How does eviction during childhood impact cognitive development?

Children play a board game in the middle of moving

The urban children in this study published in Social Science & Medicine were evaluated at age 9 using four cognitive assessments. Those students who experienced eviction during middle childhood exhibited lower scores (as much as equal to a full year of schooling) than students who did not go through eviction. Authors of the study that examine the under-explored association between childhood eviction and cognitive development include Harvard Pop Center Director…

Children with complicated births found to be at increased risk of eviction

Newborn baby sleeps on the forearm of a man

A study finds that babies who were low-birth weight, experienced a lengthy hospital stay, or were born prematurely were at increased risk of experiencing eviction later in childhood. Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa F. Berkman and Visiting Scientist Mariana Arcaya are authors, as well as Gabriel L Schwartz, Kathryn M Leifheit, and Jarvis T Chen. Image: Pixabay

Synthesizing hope: How to mitigate health disparities after natural disaster strikes

Hurricane Katrina from satellite

Researchers affiliated with the RISK study have published a study in the journal Health Affairs that summarizes the findings of the 15-year study that followed low-income parents who survived Hurricane Katrina. The lessons learned inform these key priorities: Prevention (improve climate resilience and evacuation planning); uninterrupted health care; less administrative work for survivors; strong community ties; and long-term services for those highly affected. “Our findings can guide policy makers, service…

In honor of Earth Day, a review of the last decade of social science research on the effects of disasters

Hurricane Katrina from satellite

Three researchers affiliated with the Harvard Pop Center—Mariana Arcaya, Ethan J. Raker, and Mary C. Waters—have published a review in the Annual Review of Sociology that concludes with their concerns about the likelihood of more severe natural disasters due to climate change in the future, and the need for innovative concepts and methods to cope with these environmental and societal challenges. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr

Study of Hurricane Katrina survivors offers unique insights into impact of neighborhood gentrification on health

Urban housing in a neighborhood that has been gentrified

Researchers affiliated with the Resilience in Survivors of Hurricane Katrina (RISK) project have published a paper that takes a look at the health impacts of being displaced into a gentrified neighborhood. The researchers did not find evidence of significant effects on BMI, self-rated health, or psychological distress. Photo: Ted Eytan on Flickr

Twelve years after Hurricane Katrina, some still suffering from post-traumatic stress

Researchers affiliated with the RISK project have published a study in Social Science & Medicine that looks at the long-term mental health consequences of Hurricane Katrina. Among the study participants—a group of low-income mothers— one in six was found to still be suffering post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), and hurricane-related traumas were found to predict persistent PTSS.

Increased risk of migraine headache linked to some PTSD symptoms following a natural disaster

Those suffering from certain symptoms of PTSD (particularly intrusion, which is the inability to keep memories of the event from returning) following a natural disaster face an increased risk for migraine headaches. Harvard Pop Center Visiting Scientist Mariana Arcaya, ScD, is lead author on the paper published in Health Psychology.  Other authors include Pop Center faculty members Mary Waters, PhD, and S V Subramanian. Photo: Neil Moralee on Flickr

Children’s health problems prevent families from moving out of high- to low-poverty neighborhoods

Harvard Pop Center researchers, including visiting scientist and former fellow Mariana Arcaya and faculty members SV Subramanian, and Mary C. Waters are authors on a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that found that when families were given an option to move out of a high-poverty neighborhood and move to a low-poverty neighborhood, those families with a sick child were less likely to take advantage of the opportunity…

Which is better method for non-specialist researchers to use to create local population health estimates from real-world data?

Recent Pop Center Research Fellow Laura Yasaitis, PhD, Visiting Scientist Mariana Arcaya, ScD, and Faculty Member SV Subramanian (Subu), PhD, have authored a paper published in the international journal Health & Place that offers a rare side-by-side comparison of methods to create local population health estimates (in this case, acute myocardial infarction rates) from administrative data (Medicare claims data in California).