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When lumped together in a broad ”white” category, health disparities within a subgroup population can be easily overlooked, says sociologist Jen’nan Read. That led her to conduct a new study on health outcomes in foreign- and native-born U.S. whites.

NextGenPop is an undergraduate pipeline program in population research that aims to increase the diversity of the population field and nurture the next generation of population scientists.

Political leanings might determine more than how people vote. This study, co-authored by Christina Gibson-Davis, explores the link between political identity and young adults' fertility desires from 1989 to 2019. Using data from a survey of 12th graders, it finds that Republicans consistently desired more children than Democrats, with the gap widening over time. Initially, differences in religiosity and gender attitudes explained these gaps, but from 2004 onwards, these factors only partially accounted for them. By 2014, Republicans had a higher likelihood of wanting more children and a lower likelihood of avoiding parenthood, a trend that continued through 2019. The study concludes that political identity has increasingly influenced fertility desires.

DUPRI scholar Sunshine Hillygus has been selected as a 2024 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

DUPRI Scholar Jenny Tung, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology, and the Director of the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology is among five Duke faculty who have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The NAS elected a total of 120 new members and 24 new international members.

Led by DUPRI Scholar and Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology Herman Pontzer, the Population Ecology, Aging, and Hea

Several DUPRI students attended the Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio from April 18-20. There they presented their research at both panels and poster sessions and serving as panel discussants. Below we summarize their work.

DUPRI Scholar Thavolia Glymph is among the 250 prominent scholars, artists and leaders elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, April 24.

A new study by a team of scholars, headed by DUPRI's Michelle White and Naomi Duke, examines the factors that protect children from developing obesity despite the presence of risk factors. The paper, currently in press at Academic Pediatrics, is titled "Positive Outliers: A Mixed Methods Study of Resiliency to Childhood Obesity in High-Risk Neighborhoods." Despite the high prevalence of obesity and the clustering of risk by neighborhood, few studies have examined characteristics which promote healthy child weight in neighborhoods with high obesity risk. The authors aimed to identify protective factors for children living in neighborhoods with high obesity risk. The authors identified neighborhoods with high obesity risk using geolocated electronic health record data with measured body mass index (BMI) from well child visits (2012-2017). They then recruited caregivers with children aged 5-13 years who lived in census tracts with mean child BMI percentile > 72 (February 2020- August 2021). They used sequential mixed methods (quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews) to compare individual, interpersonal and perceived neighborhood factors among families with children at healthy weight (positive outliers, PO) vs. families with ≥1 child with overweight or obesity (controls). Regression models and comparative qualitative analysis were used to identify protective characteristics.

A recently-published paper by DUPRI scholar Scott Lynch and co-authors Christina Kamis and William Copeland, titled "Associations between Configurations of Childhood Adversity and Adult Mental Health Disorder Outcomes" employs a life-course approach to analyze the influence of adverse childhood events on subsequent adult mental health. The life course perspective and cumulative inequality theory suggest that childhood adversity, occurring during a sensitive period of the life course, can have long-term consequences for adult mental health and well-being. Yet, the long-term influence of adversity on adult outcomes may depend on both the features of adverse childhood experiences (e.g., the number, type, and co-occurrence of adversities) as well as the outcome assessed. Using latent class analysis applied to several waves of prospective data from the Great Smoky Mountains Study (GSMS; N = 1,420), the authors identify subpopulations that are similar in their adversity experiences before age 18. The authors then predict adult internalizing and substance use disorder diagnoses by adversity experience. Results reveal five distinct classes of adversity, with unique risks for specific diagnoses in adulthood.