News and Announcements

More generous maternity leave benefits linked to better mental health for women into older age

Berkman_Lisa_croppedHarvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, is co-author of a study published in Social Science & Medicine that explores the relationship between comprehensive maternity leave benefits and women’s mental health in later life, based on evidence from European countries.  The researchers, including Pop Center faculty member and former Bell Fellow Mauricio Avendano, PhD, who is lead author on the study, along with Giacomo Pasini, PhD, who was a visiting scientist at the Harvard Pop Center during the month of January, found that women who received more generous maternity leave benefits with their first born child experienced better mental health that extended in older age.

Dropping out of school puts South African youth at increased risk for teen pregnancy

Rosenberg_MollyHarvard Pop Center Bell Fellow Molly Rosenberg, PhD, is lead author on a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology that examines whether teen pregnancy is associated with school enrollment in South Africa. Pop Center faculty members Kathleen Kahn, PhD, and Stephen Tollman, PhD, are also authors on the paper.

Today’s Forum “What Shapes Health” with Lisa Berkman topic on NPR Morning Edition

Berkman_Lisa_croppedToday’s live webcast of The Forum “What Shapes Health” at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, presented in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NPR, is a topic on today’s morning edition on NPR. Kate Strully, a former Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the Harvard Pop Center, shares her research on the impact of job loss on health in this news story.

Lisa Berkman to speak on “What Shapes Health”

forum2On Tuesday, March 3, Lisa Berkman will be part of a panel discussion on “What Shapes Health?” This event, co-hosted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and NPR, will be webcast live at 12:30 pm EST. In addition to providing experts’ perspectives on what factors impact health, the panel will look at the public’s perception of who gets sick and why.

Air pollution in India reducing life expectancy for 660 million by 3.2 years

pandeRohini Pande, PhD, director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Evidence for Policy Design and Harvard Pop Center faculty member, is co-author of a special article published in Economic & Political Weekly that reveals the deadly impact of the air quality for 660,000 residents in India, and outlines government policies that could help to reduce pollution and increase life expectancy. The findings of the study are explored in this vox.com article.

Tackling child obesity; a call to protect children from lure of sedentary activities & nutrient-poor diet

gortmakerHarvard Pop Center faculty member and professor of the practice of health sociology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Steven Gortmaker, PhD, is co-author of a study, one of a six-part series devoted to obesity in The Lancet, that calls for policies designed to encourage a nutrient-rich diet and physical activity for children and adolescents.

How can global obesity epidemic be reversed? A call for “smart food policies.”

robertoHarvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar program alumna and current Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health faculty member Christina Roberto, PhD, is lead author of a paper that is one in a six-part series devoted to obesity in The Lancet. The paper has received much attention in the press including articles in Harvard Gazette, reuters.com, FoxNews, skynews, livescience, medicalnewstoday, The Toronto Star, Huffington Post, and medicalXpress. Learn more from this Harvard Chan School press release.

Can we predict how long phase of menopausal hot flashes & night sweats will last?

thurstonHarvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar alumna Rebecca Thurston, PhD, is co-author of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found that more than half of the women in the study who experienced frequent vasomotor symptoms (VMS) – which include hot flashes and night sweats – experienced these symptoms for more than 7 years. African American women reported the longest duration of symptoms, compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Women who experienced frequent symptoms early in premenopause or perimenopause, who also experienced greater negative affective factors, such as depressive symptoms and anxiety, had a higher chance of hot flashes spanning over an even longer duration. The study has received attention in newsworks.org.

Fullwiley on emergence of contemporary synthesis regarding racial thinking in genomic science & society

rwjf-hss-dark-green.resizedHarvard RWJF Health & Society Scholars program alumna Duana Fullwiley, PhD, has published an essay in the journal Isis entitled “The ‘contemporary synthesis': when politically inclusive genomic science relies on biological notions of race.