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New book, 'The Tolls of Uncertainty,' examines the US unemployment system

Jun 18, 2021

In April 2020, soon after the pandemic forced the U.S. into lockdown, the unemployment rate reached 14.8%, the highest documented since data collection began in 1948. More than a year later, 4.2 million fewer women and 3.5 million fewer men are employed, compared to just before the start of the…

GIS technology helps map out how America's mafia networks were 'connected

Apr 13, 2021

At its height in the mid-20th century, American organized crime groups, often called the mafia, grossed approximately $40 billion each year, typically raising that money through illegal or untaxed activities, such as extortion and gambling. A team of researchers used geographic information systems…

Et tu, Brute? Teens may be more likely to be bullied by social-climbing friends

Feb 24, 2021

Adolescents and teens may be more likely to be bullied by their friends — and friends-of-friends — than classmates they don’t know as well, according to a new study. Diane Felmlee, distinguished professor of sociology and demography at Penn State and researcher on the paper, said the findings give…

About nine family members to suffer grief from every COVID-19 fatality

Jul 16, 2020

Deaths from COVID-19 will have a ripple effect causing impacts on the mental health and health of surviving family members. But the extent of that impact has been hard to assess until now. Every death from COVID-19 will impact approximately nine surviving family members, according to a study. In a…

Marching for change: 2017 Women’s March met with mostly positive support online

Jun 24, 2020

Large protest events can be divisive, spurring an outpouring of both support and opposition. But new Penn State research found that the 2017 Women’s March, which championed goals in support of women and human rights, was met with mostly positive support on social media, with relatively few negative…

Post Doctoral Scholar Position

Jun 8, 2020

JOB DESCRIPTION AND POSITION REQUIREMENTS: The Population Research Institute (PRI) at The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) anticipates an 1-2 openings for a postdoctoral fellow in the NICHD-supported Social Environments and Population Health training program, starting on or about…

Take Note: Penn State Prof. Jenny Van Hook On Coronavirus And The Census

May 27, 2020

SSRI cofund and PRI affiliate Jenny Van Hook is interviewed for WPSU's Take Note on the consequences of a Census undercount. Van Hook is the Roy C. Buck Professor of Sociology and Demography at Penn State and a former member of the Census Advisory Board. She was an expert witness in the legal fight…

Grief from COVID-19 impact may trigger secondary health and mental health crisis

Apr 15, 2020

The loss of life caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may just be the first tragic wave to hit the country, according to researchers. Grief from the deaths of close relatives and a sudden loss of support could create serious health, mental health and economic issues for grieving family members…

Podcast episode explores how the Census impacts public health

Apr 9, 2020

Decisions about where to build hospitals and how to allocate emergency medical equipment are critical during a pandemic, and driven by a source you might not expect. This week’s episode of the Democracy Works podcast, produced by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and WPSU, examines the role…

Penn State sociology professor coauthors new book on foster care

Mar 26, 2020

An examination of the foster care system and its effects on children is the focus on a new book authored by Sarah Font, assistant professor of sociology at Penn State, and Elizabeth Gershoff, professor of human development and family studies at the University of Texas at Austin The book, “Foster…

Columbia University researchers to present talk based on sexual-assault research

Feb 20, 2020

Columbia University professors Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan will share their research into what college students want out of sexual encounters and how misunderstandings about sexual encounters may potentially translate into sexual assault, at a free, public talk taking place 6:30-7:30 p.m.,…

Penn State tops NSF Rankings for Breadth of Research Expertise

Feb 18, 2020

The breadth of Penn State’s research expertise surpasses that of any university in the country, according to the latest National Science Foundation rankings of Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) research expenditures by key fields and subfields, released in November 2019. The rankings…

Fighting coronavirus fear with empathy: Lessons learned from how Africans got blamed for Ebola

Feb 7, 2020

This article was originally written for The Conversation by Kevin Thomas, professor of sociology, demography, and African studies. With coronavirus cases exploding in China, the U.S. is once again responding to a global epidemic. Five years ago, when the Ebola virus infected more than 28,000 people…

Why Social Science? - Because Collaborating Across Cultures and Beyond Boundaries Leads to Progress on the World’s Biggest Issues

Dec 18, 2019

By Amanda B. Clinton, Ph.D., Senior Director, Office of International Affairs, American Psychological Associations This post originally appeared on August 26, 2019 as “Time to Change the World” in the in the American Psychological Association’s Global Insights Newsletter and is reproduced here…

Progressive gender views may protect health of financially dependent men

Nov 26, 2019

As it becomes more common for women to be the breadwinner of their family, men’s health may be affected depending on their views on gender ideology, according to Penn State researchers. The researchers found that men who were financially dependent on their wives and who also had more traditional…

Short to deliver De Jong Lecture in Social Demography on Nov. 21

Oct 29, 2019

Susan Short, professor of sociology and director of the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University, will deliver the 14th annual De Jong Lecture in Social Demography at 9 a.m. Nov. 21 at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus. Short’s research focuses on…

Aging in rural America focus of new research network

Oct 4, 2019

The rural population in the U.S. is aging at a more rapid rate than in urban areas, while disparities in rural health and life expectancy continue to grow. A new five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) will fund a Penn State-led…

Helping Alaskan coastal communities adjust to global warming

Sep 3, 2019

Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities are facing severe environmental changes that threaten to irrevocably damage their way of life. A $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will allow Penn State researchers to assist local communities with foreseeable environmental challenges…

Study shows benefits to changing students' mindsets about learning

Aug 7, 2019

A groundbreaking new experimental study with more than 12,000 ninth grade students in the United States confirmed that a low-cost online program that takes less than an hour to complete can help students develop a growth mindset — the belief that intellectual abilities are not fixed but can be…

Why Social Science? - Because It Guides Us Toward Practical and Attainable Solutions

Aug 6, 2019

By Tom Kecskemethy, Executive Director, The American Academy of Political and Social Science The wisest quote about science that I’ve read in recent years was penned by Vanderbilt University’s Larry Bartels, in an article he wrote during the run-up to 2016 general election. He reminded us simply…

Trustees approve architect for Liberal Arts research and teaching building

Jul 19, 2019

The appointment of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) of Wilkes‐Barre, Pennsylvania, as architect for the Liberal Arts Research and Teaching Building to be constructed on the University Park campus was approved today (July 18) by the Penn State Board of Trustees. BCJ was selected based on its work with…

Counting 11 million undocumented immigrants is easier than Trump thinks

Jul 19, 2019

By Jennifer Van Hook for The Conversation It is now clear that there will be no question about citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census. After the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration, President Trump vowed to find a way to include the question. But with no legal path forward and time…

Administrative Data Accelerator partnering with consumer data company

Jul 16, 2019

Penn State's Administrative Data Accelerator has selected consumer identity management expert Infutor to support research that informs policy and improves lives. Located in the College of Health and Human Development’s Prevention Research Center, and supported by the Social Science Research…

Penn State hosts second annual Summer Institute on Migration Research Methods

Jul 3, 2019

Successful research methods regarding immigration and migrant populations was the focus of the 2019 Summer Institute on Migration Research Methods, held recently at Penn State’s University Park campus. Jennifer Van Hook, Roy C. Buck Professor of Sociology and Demography and a Social Science…

Penn State team supports implementation of novel Pennsylvania Rural Health Model

Jul 2, 2019

Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to design and implement an alternative payment model focused solely on rural hospitals, with an emphasis on both containing health care spending and transforming care to better meet community needs. A multi-disciplinary team of Penn State faculty and…