Monthly Archive for July, 2008

Funding Opportunities

Research funding programs can be found at the monthly updated funding news page of the journal Science.
Funders listed for the August issue include:
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
American Council of Learned Societies
Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health
Department of Justice
National Science Foundation
Pew Charitable Trusts
Social Science Research Council

Disability and Health in the United States, 2001-2005

Disability and Health in the United States, 2001-2005
Source: National Center for Health Statistics (CDC)

Disability and Health in the United States, 2001–2005 examines health-related differences between disabled and nondisabled noninstitutionalized adults aged 18 years and over using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The basic actions difficulty measure of disability used in this report identifies noninstitutionalized adults with respondent-reported difficulties in movement or sensory, emotional, or cognitive functioning that is associated with some health problem. The complex activity limitation measure of disability identifies noninstitutionalized adults with respondent-reported limitations in self-care tasks (activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)) work limitations, or limitations or restrictions in the ability to participate fully in social activities.

International HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Key Changes to U.S. Programs and Funding

International HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Key Changes to U.S. Programs and Funding
Kellie Moss
Source: Congressional Research Service (Open CRS Network)
The United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-25) authorizes $15 billion for U.S. global efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria from FY2004 through FY2008. It also authorizes the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) to oversee U.S. government efforts to combat HIV/AIDS internationally. These efforts to combat HIV/AIDS implement the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program proposed by President Bush in January 2003. President Bush has requested $30 billion for the reauthorization of PEPFAR from FY2009 through FY2013, estimating it would support HIV/AIDS treatments for 2.5 million people, the prevention of more than 12 million new HIV infections, and care for more than 12 million HIV-affected people, including 5 million orphans and vulnerable children. Congress is considering reauthorization of U.S. international HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs through FY2013 for $50 billion. H.R. 5501, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, and S. 2731, a similar bill with the same title, would increase funding for U.S. efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund), and U.S. global efforts to combat tuberculosis and malaria. H.R. 5501 and S. 2731 propose a number of changes to U.S. international HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs. The bills would: add Vietnam to the list of Focus Countries; remove the 33% spending requirement on abstinence prevention efforts; establish a Global Malaria Coordinator within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); set targets for coverage of pregnant women and the care of HIV-infected children; and support the sustainability of health care systems in affected countries. There are some differences between the two bills. H.R. 5501 inserts family planning program language, maintains prevention and care spending directives, and adds 14 countries in the Caribbean and three countries in sub-Saharan Africa to the list of Focus Countries. S. 2731 proposes the use of compacts or framework agreements between the United States and each country receiving HIV/AIDS funds under the reauthorization. It eliminates Immigration and Nationality Act language that bars foreign nationals with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States. This report will discuss changes in coordination and funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs proposed in H.R. 5501 and S. 2731. Some questions remain about whether programs to combat tuberculosis and malaria should be further defined and if additional reporting requirements, distinct leadership authorities, funding and program guidelines, project timetables, and coordination requirements with HIV/AIDS programs are needed. This report will be updated as events warrant.

Full report (PDF)

Early Academic Competence Linked to Later Depression

Low Academic Competence in First Grade as a Risk Factor for Depressive Cognitions and Symptoms in Middle School
Keith C. Herman, Wendy M. Reinke, Sharon F. Lambert, Nicholas S. Ialongo
Source: Source: Journal of Counseling Psychology

The present study investigated the role of low academic competence in the emergence of depressive cognitions and symptoms. Structural equation modeling was conducted on a longitudinal sample of African American boys (n = 253) and girls (n = 221). Results supported the hypothesized path models from academic competence in 1st grade to depressive symptoms in 7th grade, controlling for a host of correlated constructs (conduct problems, inattention, social problems). Perceived control in 6th grade mediated the effect of academic competence on depressive symptoms. Although the models fit the data well for both boys and girls, the path coefficients were notably larger for girls; in particular, multiple group analysis revealed a statistically stronger effect of low academic competence on perceptions of control for girls. The study and findings fit well with counseling psychologists’ commitment to prevention activities and to culture-specific research. Implications for designing interventions and prevention strategies for children with early academic problems are discussed.

