UMBC Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health Department

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The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health is home to undergraduate programs in Sociology (SOCY), Anthropology (ANTH) and Public Health (PBHL, formerly HAPP). We offer minors in Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health, a Master’s in Applied Sociology, as well as Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in the Nonprofit Sector, and Social Dimensions of Health. An Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s is available, as well as special options for double majors in Sociology and Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, and Public Health and Social Work. The department collaborates with three outstanding Ph.D. programs, including Gerontology (GERO), Public Policy (PUBL) and Language, Literacy & Culture (LLC) and hosts the Center for Aging Studies (CAS), a research center that conducts large scale, federally-funded research.

Throughout these programs, the department emphasizes three core areas: health & aging in society; diversity, gender & culture; and applied social science research. Consistent with UMBC’s goals, the department focuses its core strengths to:

  • Provide a distinctive undergrad experience
  • Support the development of graduate education
  • Conduct faculty research that contributes to both undergraduate & graduate education

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 140
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    Transfer of Knowledge on Pneumoconiosis Care Among Rural-Based Members of a Digital Community of Practice: Cross-Sectional Study
    (JMIR, 2024-01-24) Soller, Brian; Myers, Orrin; Sood, Akshay
    Given the re-emergence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Appalachia and Mountain West United States, there is a tremendous need to train rural professionals in its multidisciplinary management. Since 2016, the Miners’ Wellness TeleECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) Program held by the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and Miners’ Colfax Medical Center, Raton, New Mexico, provides structured longitudinal multidisciplinary telementoring to diverse professionals taking care of miners by creating a digital community of practice. Program sessions emphasize active learning through discussion, rather than didactic training. Professional stakeholder groups include respiratory therapists, home health professionals, benefits counselors, lawyers or attorneys, clinicians, and others. Rural-urban differences in knowledge transfer in such a community of practice, however, remain unknown.
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    CARE COMPARE STAR RATINGS AND FAMILY SATISFACTION IN MARYLAND NURSING FACILITIES
    (Oxford University Press, 2023-12-21) Millar, Roberto; Diehl, Christin; Kusmaul, Nancy; Stockwell, Ian
    Nursing facilities provide critical services and supports to individuals with long-term care needs. The quality of care in nursing facilities varies depending on facility structural characteristics. Moreover, the measurement and perceptions of what constitutes quality of care varies across stakeholders. We used publicly available data to examine the association between family satisfaction with care and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’(CMS’s) Care Compare five-star quality ratings in the context of facility characteristics. Facility-level data of family satisfaction with care were merged with CMS’s five-star star ratings of 220 Maryland nursing facilities in 2021. Using univariate and bivariate statistics, we explored differences in family ratings and five-star ratings across facility ownership (for-profit vs. non-profit), geographic location (urban vs. rural), and average resident occupancy (1-60, 61-120, and 121+). Relationships were examined across overall ratings, as well as across subdomain of the two quality rating frameworks (e.g., staffing, autonomy, health inspections). Family members of residents in non-profit, rural, and low-occupancy facilities rated facilities higher. Non-profit and low-occupancy facilities were statistically more likely to be rated four or five stars, while no significant association was observed across geographic location. The association between subdomain-specific family satisfaction and star ratings varied across facilities of different structures. Findings emphasize the need for comprehensive quality of care frameworks that consider views of quality across stakeholders and types of facilities. A clear understanding of nursing facility structure and quality of care is critical to advance data-driven decision making.
