08.2016 Interview with: Luciano J. Costa, MD, PhD Associate Professor Department of Medicine and UAB-CCC Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy Program Birmingham, AL 35294 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Even though expected survival for multiple myeloma patients has increased over the last two decades, that improvement has not been much more pronounced among White than among patients of racial/ethnic minorities. It is possible that such discrepancy results from unequal access to care, particularly as treatment becomes more complex and expensive. We used a large dataset of patients with  multiple myeloma to explore how socioeconomic factors, specifically marital status, income and insurance affect outcome and how these factors relate to race/ethnicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 19.08.2016 Interview with: Emily H. Starr, M.A. Doctoral Candidate City, Culture, & Community Tulane University, New Orleans What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study examines the relationship between work, partnering, and parenthood through the perspectives of bartenders working in the New Orleans metro area. Bartenders frame work, intimate relationships, and family as interlocking matrices and view their lack of legitimate work (or their lack of a normative 9-5 job with security, benefits, and a salary) as a prohibitive or complicating factor in their ability to assume the roles of partner and parent. Some of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. labor market are low-wage and low-skill jobs meaning that young people will increasingly grapple with hegemonic "white picket fence" ideologies that prescribe certain family forms and occupational/labor relationships as ideal. Moreover, the matrices of performative adulthood are gendered with women and men framing their work as incompatible with family life for different reasons. Women more often experience sexual harassment/objectification, feel their skills and abilities are called into question, and perceive that women bartenders are marginalized as "certain types of women." These perceptions lend themselves towards women bartenders framing barwork as incompatible or undesirable with mothering. Men express anxiety about their long-term earning potential and combating the stigma of low-status work through the professionalization of the craft cocktail and spirits industry. Thus, men are more concerned about their role as breadwinner rather than viewing bartending and fatherhood roles as mutually-exclusive. These findings suggest that bartenders draw upon dominant ideologies of normative adulthood and invoke traditional gender roles to frame their perspectives about bartending and family life. Importantly, the contours and realities of their working lives are the prohibitive factor in bartenders' perspectives about the possibility for participating in long-term intimate relationships and parenthood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, OBGYNE, Sexual Health, Social Issues, UCSF / 29.06.2016 Interview with: Tami Rowen MD MS Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences UCSF What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study sought to answer the question of which women are engaging in genital grooming and understand their motivations. Prior studies have been limited by geography and age thus our goal was to provide a nationally representative sample of women. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Fertility, Social Issues / 21.06.2016 Interview with: Ghenet Besera, MPH National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC What is the background for this study? Response: The Title X program, established in 1970, offers confidential family planning and related preventive services to both men and women. While most clients are women, Title X also promotes use of services by men through delivery of male-focused services. Men’s family planning needs include services not only related to contraception, but also related to preconception care, infertility, and STD/ HIV services, which affect their reproductive health and overall health. (more…)