American Psychological Association Press Release
Full text of article (PDF)

Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2007

Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2007
Source: National Center for Health Statistics (CDC)
Data shown here are provisional and include only events occurring within the United States (50 states and the District of Columbia). Provisional birth, death, and infant death data in this report are based on a combination of counts of events provided by each reporting area and registered vital events processed into National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data files. Some of these may not have occurred in the specified month of this report. Monthly provisional birth, death, and infant death data may be updated during the course of a data year. Updates based on registered events will be included in the month the event occurred. However, updates based on counts received from the states may include the event in the month it was processed rather than the month in which it occurred. This may result in a low figure for a given month followed by a high figure for the month(s) in which the delayed records were processed. Once the provisional data year has ended, updates cease. Thus, provisional birth, death, and infant death data may not accurately track either the preliminary or the final number of events registered.
Full text (PDF)

New Working Papers from the NBER

The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents
Roland G. Fryer, Jr, Lisa Kahn, Steven D. Levitt, Jörg L. Spenkuch
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Postsecondary Remediation Using a Regression Discontinuity Approach: Addressing Endogenous Sorting and Noncompliance
Juan Carlos Calcagno, Bridget Terry Long
Abstract; PDF

Air Pollution and Infant Health: Lessons from New Jersey
Janet Currie, Matthew J. Neidell, Johannes Schmieder
Abstract; PDF

Measuring the Importance of Labor Market Networks
Judith K. Hellerstein, Melissa McInerney, David Neumark
Abstract; PDF

Labor Supply: Are the Income and Substitution Effects Both Large or Both Small?
Miles S. Kimball, Matthew D. Shapiro
Abstract; PDF

Call for Papers

IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography
Call for papers

International Seminar on
Demographic Responses to Sudden Economic and Environmental Change

Kashiwa, Chiba, JAPAN
21-23 May 2009

This seminar will examine the effects of sudden or unexpected economic and environmental change on the demographic behavior of individuals and families. Such changes may be social, political, or economic in origin, stemming for example from financial crises, food price fluctuations, harvest failure, regime change, or war. Alternatively they may be associated with natural disasters, stemming from tsunami, flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Responses differ because while some changes were very rare and almost impossible to prepare for, others were common enough to plan for. We invite papers that examine how community, household, family and individual characteristics conditioned the effects of sudden external changes and led to demographic responses that varied not only across regions or communities, but within them as well.

Sample Size and Precision in NIH Peer Review

Public Library of Science (PLoS Article: “Sample Size and Precision in NIH Peer Review,” by David Kaplan1, Nicola Lacetera, and Celia Kaplan
The Working Group on Peer Review of the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH has recommended that at least 4 reviewers should be used to assess each grant application. A sample size analysis of the number of reviewers needed to evaluate grant applications reveals that a substantially larger number of evaluators are required to provide the level of precision that is currently mandated. NIH should adjust their peer review system to account for the number of reviewers needed to provide adequate precision in their evaluations.

Funding News

Neural and Behavioral Profiles of Cognitive Aging (R01)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health, invites applications for research examining the neural and behavioral signatures of age-related changes in cognition, with particular emphasis on the determination of characteristics that distinguish healthy age-related cognitive change from pathological cognitive change.
Research on Causal Factors and Interventions that Promote and Support the Careers of Women in Biomedical and Behavioral Science and Engineering (R01)
The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support research on: 1)causal factors explaining the current patterns observed in the careers of women in biomedical and behavioral science and engineering and variation across different subgroups and 2) the efficacy of programs designed to support the careers of women in these disciplines. Causal factors include individual characteristics, family and economic circumstances, disciplinary culture or practices, and features of the broader social and cultural context.

Adult Obesity Trends

Latest CDC Data Show More Americans Report Being Obese
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The proportion of U.S. adults who self report they are obese increased nearly 2 percent between 2005 and 2007, according to a report in today?s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). An estimated 25.6 percent of U.S. adults reported being obese in 2007 compared to 23.9 percent in 2005, an increase of 1.7 percent. The report also finds that none of the 50 states or the District of Columbia has achieved the Healthy People 2010 goal to reduce obesity prevalence to 15 percent or less.

In three states – Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee – the prevalence of self-reported obesity among adults age 18 or older was above 30 percent. Colorado had the lowest obesity prevalence at 18.7 percent. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. BMI is calculated using height and weight. For example, a 5-foot, 9-inch adult who weighs 203 pounds would have a BMI of 30, thus putting this person into the obese category.

State-Specific Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults — United States, 2007 (Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report)
For more information on obesity trends, including an animated map, visit