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    The Roles of Education and Literacy in the Digital Divide Among Middle-Aged Adults: Cross-National Evidence from the United States, Japan, and South Korea
    (ProLiteracy, 2024) Yamashita, Takashi; Kim, Giyeon; Liou, Chih-Ling; Ando, Takatoshi; Bardo, Anthony R.; Liu, Darren
    Internationally representative data of middle-aged adults 45 – 65 years old [n(United States) = 2,150; n(Japan) = 2,318; n(South Korea) = 2,800] from the 2012 Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies were analyzed to examine the roles of education and literacy in relation to the digital divide. Results from survey-weighted binary logistic regressions showed that both educational attainment and literacy were positively associated with all four measures of information and communication technology (use of the computer, email, online information and transaction) use in all three countries. The middle-aged adults in the United States benefited more from the educational attainment than those in Japan, in terms of email and online information use. The middle-aged adults with lower education and basic skills (i.e., literacy) may benefit from the educational intervention and additional information and communication technology training, and in turn, improve the digital divide in later life, regardless of differences in culture and economy.
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    A Facility-Level Analysis of Nursing Home Compare Five Star Rating and Maryland’s Family Satisfaction with Care Survey Get access Arrow
    (Oxford University Press, 2023-12-18) Kusmaul, Nancy; Millar, Roberto J; Diehl, Christin; Stockwell, Ian
    Background and Objectives: Nursing facilities care for individuals with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Poor quality is associated with greater disease and mortality. Quality comprises many factors and different stakeholders value different factors. This study aimed to compare two care quality frameworks, one based on observable factors and one on family satisfaction. Research Design and Methods: We merged publicly available 2021 Maryland nursing facility data. The Maryland Health Care Commission surveys long-term care residents’ family satisfaction across seven domains. CMS’ five-star ratings aggregate inspections, staffing, and quality measures. We used univariate and bivariate statistics to compare the frameworks. Results: The dataset included 220 facilities and 4,610 survey respondents. The average facility rating was 7.70/10 and overall 77% of respondents would recommend the facility. Eighty-six percent of respondents from 5-star facilities, 79% from 4-star facilities, and 76% from 3-star facilities would recommend the facility compared to 65% from 1-star facilities (p < 0.001, p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). Four or 5-star facilities received significantly higher ratings (8.33, p < 0.001; 7.75, p < 0.05, respectively) than 1-star facilities (7.07). Discussion and Implications: Our results corroborated earlier findings of strong associations between CMS ratings and satisfaction at the extremes of the five-star system. These associations are inconsistent across family-reported domains. This suggests overlap between the frameworks. CMS ratings address care quality; family satisfaction measures quality of life and care quality. High satisfaction is associated with high care quality and quality of life; lower satisfaction is associated with lower care quality.
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    Examining Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Coping and Stress Within an Environmental Riskscape
    (Springer, 2023-02-17) Mair, Christine A.; Peek, M. Kristen; Slatcher, Richard B.; Cutchin, Malcolm P.
    Existing research on racial/ethnic differences in stress and coping is limited by small samples, single-item measures, and lack of inclusion of Mexican Americans. We address these gaps by analyzing data from the Texas City Stress and Health Study, a cross-sectional sample of Black (N = 257), White (N = 304), US-born (N = 689), and foreign-born (N = 749) Mexican Americans residing in proximity to a petrochemical complex. We compared active and avoidant coping by race/ethnicity and explored multivariable associations between coping and perceived stress. Black and foreign-born Mexican American respondents had the highest stressor exposure yet displayed different patterns of coping and perceived stress patterns. Active coping may be particularly effective for African Americans but may not offset extreme stress disparities. For Mexican Americans, the lack of association between coping and stress underscores the need for more work focused on the culturally diverse coping experiences.
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    End-of-Life Experiences Among “Kinless” Older Adults: A Nationwide Register-Based Study
    (Mary Ann Liebert, 2023-08-07) Mair, Christine A.; Thygesen, Lau C.; Aldridge, Melissa; Tay, Djin L.; Ornstein, Katherine A.
