Monthly Archives: July 2014

Rwanda Study Shows Children With HIV-Positive Caregivers Suffer Same Mental Health Problems as HIV-Positive Children

Theresa BetancourtHarvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Theresa Betancourt, Sc.D., and colleagues have published a study in Pediatrics that suggests that HIV-affected children (those living with an HIV-positive caretaker) could benefit from the same type of policies and programs that have helped HIV-positive children.

Age at Menarche: 50-Year Socioeconomic Trends Among US-Born Black and White Women.

Photo of Nancy KriegerPop Center faculty members Nancy Krieger and Jason Beckfield have published a study analyzing 50 years of data on the age at which US-born Black and White women begin menstruation. Their works shows that trends in age at menarche vary by socioeconomic position (SEP and race/ethnicity) in ways that pose challenges to several leading clinical, public health, and social explanations for timing of menarche.

Impact of family planning on child survival and development

familyPop Center faculty members Gunther Fink and Wafaie Fawzi have published a new study showing that postponing the age of first birth and increasing inter-pregnancy intervals—two outcomes made possible by family planning—have the potential to significantly reduce the prevalence of stunted growth and improve child development in LMICs (low and middle income countries).

Childhood sexual abuse linked to heart disease risk in women

sadRWJF alumna Rebecca Thurston has published a study which reveals that psychosocial stress brought on by early life adversities may have implications for the development of risk factors for heart disease later on. The study results have been reported in multiple media outlets, including US News & World Report.

Being Socially Well-Integrated Reduces Risk of Suicide

Tsai_AlexanderA 24-year prospective cohort study authored by Harvard RWJF Health & Societies Scholar Program Alum Alexander Tsai and Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Ichiro Kawachi indicates that middle-aged men who are well-integrated socially have more than a 2-fold reduced risk for suicide. Being married, having a larger social network, and attending religious services on a regular basis showed the strongest protective associations. This study was published online July 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine and received some press on dailyRx.

Can genes play a role in how we react to traumatic events?

marycwaters2aHarvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Mary Waters, PhD, has co-authored a novel study that explores the interaction between genetic variants and exposure to Hurricane Katrina on post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth (positive psychological changes that can come from experiencing and processing a disaster and its aftermath).