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…

Nearly 40,000 kids who lost a parent to COVID-19 need immediate support

Apr 6, 2021

Approximately 40,000 children in the United States may have lost a parent to COVID-19 since February 2020, according to a statistical model created by a team of researchers. The researchers anticipate that without immediate interventions, the trauma from losing a parent could cast a shadow of…

Treatment and vaccine research and development during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mar 18, 2021

Penn State’s Jennifer McCormick discusses randomized and placebo control trials and some of the ethical implications of placebo control trials in the context of vaccine development in this post.
For more, visit the Insights from Experts website — a partnership of Penn State's Social Science…

Data4Action Project Update

Mar 16, 2021

As the Centre County COVID-19 Data4Action Research Project moves into phase three, the next round of clinic visits and surveys for the student participants is underway as of April 1, 2021 - please watch for emails with the information.  For the community resident participants, scheduling will begin…

COVID-19 Case Rates in Rural & Urban PA

Mar 11, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in the United States, much of the discussion and attention centered on urban epicenters with rapid spread due to the high population density. While rural areas are less populous, other characteristics of rural America make those individuals living there…

When COVID-19 hits home: Understanding the fight with fear

Feb 24, 2021

When the first U.S. case of COVID-19 due to community spread was diagnosed in late February 2020, it set off a rapid series of events. As cases surged, many states issued stay-at-home orders, and schools and childcare centers shut down. With such rapid, widespread disruption, it’s no wonder that…

Data4Action Project featured in HHD magazine

Feb 16, 2021

Penn State's College of Health and Human Development features the Data 4 Action project in the latest edition of its annual magazine. SSRI, along with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and Clinical and Translational Science Institute, are providing support for the project. Read the article…

New online course engages middle, high-school students in ‘The Science of COVID-19’

Feb 12, 2021

With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting so many aspects of their lives, it is perhaps more important than ever for middle- and high-school students to understand how scientific knowledge is created and how this knowledge is translated into policy. A new and freely available online course created…

Data 4 Action Project Update

Feb 12, 2021

The Centre County COVID-19 Data 4 Action Research Project is continuing to study the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in Centre County. After adult community members took an online survey about the impacts of the pandemic , they were presented with an opportunity to take part in follow-up…

Podcast’s new series explains impact of COVID-19 to our society and institutions

Feb 4, 2021

The Evidence-to-Impact Podcast, from Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute, asks the question: How can academia and government work together to tackle our country’s biggest problems?
In its newest series, aptly titled “The Pandemic Perspective,” the Evidence-to-Impact Podcast aims to bring…

EIC Podcast on the Centre County Pandemic Perspective - Part 2

Jan 29, 2021

The Evidence-to-Impact Podcast is currently publishing a new series called The Pandemic Perspective, in which we examine how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and various aspects of our society, institutions, and other systems have collided, changed, and even collapsed in the last nine months. 
This…

Why Social Science? Because Controlling the COVID-19 Pandemic Depends on Vaccine Uptake

Jan 26, 2021

By Caitlin E. Burgdorf, Ph.D., Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou, Ph.D., M.P.H., Anna Gaysynsky, M.P.H., and Christine M. Hunter, Ph.D.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extraordinary devastation, claiming millions of lives and disrupting the economy and daily life across the globe. From the beginning, the…