    Background: The population of older adults who are unpartnered and childless (i.e., “kinless”) is increasing across the globe, and may be at risk for lower quality end-of-life (EoL) experiences due to lack of family support, assistance, and advocacy. Yet, little research exists on the EoL experiences of “kinless” older adults. Objectives: To document associations between family structure (i.e., presence or absence of partner or child) and intensity of EoL experiences (i.e., visits to medicalized settings before death). Design: The study design is a cross-sectional population-based register study of the population of Denmark. Subjects: Participants include all adults age 60 years and older who died of natural causes in Denmark from 2009 to 2016 (n = 137,599 decedents). Results: “Kinless” older adults (reference = has partner, has child) were the least likely group to visit the hospital (two or more times; odds ratio [OR] = 0.74, confidence interval [CI] = 0.70–0.77), emergency department (one or more times; OR = 0.90, CI = 0.86–0.93), and intensive care unit (one or more times; OR = 0.71, CI = 0.67–0.75) before death. Conclusions: “Kinless” older adults in Denmark were less likely to experience medically intensive care at the EoL. Further research is needed to understand factors associated with this pattern to ensure that all individuals receive high quality EoL care regardless of their family structure and family tie availability.
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    The Role of Dementia and Residential Service Agency Characteristics in the Care Experiences of Maryland Medicaid Home and Community-Based Service Participants and Family and Unpaid Caregivers
    (Sage, 2022-10-06) Fabius, Chanee; Millar, Roberto; Geil, Erick; Stockwell, Ian; Diehl, Christin; Johnston, Deirdre; Gallo, Joseph J.; Wolff, Jennifer L
    In Maryland, residential service agencies deliver Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) to older adults with disabilities through direct care workers (e.g., personal care aides). Leveraging survey data from residential service agency administrators, linked to interRAI Home Care assessments for 1144 participants, we describe agency characteristics, and participant and family caregiver experiences by participant dementia status. Most (61.7%) participants experienced low social engagement, and roughly 10.0% experienced a hospitalization or emergency room visit within 90 days. Few (14.4%) participants were served by agencies requiring dementia-specific direct care worker training, and most were served by agencies offering supplemental services, or in which direct care workers helped with health information technology (81.2% and 72.8%, respectively). Few caregivers reported negative care experiences. Participants with dementia and those served by agencies with training and support more often reported negative care experiences. Findings lay the foundation for future longitudinal and embedded interventions within Medicaid HCBS.
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    Engaging and Supporting Young Children and their Families in Early Childhood Mental Health Services: The Role of the Family Partner
    (Springer, 2021-02-28) Nayak, Sameera Shukanta; Tobias, Carol; Wolfe, Jessica; Roper, Kate; Mendez‑Penate, Larisa; Moulin, Christy; Arty, Malika; Scoglio, Arielle A. J.; Kelleher, Amy; Rue, Jacqueline; Brigham, Molly; Bradshaw, Tarsha; Byars, Natasha; Camacho, Angelina; Douglas, Sade; Molnar, Beth E.
    This study explores the role of family partners, peer professionals with lived experiences of raising a child with behavioral health needs, and their value in primary and community-care based mental health services for young children aged 0–8 years. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with staff, leadership, and caregiver participants (n = 38) from two early childhood mental health programs and analyzed using thematic analysis. Five interdependent themes emerged: (1) the centrality of lived experience to the family partner role; (2) the importance of the family partner in family engagement and relationship building; (3) the value added by the family partner in navigating systems; (4) the ability of the family partner to build skills and empower caregivers; (5) the role of the family partner in alleviating caregiver stress and other mental health concerns. Adapting and expanding the role of family partners will improve effective mental health care for children and their caregivers.
