College of Medicine receives $2.7 million to address COVID-19 health disparities

Dec 11, 2020

Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewski, professor of medicine, public health sciences and pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine, has received $2.69 million through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to establish projects aimed at addressing COVID-19 health disparities among nursing…

Institute of State and Regional Affairs looks at COVID-19 senior isolation risk

Dec 10, 2020

Continuing its analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania, the Institute of State and Regional Affairs (ISRA) at Penn State Harrisburg has released new data, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Population Network, examining the impact of social isolation in the senior…

Impacts of the pandemic on emotion of fear

Dec 9, 2020

When people perceive themselves to be in danger, they usually experience some degree of fear. This emotion is useful because it can motivate them to learn more about the problem or to take some action to protect themselves against it, according to James Dillard, distinguished professor…

Impacts of the pandemic on anticipatory grief

Dec 1, 2020

Receiving a diagnosis from a doctor that explains your previously unexplainable symptoms can often bring about feelings of relief. But this year, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and its diagnosis has offered its targets no such comfort. Anxiety, sadness, and distress caused by the fear of a…

Impacts of the pandemic on college students’ sense of belonging

Nov 18, 2020

People have a fundamental human need to belong. Especially during transitions to a new environment like college, people often worry about whether they belong, even in non-pandemic times. With so many classes and social interactions shifted to a staid online setting, which precludes hallway…

Why Social Science? Because It Can Help Us Cope with Pandemic Fatigue

Nov 17, 2020

By Jay Maddock, PhD, Professor of Public Health, Texas A&M University
As the pandemic drags on, following COVID-19 prevention guidelines can feel like more and more of a challenge.
This kind of fatigue is not unique to pandemic precautions like sticking with social distancing, masking up and…

COVID-19 and the potential costs of social isolation

Nov 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe and in the United States. Currently, science and medicine offer clear methods on how to reduce the risk of transmission — including social distancing. Yet this behavior comes with a potential cost of reduced social connections and research has shown…

Extended Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nov 17, 2020

NIH grant applications should NOT include contingency plans that would outline steps needed to recover from temporary, emergency situations, or institutional return-to-the-workplace plans, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contingency plans will not be considered in peer review but, if needed,…

Impacts of the coronavirus on student athlete substance abuse

Nov 5, 2020

College is a well-known risk environment for problematic alcohol use and substance abuse. In this post, Katherine McLean, associate professor of criminal justice at Penn State Greater Allegheny, outlines why student athletes may be at particular risk for higher levels of alcohol consumption and…

Impacts of the coronavirus on intimate partner violence

Nov 4, 2020

Each year in the United States, nearly 12 million people are the victims of some form of intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic abuse. In this post, authors Penelope Morrison and Richard Wentling, assistant professors at Penn State New Kensington, write about a marked increase in IPV incidence…

Impacts of the coronavirus on access to controlled substances

Oct 29, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many unexpected changes to our lives, including limited access to healthcare and controlled substance prescriptions. In this post, Chan Shen, Penn State Cancer Institute, discusses her research using the Texas PDMP database to examine the filling of opioids and…

Podcast features researchers collecting local COVID-19 data for action

Oct 28, 2020

On Oct. 19, The Symbiotic Podcast teamed up with the hosts of Podward State — a Penn State student-produced podcast — to interview researchers working on a profoundly collaborative project designed to measure multiple impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents and students in Centre County,…

A Symbiotic Short: Collecting COVID-19 Data for Action

Oct 27, 2020

This short teaser describes a uniquely collaborative effort led by Penn State research scientists to measure the social, economic health-related impacts of COVID-19 on the population of Centre County, PA. A full podcast episode, including an audio-only version and transcript, is available at www.…

Update on In-Person Human Subjects Research

Oct 15, 2020

Since July, the University has been allowing a limited number of in-person human subjects research projects to resume following the process outlined here: Procedures: Request to Conduct In-Person Human Subjects Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Thus far, only on-campus research has been…

Impacts of the coronavirus on social support and mental health

Oct 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented source of stress for today’s college students. In addition to the physical health threat COVID-19 poses to students and their loved ones, the psychological impact of the pandemic has been profound, with stress, anxiety, and depressive…

Researchers study trends in Pennsylvania school reopening plans

Oct 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges to school districts across the nation as they have debated options for educating students safely. According to researchers in Penn State’s College of Education, the decision by Pennsylvania school districts to re-open schools in-person,…

Reflections from Living in Sweden during COVID-19

Sep 30, 2020

Read about Lara Fowler, senior lecturer in the School of International Affairs in Penn State Law, and her family’s experiences living in Sweden as visiting scholars during the pandemic. In the first post, Fowler describes the unique dynamics of Sweden, including its health care system, citizens’…

Public health preparedness master's students take on COVID-19-related projects

Sep 28, 2020

When COVID-19 gained pandemic status in the spring, students in health-related fields across the country saw topics from  their courses and training become a reality.
For Heather Schubert and Jennie Kriznik, recent graduates of the master of professional studies in homeland security public health…

Why Social Science? Because We’re Living Through an “Infodemic”

Sep 23, 2020

By Stephen C. Rea, PhD (Colorado School of Mines), Colin Bernatzky (University of California Irvine), and Sion Avakian (University of California, Irvine)
In February 2020, about a month before COVID-19 became an inescapable reality around the world, the World Health Organization issued a warning…

Responding to COVID-19: Emerging Insights from SBE Sciences

Sep 22, 2020

COSSA is collaborating with the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences; the Federation Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences; and SAGE…

Expanding Empathy Zoom Webinars

Sep 14, 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, now may be the time to extend empathy to those around you, and a webinar series through the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State is helping others do just that.
Daryl Cameron, assistant professor of psychology and a research associate at the Rock Ethics Institute,…

Impacts of the coronavirus on child care facilities

Sep 10, 2020

The operational and financial impacts of COVID-19 on Pennsylvania child care providers and staff have been significant. Most child care programs closed, at least temporarily, in the initial weeks of the pandemic, eliminating income even while costs continued to accrue. Throughout the closure,…

NSF funding to bolster research communication strategies project

Sep 4, 2020

Penn State’s Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC) is expanding a project to better respond to legislators’ needs for social and behavioral research related to the coronavirus pandemic with new funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
A pilot of the project began earlier this year when…

Impacts of the coronavirus on parental substance abuse

Sep 2, 2020

Market research regarding substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic shows alcoholic beverage sales increased by about 55% in March compared to March of last year, while sales of combustible cigarettes  increased across several countries. Meanwhile, the Overdose Detection Mapping Application…

Impacts of the coronavirus on moral emotions

Aug 31, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic is currently surging across the United States and worldwide, individuals and institutions are debating what can and should be done to protect public health. When it comes to how we navigate this complex landscape, what is the role of how we feel, and how we choose to manage…