Parental Status and Biological Functioning: Findings from the Nashville Stress and Health Study

Our study should not be interpreted as suggesting the solution to the health risks of parenting is to avoid having children altogether. Rather, we believe the current findings signal a need for an increased attentiveness to the health risks of childrearing, particularly for parents with multiple children in the home. We hope the information provided here can inform parents and their healthcare providers of the potential health risks associated with parenting.

When Exactly is Flu Season?

At the start of the school year, I ran into a colleague in the elevator. Sam told me he enjoyed his summer break in spite of the hot and humid weather.  His summer would have been perfect except for the severe flu he contracted a couple of weeks prior. This story might sound strange to…

New Faculty Book Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy

This piece first appeared on the John Hopkins University Press blog. By the time of publication of the first edition of Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy in 1996, the possibility of national health care reform – which had not long before seemed so bright – had severely dimmed. The Clinton Administration’s proposed comprehensive health plan—perhaps…

From Murphy’s Law to Murphy’s Regulations: What Actually Goes Wrong in Public Programs

Yet these solutions have not caught on because screening against a single criterion is so entrenched in public policy. Perhaps if Murphy’s Regulations were to become as much a part of the public policy lexicon as Murphy’s Law, attention would turn to what actually does go wrong as opposed to throwing up hands in the assumption that everything is going wrong.

Sex and Love in the Digital Age

The point here is that while America may be caught in a sex recession, there is reason to believe that digital technologies also deepen our connections – and we simply have not observed and named the phenomena yet. In a time where gender and gender relations are in flux, it is reasonable to expect that how we connect and relate to one another is shifting as well.

Are Your Grandparents Getting Tipsy at the Holiday Party?

But frequent, heavy alcohol consumption accelerates health decline at all stages of life. While most people know that heavy alcohol use leads to liver diseases like cirrhosis, alcohol is also a major contributor to cancer mortality.

Flu and Vaccination: Difference by Age and Race

Research has shown that there are also significant differences between racial groups when it comes to receiving vaccinations. Among adults, white adults are immunized at higher rates (45%) than black (37%) or Hispanic (34%) adults. This has significant consequences for those populations, as black and Hispanics have higher rates of influenza-related death than white populations. Since unvaccinated children and adolescents may interact more often with older unvaccinated members of these populations, the chances of spreading influenza or other diseases may dramatically increase. Vaccinating the children and adolescents of these groups may provide a buffer of protection for these adults.

Age, Perceptions of Mattering, and Allostatic Load

The present research adds to a growing base of evidence that suggests positive intimate relationships act as mechanisms that modify biological pathways associated with disease. For instance, social support, a key factor associated with one’s perception of mattering, is associated with regulation of immune function, including inflammation, which is related to a range of chronic conditions including heart disease.

Depression and Widowhood: The Importance of Resilience

Our results have helped us think about future research and implications for practitioners. Persistent depression following spousal loss hinders our ability to cope, so it is important to identify ways to help vulnerable individuals at risk of becoming depressed.