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    ”Kinlessness” and Aging w/ Dr. Christine Mair
    (UMBC Center for Social Science Research, 2023-10-30) Anson, Ian; Mair, Christine Armstrong; Yamashita, Takashi
    On this episode I speak with Dr. Christine Armstrong Mair, Associate Professor of Sociology and Gerontology and Director of the Center for Health, Equity, and Aging (CHEA) in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health (SAPH) at UMBC. We discuss Dr. Mair’s ongoing research into aging and older adult lifestyles across the world. Dr. Mair mentioned the following resources in our discussion: Gateway to Global Aging Data SMaRT Scholars Program National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Seminar on Kinlessness and Living Alone at Older Ages (Drs. Margolis, Carr, Taylor, and Mair)
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    Associations between education, information-processing skills, and job automation risk in the United States
    (Sage, 2023-11-07) Narine, Donnette; Yamashita, Takashi; Chidebe, Runcie C. W.; Cummins, Phyllis A.; Kramer, Jenna W.; Karam, Rita
    Job automation is a topical issue in a technology-driven labor market. However, greater amounts of human capital (e.g., often measured by education, and information-processing skills, including adult literacy) are linked with job security. A knowledgeable and skilled labor force better resists unemployment and/or rebounds from job disruption brought on by job automation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to advance understanding of the association between educational attainment and literacy, and job automation risk. Using the 2012/2014/2017 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) data, survey-weighted linear regression was used to model the risk of job automation as a function of education, and literacy proficiency. Higher educational attainment (college or higher vs. less than high school: b = −18.23, p < .05) and greater literacy proficiency (score 0–500 points: b = −.038, p < .05) were associated with a decrease in job automation risk among the U.S. workforce.
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    Addressing Racialized Aging in Medicine
    (AAMC, 2023) Wallace, Brandy Harris; Clark-Shirley, Leanne; Kheirbek, Raya Elfadel
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    Reliance on Social Networks and Health Professionals for Health Information in the U.S. Adult Population
    (Springer, 2023-10-21) Narine, Donnette; Yamashita, Takashi; Punksungka, Wonmai; Helsinger, Abigail; Kramer, Jenna W.; Karam, Rita; Cummins, Phyllis A.
    Background: The subpopulation of adults depends on non-online health information sources including their social networks and health professionals, to the exclusion of online sources. In view of the digital divide and health information disparities, the roles of race/ethnicity and digital skills are yet to be explored. Methods: A nationally representative sample of 6,830 adults from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) was analyzed, using binary logistic regression. Results: Black adults and adults with higher digital skills were less likely to be reliant on non-online health information sources, compared to White adults and those with lower digital skills, respectively. Discussion: Differences in non-online health information source reliance by race/ethnicity and digital skills might be further nuanced by the relevant demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Increasing digital skills may expand one’s health information sources to include reliable online sources and empower adults to promote their health.
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    Examining Literacy Skill Performance of Black Adults in the U.S.: A Case of Civic Engagement and Political Efficacy
    (American Institutes for Research, 2023-10) Alston, Geleana Drew; Yamashita, Takashi; Goings, Ramon; Saal, Leah Katherine
    The Issue: Black adults’ beliefs about civic and political engagement are possible avenues toward social equality. The Black population is far from a monolith (Saal et al., 2023). Little is known about how Black adults’ literacy skill level impacts their civic engagement and political efficacy. Within the Black adult population, a better understanding of gender differences is critical to inform civic and democratic educational initiatives. The Research Question: 1. Are the levels of information processing skills (i.e., adult literacy proficiency) associated with civic engagement and political efficacy among Black adults in the U.S.? 2. Are there any gender differences in the associations between civic engagement, political efficacy, and information processing skills (i.e., adult literacy proficiency) among Black adults in the U.S.? The Findings: Black adults have comparable civic engagement and political efficacy to the general adult population. Black adults with college degrees (s) tend to volunteer more often than those without. Black adults with higher levels of literacy proficiency, college education, and older age tend to have higher political efficacy than those without. Black women and Black men had similar literacy proficiency. Black women with higher educational attainment had greater civic engagement. Black men who live with their spouses had greater civic engagement. Black women with high literacy proficiency had greater political efficacy than their counterparts with low literacy proficiency. Black men with higher educational attainment had greater political efficacy. The Implications: Promoting the political efficacy of Black adults with low literacy skills should be on a policy agenda. Civic and political education should be provided throughout adult life stages, and be considerate of sociocultural (e.g., race, gender) differences.
