Race and ethnicity may affect whether and where hospitals transfer patients

Black patients in Florida are transferred to public hospitals more often than white patients, even when comparing patients from the same hospital with similar health conditions and the same insurance, according to new research led by Charleen Hsuan, assistant professor of health policy and…

Veterans of color and female veterans reported more stress during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic led to illness and death, significant economic and employment problems, severe social restrictions and substantially altered family life — the effects of which researchers are beginning to understand. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Clearinghouse for Military…

Amish found to be under-vaccinated for COVID-19 but not unvaccinated

This summer, viral misinformation claimed that the Amish did not vaccinate against COVID-19 and, as a result, had a death rate 90 times lower than the rest of the United States. Now, a Penn State study is the first to provide geographically broad and population-wide evidence that while…

Researchers find social inequities tied to more severe COVID-19 symptoms

Social inequities like housing and access to health care put individuals from marginalized racial and ethnic groups with substance use disorders at greater risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms than white individuals with substance use disorders, according to researchers. The study findings…

New project to study impacts of eviction on health

Prior to the pandemic, many poor renter households in the U.S. spent over half their income on rent, leading to an epidemic of evictions and negative impacts on physical and mental health. A Penn State researcher will participate in a new project that will evaluate the effects of pandemic eviction-…

New grant continues Arctic research addressing climate change and communities

Climate change in the Arctic is evident as temperatures rise and Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities face severe, urgent, and complex social and infrastructural challenges. A collection of Penn State research in the region, being driven by social sciences and in collaboration with engineering…

In Rural America, Older Adult Vaccination Rates were Higher in Counties with More Aging and Disability Services

In this Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion research brief, PRI's Danielle Rhubart and Yue Sun describe how aging and disability services (ADS) played an important role for older adults in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, including sharing information, providing transportation, and serving…

Social Support Protected Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Jennifer Kowalkowski and Danielle C. Rhubart, The Pennsylvania State University
Social support can protect mental health from the stressors of life during times of widespread crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from a national survey collected in early-2021, Jennifer Kowalkowski [SMM1…

Race matters in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, research finds

Hispanic and Black Americans have suffered higher rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 than white Americans. A new Penn State study analyzed data collected when COVID-19 vaccines first became available to determine whether these racial and ethnic disparities are related to vaccine…

Losing spouse to COVID may be worse for mental health than other causes of death

Losing a spouse can be a devastating experience for anyone. A new study found that experiencing the death of a spouse due to COVID-19 may be worse for mental health than deaths from other causes.
Penn State researchers found that while there were strong associations between the recent death of a…

1 in 8 U.S. deaths from 2020 to 2021 came from COVID-19 – leaving millions of relatives reeling from distinctly difficult grief

By Emily Smith-Greenaway, Associate Professor of Sociology, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Ashton Verdery, Professor of Sociology, Demography and Social Data Analytics and Population Research Institute Associate, Penn State; Haowei Wang, Postdoctoral Research Associate in…

Podcast episode discusses college students and mental health

The Social Science Research Institute’s Evidence-to-Impact Podcast returns for a third season with its eighteenth episode, “The Perfect Storm: College Students, Mental Health, and the Sense of Belonging on Campus.”
The podcast’s moderator, Michael Donovan, the associate director of the Evidence-to-…

Losing a grandmother may trigger rise in depression for some of her survivors

Losing a beloved family member is never easy, but a new study suggests the loss of a grandmother in particular may have repercussions for the loved ones she leaves behind.
The researchers found that for up to seven years after the death of their grandmother, adolescent boys had a 50% increase in…

Sharing source-backed information can help reduce COVID-19 misinformation online

If you see fake news about COVID-19 circulating on your social media feeds, say something — if you have a reliable source to back it up. You could help other users to be less susceptible to misinformation, according to a new study by researchers at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and…

New study shows links between family dynamics and COVID-19 preventative measures

New research from Penn State suggests that supporting strong family relationships and reducing chaos at home may increase the likelihood that parents and children will engage in behaviors intended to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Researchers from the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention…

COVID vaccine in early pregnancy not tied to birth defects

Maternal COVID-19 vaccination in early pregnancy is not associated with fetal abnormalities detectable on ultrasound, finds a study yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics.
The retrospective study, conducted by Northwestern University and Penn State College of Medicine researchers, used…

What Else Could Covid Inflict on Us? Ask Australian Rabbits

By Faye Flam | Bloomberg
Rabbits were the victims of the deadliest epidemic in recent history — a germ warfare attack, really — with a virus that killed off more than 99% of the 100 million rabbits inhabiting Australia in 1950. However, the virus didn’t “win” — both the virus and the rabbits…

Why Researchers Are Still Testing Wild Animals for COVID-19

By LAURA UNGAR / AP for Time
(Grand Portage, Minn.) — To administer this COVID test, Todd Kautz had to lay on his belly in the snow and worm his upper body into the narrow den of a hibernating black bear. Training a light on its snout, Kautz carefully slipped a long cotton swab into the…

The Covid cloud is starting to lift – but two years on, its legacy of grief lingers

PRI Associate Ashton Verdery was quoted in this story about the impacts of Covid-19 by The Guardian.
Verdery created with colleagues a bereavement multiplier that estimates how many people in the US have lost a close relative to Covid. Given the paucity of historical demographic data for Hispanic…

COVID-19 and the mental health of essential workers

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health and well-being of the population as a whole, leading to large-scale lifestyle changes, social isolation, and increased stress. However, this has been especially pertinent to essential workers—facing high workloads, insufficient…

COVID-19 and gun violence increasing in PA

Pennsylvania saw a 38% increase in the rate of gun violence during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was higher than the national average. This observation is based on the recent peer-reviewed study that enabled Penn State researchers to assess the rates of gun violence…

Researchers to study COVID-19 effects on maternal, child health during pregnancy

 The Pennsylvania Department of Health has awarded Penn State College of Medicine $3.9 million through May 2025 to study the impact COVID-19 has on pregnancy. The researchers will conduct a multi-site study to examine the health outcomes for pregnant women and their infants…

'Family Foundations' parenting program helps families weather the pandemic

For nearly 20 years, Penn State Research Professor Mark Feinberg has been developing and sharing Family Foundations, a course for couples expecting their first child that focuses on how to work as a team, communicate, and solve problems. New research shows that couples who took Family…

College students' sense of belonging related to mental health during pandemic

Among the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to the higher education community, one of the most serious is arguably the toll on college students’ mental health. Penn State researchers have found that students’ sense of belongingness in a higher education institution not only…

Minority acceptance of combo flu-COVID vaccine higher than for COVID alone

Acceptance of a combination influenza-COVID-19 vaccine among minority individuals is higher than for the COVID-19 vaccine alone, according to new research led by Penn State. The results suggest that bundling COVID-19 vaccines or boosters with influenza vaccines may be a convenient option to…