Why Social Science? Because Vaccination is a Human—Not Technical—Process

Sep 22, 2021

By Elisa J. Sobo (San Diego State University), Diana Schow (Idaho State University), Elizabeth Cartwright (Idaho State University), and Emily K. Brunson (Texas State University) on behalf of the CommuniVax Coalition
 The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced by people—and without insights into…

HHD Dean's Lecture Series special event to focus on vaccine hesitancy

Sep 8, 2021

The College of Health and Human Development Dean’s Lecture Series will host a special event focused on vaccine hesitancy.
Delivered by Daniel Salmon, professor of international health and health, behavior and society and director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University's…

16th Annual De Jong Lecture in Social Demography taking place on Oct. 1

Aug 18, 2021

“Surviving Two Epidemics: Resilience and Health in the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health 1998-2021” will be presented by Hans-Peter Kohler at Penn State's 16th annual De Jong Lecture in Social Demography Oct. 1, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in The Living Center, Henderson Building, and virtually…

Counting pandemic behavior to inform public health decisions

Aug 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many significant changes to our lives, but one of the most visible signals of this has been the proliferation of masks and other face-coverings in public spaces. In a recent study published in the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal, Penn State…

OSVPR FAQs for Research

Aug 9, 2021

With Penn State's new masking requirements, we have updated our FAQs for Research. Highlights include:
· All individuals inside university buildings, including labs, must wear masks, even if everyone in the lab is vaccinated.
· If people are traveling in a car together for university business…

How behaviors can inform COVID-19 health campaigns

Jul 28, 2021

As the pandemic continues, implementing effective public health campaigns to improve vaccination rates and encourage personal behaviors to control the spread of the virus may be necessary. 
Penn State researchers are exploring behaviors for slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19, such as…

COVID-19 and The Commonwealth: County-Level Differences in Vaccination and Death Rates

Jul 13, 2021

A recent policy brief by the Pennsylvania Population Network at Penn State shows the “great differences” in COVID-19 vaccination rates across the Commonwealth. Written by Cassandra Krencisz, Anna E. Shetler, Samiha Taseen and Raeven Faye Chandler, this report explores these differences and analyzes…

The U.S. Spends Less Than Nearly Every Country on Unemployment. That's Why People Can't Get Jobs.

Jul 9, 2021

By Sarah Damaske for Time
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported significant job growth in June: 850,000 new jobs. But with the unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at 5.9 percent, the debate about whether generous federal unemployment benefits keep people from returning to work continues. Last…

Behavior limits COVID-19 spread between University and community

Jun 24, 2021

When universities across the U.S. opted to return students to campus for in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic in the fall of 2020, surrounding communities were understandably concerned that COVID-19 infections rates would significantly increase.
In response, several Penn State…

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…

Rural-Urban Differences in the Labor-Force Impacts of COVID-19 in the United States

Jun 9, 2021

COVID-19 has had dramatic impacts on economic outcomes across the United States, yet most research on the pandemic’s labor-market impacts has had a national or urban focus. We overcome this limitation using data from the U.S. Current Population Survey’s COVID-19 supplement to study pandemic-related…

Penn State project enriches the student experience while documenting pandemic

May 24, 2021

The Data 4 Action (D4A) project is comprised of dozens of Penn State researchers who are documenting the impacts of COVID-19 in Centre County. While the goal of the project is to assess the biological, psychological, and social functioning of Penn State students and community members, the project…

New EIC Podcast on food insecurity during the pandemic

May 20, 2021

This month on the Evidence-to-Impact Podcast, we continue the Pandemic Perspective series and examine how the pandemic has revealed the “hidden crisis” of food insecurity throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the country.
We spoke to Muzi Na, Ph.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of nutritional…

Sufficient knowledge but sense of information overload evident early in pandemic

May 19, 2021

Residents of central Pennsylvania had the information they needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 early on in the pandemic, but were overwhelmed with worries about mixed messages and distrust of some sources, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The researchers said the results…

Data4Action Project Update

May 17, 2021

The Centre County COVID-19 Data4Action Research Project phase three has wrapped up data collection for students and community participants. The retention rate was over 90 percent from the previous waves. Additionally, wastewater sampling for coronavirus on campus and in the surrounding community is…

Consequences of COVID-19 on adolescent behavior

May 12, 2021

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been widely reported, but less is known about the indirect consequences on health-related behaviors. Researchers recently discovered that while there was a decline in physical activity in adolescents during stay-at-home orders, there were no changes in the…

Are more parents letting their teens drink during the pandemic?

May 11, 2021

COVID-19 stay-at-home orders during spring 2020 dramatically changed daily life and created significant challenges for families. A new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 1 in 6 parents first allowed their adolescent children to have an alcoholic drink with their families…

Penn State participates in virtual social science advocacy day

May 4, 2021

Penn State researchers recently participated in the Consortium of Social Science Association’s (COSSA) Annual Social Science Advocacy Day, meeting virtually with Congress and their staff during this annual event.
Penn State social and behavioral scientists and stakeholders were teamed up with other…

Food Access and Insecurity During COVID-19

Apr 27, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in ways beyond what we could have imagined.  The disruption of essential elements of life, such as food, water, money, and housing, has been devastating to families and communities, particularly those most vulnerable. While some of the impact on the…

Why Social Science? - Because Leaders Need to Know How to Lead with Evidence

Apr 20, 2021

By Ellen Peters, PhD, Director, Center for Science Communication Research, University of Oregon
Being bad at math can kill people. Even experts who should understand medical science and help us make good health decisions sometimes fail. In December, a doctor—let’s call him Dr. Smith—advised a…

EIC Podcast on childcare during the pademic with Karen Grimm-Thomas and Philip Sirinides now available

Apr 19, 2021

This month, the Evidence-to-Impact Podcast returns to the Pandemic Perspective series and explore the state of the childcare system in Pennsylvania during the pandemic. We discuss the challenges and opportunities to funding, access, and quality for the childcare system.
We spoke to Karen Grimm-…

COVID-19 pandemic may have increased mental health issues within families

Apr 14, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many families found themselves suddenly isolated together at home. A year later, new research has linked this period with a variety of large, detrimental effects on individuals’ and families’ well-being and functioning.
The study — led by Penn State…

What do I need to know about the J&J COVID-19 vaccine?

Apr 14, 2021

The FDA has paused use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine after six people—out of the almost 7 million people who so far have received the vaccine—developed a rare blood clotting disorder. Experts do not yet know if the J&J vaccine is responsible for the blood clots, so even though six events in…

Data science talk to focus on COVID-19 database available to Penn State faculty

Apr 9, 2021

Finding the right dataset can sometimes be a challenge in data science. A new initiative will provide Penn State researchers with access to a trove of COVID-19 data, updated frequently by health care systems around the United States. Penn State faculty can learn how to get access to the database…

Penn State faculty offer tips on avoiding burnout amid pandemic

Apr 7, 2021

As employees and students of Penn State face the uncertain circumstances of the pandemic, University faculty offer advice on how to avoid burnout or, if you are already feeling sapped of energy and interest -- how to recover.
According to the World Health Organization, burnout is an occupational…