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    Novel breast cancer risk factors in Nigeria: the findings of Nigerian breast cancer risk factor study
    (African Journals Online, 2023-10-13) Azubuike, Samuel O.; Beeler, Dori
    INTRODUCTION: The potential roles of alcohol consumption and family history of breast cancer in breast cancer etiology have not been widely studied in Nigeria. Moreover, no African study has investigated the relationship between Light Exposure at Night (LEAN), interpregnancy gap, and breast cancer risk. This study investigated the association between LEAN alcohol consumption, family history of breast cancer, interpregnancy gap, and breast cancer risk among Nigerian women. METHODS: A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect relevant data from 372 cases and 403 controls in five public hospitals in Nigeria. The participants were interviewed in person between October 2016 and May 2017. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: After adjusting for relevant confounders, frequent LEAN (OR 1.87, 95% CI: 1.09, 3.21), average interpregnancy gap (AIG) > 3 years (compared to AIG < 1.5 years) (OR 2.21, 95% CI:1.07, 4.57), having a regular history of alcohol consumption (OR 1.67, 95% CI:1.04, 2.69), and family history of breast cancer (OR 2.11, 95% CI:1.14, 3.93) and were significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. CONCLUSION: We hypothesized that LEAN, longer interpregnancy gap, regular alcohol consumption, and family history of breast cancer increase the risk of breast cancer among Nigerian women.
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    An Intersectional Approach to Examining Breast Cancer Screening among Subpopulations of Black Women in the United States
    (Springer Nature, 2023-09-13) Narine, Donnette; Yamashita, Takashi; Mair, Christine A.
    This study examines breast cancer screening behavior among subpopulations of Black women in the United States. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze breast cancer screening among a nationally-representative sample (n = 9,783) of Black women—US-born, non-US-born Caribbean, and non-US-born African—from the 2011-2017 National Health Interview Survey dataset. Non-US-born African Black women were less likely to have breast cancer screening, compared to US-born Black women. Among non-US-born Black women, non-US-born Caribbean Black women were more likely to have had breast cancer screening. Differential healthcare access associated with nativity differences among Black women can be informing their breast cancer screening behaviors. Efforts to improve breast cancer outcomes among Black women can benefit from interventions that account for differential access to healthcare and breast cancer screening behaviors among subgroups of Black women.
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    School-Based Health Centers, Access to Care, and Income-Based Disparities
    (JAMA, 2023-09-18) Boudreaux, Michel; Chu, Jun; Lipton, Brandy J.
    Importance School-based health centers (SBHCs) are primary care clinics colocated at schools. SBHCs have the potential to improve health care access and reduce disparities, but there is limited rigorous evidence on their effectiveness at the national level. Objective To determine whether county-level adoption of SBHCs was associated with access, utilization, and health among children from low-income families and to measure reductions in income-based disparities. Design, Setting, and Participants This survey study used a difference-in-differences design and data from a nationally representative sample of children in the US merged with SBHC indicators from the National Census of School-Based Health Centers. The main sample included children aged 5 to 17 years with family incomes that were less than 200% of the federal poverty level observed in the National Health Interview Survey, collected between 1997 to 2018. The sample was restricted to children living in a county that adopted a center between 2003 and 2013 or that did not have a center at any time during the study period. Analyses of income-based disparities included children from higher income families (ie, 200% or higher than the federal poverty level). Data were analyzed between January 2020 and July 2023. Exposure County-by-year SBHC adoption. Main Outcomes and Measures Outcomes included access (usual source of care, insurance status, barriers), ambulatory care use (general physician, eye doctor, dental, mental health visits), and health (general health status, missed school days due to illness). P values were adjusted for multiple comparisons using the sharpened q value method. Results This study included 12 624 unweighted children from low-income families and 24 631 unweighted children from higher income families. The weighted percentage of children in low-income families who resided in counties with SBHC adoption included 50.0% aged 5 to 10 years. The weighted percentages of the race and ethnicity