COVID vaccine in early pregnancy not tied to birth defects

Apr 6, 2022

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 electronic medical…

What Else Could Covid Inflict on Us? Ask Australian Rabbits

Apr 5, 2022

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 are…

Why Researchers Are Still Testing Wild Animals for COVID-19

Apr 5, 2022

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 bear’s…

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

Mar 15, 2022

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

Feb 24, 2022

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

Feb 15, 2022

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 before the…

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

Feb 15, 2022

 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 before and after…

'Family Foundations' parenting program helps families weather the pandemic

Feb 7, 2022

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 Foundations…

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

Feb 2, 2022

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

Jan 12, 2022

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…

COVID-19 case trajectories may be predicted by surveying communities

Jan 11, 2022

The public’s willingness to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations correlates with COVID-19 case projections in zip codes where those surveyed about their intended behaviors live, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The researchers said…

Impacts of COVID-19 school closures on Latino sibling dynamics

Nov 23, 2021

School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that many children spent much of their time at home in the spring of 2020. For most children, this meant more time spent with sisters and brothers, creating the potential to change family dynamics.
For family scholars like Xiaoran Sun, former…

Traffic and mobile phone data predict COVID case counts in rural Pennsylvania

Oct 29, 2021

How much people moved around town predicted COVID-19 cases in a rural Pennsylvania county in 2020, according to a new study by researchers at Penn State. The researchers approximated movement during the initial stay-at-home orders and subsequent restricted phases by using data from traffic cameras…

Penn State receives a five-year, nearly $6 million grant to study factors promoting early childhood development

Oct 18, 2021

The effects of genetics, home environment, and prenatal substance use on child health and brain development are largely unknown, even though pregnancy and early childhood are incredibly important periods of growth. To address this knowledge gap, Penn State was recently awarded a five-year, $5.8…

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…