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…

Spinning, Rotating Queer Planetary Systems

My research on the Midtown neighborhood in Atlanta argues that when planning and urban development efforts fail to recognize the fragility of queer spaces, there can be serious consequences for the viability of LGBTQ spaces. In Atlanta plans for high-end redevelopment along the Peachtree corridor took precedence over longstanding LGBTQ bars on the street and explicitly excluded the adjacent Midtown gayborhood from influencing the redevelopment process. As interest in redevelopment in the Midtown area heated up, Midtown lost many gay and other queer residents who moved south and east in search of more affordable spaces further away from the Midtown “sun.”

Wealth Flows and Population Aging

So what exactly causes the flow of wealth to reverse? Children have not somehow suddenly become expensive, unproductive creatures. What has changed is that their parents have lost control over that productivity. Contemporary market economies have systematically dismantled all legal and customary direct obligations that children once had towards their parents, a dismantling that is still going on in some parts of the world.

Oral Democracy

The voices of the poor are often not heard. Governmental systems devised to assist the poor focus on top-down poverty identification through definitions, biometrics, surveys, and measurements, over which people have little say. And programs to assist the poor are administered through opaque and difficult to navigate bureaucracies. Gram sabhas have the potential to change that by facilitating what we have termed “oral democracy”, a political system powered by citizens’ voices, where direct verbal engagement is the modality and narratives are the main currency.

Florida Needs More Housing but Government Often Gets in the Way

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. Florida is the third most populous state in the country and has no problem attracting new residents: From 2010 to 2016, 114,744 new households moved to Florida each year. Unfortunately, only 57,952 housing units were added each year. This discrepancy — with demand outpacing supply — has pushed…

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.