of these children included 36.7% Hispanic children, 25.2% non-Hispanic Black children, and 30.6% non-Hispanic White children. The weighted percentages of children in the counties that never adopted SBHCs included 50.1% aged 5 to 10 years. The weighted percentages of the race and ethnicity of these children included 20.7% Hispanic children, 22.4% non-Hispanic Black children, and 52.9% non-Hispanic White children. SBHC adoption was associated with a 6.4 percentage point increase in dental visits (95% CI, 3.2-9.6 percentage points; P < .001), an 8.0 percentage point increase in having a usual source of care (95% CI, 4.5-11.5 percentage points; P < .001), and a 5.2 percentage point increase in insurance (95% CI, 1.2-9.2 percentage points; P = .03). No other statistically significant associations were found with other outcomes. SBHCs were associated with relative reductions in income-based disparities to dental visits by 76% (4.9 percentage points; 95% CI, 2.0-7.7 percentage points), to insured status by 63% (3.5 percentage points; 95% CI, 1.3-5.7 percentage points), and to having a usual source of care by 98% (7.2 percentage points; 95% CI, 5.4-9.1 percentage points). Conclusions and Relevance In this survey study with difference-in-differences analysis of SBHC adoption, SBHCs were associated with access to care and reduced income-based disparities. These findings support additional SBHC expansion.
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    Associations Between Volunteering, STEM Backgrounds, and Information-Processing Skills in Adult Populations of the United States
    (Springer, 2023-08-29) Yamashita, Takashi; Narine, Donnette; Punksungka, Wonmai; Kramer, Jenna W.; Karam, Rita; Cummins, Phyllis A.
    Volunteering, STEM education and occupation, and information-processing skills such as literacy, numeracy, and digital problem-solving skills are important indicators of a nation’s well-being as they represent civic engagement, economic development, and the human capital of the population. Although these critical social indicators have been previously examined in silos, the interrelationships are yet to be examined in the adult populations in the United States. The current study analyzed the 2012/2014/2017 U.S. Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) data of adults aged between 25 and 65 years old (n = 8,330). Results from the structural equation model showed that STEM education and occupation as well as information-processing skills independently promote volunteer participation. Also, STEM education and occupation are positively associated with information-processing skills. Yet, when simultaneously examining the mediation relationship, STEM education and occupation are no longer the promoters of volunteering. Findings from the current study can provide preliminary education, labor, and social policy implications for promoting the nation’s economy and well-being, and inform future research to disentangle complex interrelationships across the important social indicators.
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    Less is (Often) More: Number of Children and Health Among Older Adults in 24 Countries
    (Oxford University Press, 2023-08-25) Antczak, R; Quashie, N T; Mair, Christine A.; Arpino, B
    Objectives Previous evidence about the impact of parenthood on health for older adults is mixed, perhaps due to variation in number of children and context. Higher numbers of children could lead to support or strain, depending on individual and country contexts. Yet, no studies currently exist that examine associations between number of children and several health indicators among older adults across multiple global regions. Methods We analyze cross-sectional data (1992-2017) of 166,739 adults aged 50+ across 24 countries from the Health and Retirement Study family of surveys to document associations between number of children, treated as a categorical variable, and five health outcomes (self-rated health, ADL limitations, IADL limitations, chronic conditions, depression). We perform multivariable analyses by estimating logistic regression models for each country and each outcome. Results Multiple comparisons between categories of number of children revealed at least one significant difference in each country, and a majority of significant differences indicated those with more children had poorer health. The risk of poorer health for parents of multiple children was observed in 15 countries, but in some countries fewer children predict poorer health. The greatest number of differences were identified for depression and chronic conditions, and very few for functional limitations. Discussion We observe a greater probability that more children is associated with poorer health in later life, especially for chronic conditions and depression. However, a universal global or regional pattern could not be identified. These findings raise new questions about how country contexts shape fertility and health.
