NIH OBSSR: The Connector

Stimulating Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Latest articles

Joint engagement: Positive play with toddlers helps cognitive and social development

  By Dana Wolff-Hughes, Ph.D. & Victoria Smith, Ph.D. Joint engagement is a state in which two people focus on a common object or target. Mutually-sustained engagement may be shared through pointing or shared gazes and responsivity between children and their caregivers. Interest in joint engagement (JE) has increased in recent years as research...

New NIH Clinical Trials Policies: Implications for Behavioral and Social Science Researchers

Last month, the NIH released new policies and related efforts to improve our stewardship, accountability, and transparency of clinical trials.  NIH is the largest funder of clinical trials in the U.S., and these multi-faceted efforts are designed to address issues at multiple stages of the clinical trials process, from grant application through dissemination...

Influences of workplace discrimination on Mexican immigrant parents and their families

  By Anna Gassman-Pines, Ph.D. In 2010, 23% of children in the United States lived in immigrant families, and this proportion has been increasing. Immigrants from Mexico, in particular, are among the fastest growing immigrant groups. Understanding social influences on the development of immigrant children is crucial for both developmental science and...

Vacancy: HSA Position, Deadline October 12th

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services, is seeking a dynamic individual to serve as a Health Scientist Administrator focused on at least one of these three scientific priorities: 1) Improve the Synergy of Basic to Applied Behavioral...

Study proposes dynamic framework on travel mode choice focusing on utilitarian walking

  By Yong Yang, Ph.D. Recently, numerous empirical studies have been published on utilitarian walking as a travel mode due to benefits of walking on physical and mental health, as well as its potential to decrease air pollution and traffic congestion and to promote sustainable urban development and social cohesion in neighborhoods. Simultaneously, a...

Middle-aged adults’ responses to financial loss during the Great Recession

  By Shannon T. Mejía, Ph.D. Between January 2008 and February 2010, 8.8 million people lost their jobs, real personal income declined by 6%, and net household wealth fell by 15%. The “Great Recession” simultaneously shocked the employment, housing, and stock markets—the primary institutions that help individuals and families meet their current needs...

Improved infant health could impact population-level patterns of social inequality

  By Jennifer B. Kane, Ph.D. Social inequalities in infant health are a highly prioritized population health issue in our country. Rates of adverse birth outcomes, such as low birthweight (<2,500g), are consistently higher among poor and unmarried women, as well as non-Hispanic black and some Hispanic women. Because poor infant health outcomes can...

The Genetics of Success: Life-course sociogenomic analysis of genetic discoveries for educational attainment

  By Daniel W. Belsky, PhD Large-scale data mining of more than one hundred thousand human genomes recently discovered genetic variants related to differences in educational attainment. We followed-up results from that data mining study to uncover the developmental and behavioral paths that connected DNA sequences with life outcomes. We studied a cohort...

“I want to be better than you.” Experiences of intergenerational child maltreatment prevention among teen mothers in and beyond foster care

By Elizabeth Aparicio, PhD, MSW “I think that was my main thing, looking at my mom. I looked at her and I would be like, I don’t want to be like you. I want to be better than you.” (Melanie, age 19) Prevention of child abuse and neglect is an ongoing public health need that […]

keepin’ it REAL: Designing interventions that change behavior…and lives

  By Wendy Anson, Ph.D. Asked to describe keepin’ it REAL, the multi-faceted community-based health intervention he co-developed, Michael Hecht throws out an image: “Think of a hologram—from one aspect, it’s the setting. Our intervention takes place in a dynamic community; not a lab. Secondly, when we create a curriculum, we want it to be […]

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