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    Qualitative Study of Women’s Personal Experiences of Retention and Attrition in Undergraduate Engineering Programs
    (ASEE, 2023-06-25) Kreiner, Elle Ann; Gurganus, Jamie R
    Women’s persistent underrepresentation in engineering fields is a national priority. In the past two decades, the proportion of women earning degrees in engineering has increased from 18% to 21%. This work-in-progress paper presents the preliminary longitudinal mixed-methods analysis and results from a study designed to advance the understanding of women’s experiences in undergraduate engineering at a mid-size university. This research, in its third year, focuses on qualitative analysis examining personal experiences as they coalesce with gender, sex, race, and other identifying factors. These compiled experiences provide insight into how the identifying factors influence educational outcomes as aligned with our sociocultural understanding of undergraduate engineering education. Qualitative methodology in the form of ethnographic interviews and focus groups were used to examine a racially diverse sample of ten cohorts of undergraduate women in engineering programs, in addition to currently enrolled students. The aim of this portion of the project is to elucidate the cultural ecosystem of undergraduate engineering education and its relation to women’s achievement motivation and to complicate the discourse on identity in engineering education with an examination of structural modes of power, privilege, and inequality within the discipline. This research seeks to answer: What personal experiences in engineering cohorts are related to retention and graduation among undergraduate women, and what experiences may be ubiquitous in these cohorts? Findings from this research pertain to various majors (mechanical, chemical, or computer engineering), touching on first-hand experiences of prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination, mentorship, growth, and opportunity. The final phase of the project completes comparative analysis of data collected through mixed methods.
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    For Us, By Us, An Ethnographic Study of Baltimore City's Latine Community Creating Meaning and Sense of Self Through Community Events and Place
    (2023-01-01) Gomez Ruvalcaba, Julissa; Chapin, Bambi; Sociology and Anthropology; Sociology, Applied
    This research study explores how the Latine community in Baltimore City is intentionally creating spaces to foster their cultural identity and self. It asks how Latines in Baltimore City understand and express their cultural identity through their engagement with community events. Using an ethnographic approach supported by a Chicana feminist theoretical framework and an attention to placemaking and meanmaking, I conducted participant observation at ten local Latine events and eight in-depth interviews with event participants, all centered on the Highlandtown neighborhood. In coding for key themes that emerged from this data, I identified six themes ?It?s a Party,? ?Nest making,? ?Porque Son Nuestras Ra�ces,? ?Representation,? ?Americanizaci�n,? and ?We Feel the Truest Version in Our Spaces?. ?It?s a Party? describes the overall energy and sentiment attached to the local events organized by the Latine community. ?Nest making? explores how Latines build their current home and community in Baltimore City as they remember parts of their culture and heritage. ?Porque Son Nuestras Ra�ces? explains the importances of maintaining one?s roots while also allowing for a critical analysis of what cultural roots should be maintained. ?Representation? examines the Latine community?s continuous efforts to represent the diversity of the Latine community in the events which includes its historical and colonized past. ?Americanizaci�n? examines the awareness the Latine community has of the potential consequences of assimilating to American culture?loss. ?We Feel the Trusts Versions in Our Spaces? discusses why Latines feel truly connected to themselves in spaces that are created for and by them. The analysis of the themes shows that spaces created by and for the Latine community serve as a way to preserve their cultural self and identity while living in Baltimore City. The spaces themselves transform into places that hold meaning as the Latine community members continuously interact with and within the spaces through community events and performances, interactions which form their own versions of Latinidad and self, specific to Baltimore City. What these findings demonstrate is that Latines actively carve out places for themselves to resist assimilating to American culture, countering the perception that Latines forget about their home country and motherland when immigrating to the United States. Instead, the research study reinforces the concept that Latines consciously search for, perform, and remake community in ways that resonate with who they are on an individual and cultural level.