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Sangeetha Madhavan's Research on Mothers' Mental Health featured in New Security Beat
range of life experiences conspire to affect a woman’s mental health in Nairobi, Kenya
Located in News
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Connections and Divergence between Public Health and Built Environment—A Scoping Review
Abstract: Public health and built environment design have a long-intertwined history of promoting a healthy quality of life. They emerged with the common goal of preventing infectious disease outbreaks in urban areas and improving occupants’ living conditions. In recent years, however, the two disciplines have become less engaged and with each developing a distinct focus. To respond to this disconnection, a systematic review was conducted to identify the connection and divergence between public health and built environment design and planning. This paper aims to establish a context for understanding the connections, synergies, and divergence between public health and built environment design disciplines. Further, the four main health factors in the built environment are identified and explained: physical, physiological, biological, and psychological factors. Finally, future trends to reconnect public health with build environment design are then outlined.
Located in MPRC People / Jennifer D. Roberts, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. / Jennifer D. Roberts Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Sexual health of adolescent girls and young women in Central Uganda: exploring perceived coercive aspects of transactional sex
Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Uganda are at risk of early sexual debut, unwanted pregnancy, violence, and disproportionally high HIV infection rates, driven in part by transactional sex. This paper examines the extent to which AGYW’s participation in transactional sex is perceived to be coerced. We conducted 19 focus group discussions and 44 in-depth interviews using semi-structured tools. Interviews were audio recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using a thematic analysis. While AGYW did not necessarily use the language of coercion, their narratives describe a number of coercive aspects in their relationships. First, coercion by force as a result of “de-toothing” a man (whereby they received money or resources but did not wish to provide sex as “obligated” under the implicit “terms” of the relationships). Second, they described the coercive role that receiving resources played in their decision to have sex in the face of men’s verbal insistence. Finally, they discussed having sex as a result of coercive economic circumstances including poverty, and because of peer pressure to uphold modern lifestyles. Support for income-generation activities, microfinance and social protection programmes may help reduce AGYW’s vulnerability to sexual coercion in transactional sex relationships. Targeting gender norms that contribute to unequal power dynamics and social expectations that obligate AGYW to provide sex in return for resources, critically assessing the meaning of consensual sex, and normative interventions building on parents’ efforts to ascertain the source of their daughters’ resources may also reduce AGYW’s vulnerability to coercion.
Located in MPRC People / Kirsten Stoebenau, Ph.D. / Kristen Stoebenau Publications
Rendall comments on Baltimore population erosion
Current Census estimates place its population at a 100-year low
Located in News
Rashawn Ray comments on Philadelphia Blacks' Dilemma during Coronavirus Outbreak featured in InsideSources
African Americans in Philadephia suffer from both the pandemic and violent crimes
Located in News
Maryland Environmental Justice Map and Screening Tool
Sacoby Wilson leads project to enhance environmental equity monitoring
Located in Research / Selected Research
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Faith-based communities for rural coastal resilience: lessons from collaborative learning on the Chesapeake Bay
Rural coastal areas are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. In the USA, much energy is devoted to conserving rural coastal ecosystems by promoting their adaptation to climate change. However, these areas are also home to vulnerable and underserved communities who can be challenging to engage in climate adaptation discussions. Churches—as trusted social institutions—may offer a structure through which government decision-makers and rural residents can engage to improve the resilience of these rural coastal regions. We employed collaborative learning to engage government decision-makers and rural church members on the topic of climate impacts on Maryland’s Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. We analyzed the collaborative learning process and its outcomes using ethnographic methods. In this paper, we present our approach and discuss the benefits and challenges of collaborative learning with rural churches. We found that this approach yielded major benefits including greater understanding of capacities and limitations in addressing environmental challenges, increased trust and social networks, expanded engagement with a greater diversity of stakeholders, increased opportunities for new conversations, new pathways toward interventions, and stakeholder empowerment. Collaborating with churches is not without challenges though; it requires considerable time and effort and presents difficulties in navigating social hierarchies and specialized language, identifying common goals, grappling with the newness of climate change, and overcoming institutional barriers. Despite these challenges, we conclude that collaborative learning with churches is a valuable approach for information exchange and network-building toward more resilient rural coasts.
Located in Retired Persons / Michael Paolisso, Ph.D. / Michael Paolisso Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Perceived stress and incident sexually transmitted infections in a prospective cohort
Purpose Psychosocial stress has been associated with susceptibility to many infectious pathogens. We evaluated the association between perceived stress and incident sexually transmitted infections (STIs;  Chlamydia trachomatis ,  Neisseria gonorrhoeae , and  Trichomonas vaginalis  genital infections) in a prospective study of women. Stress may increase vulnerability to STIs by suppressing immune function and altering the protective vaginal microbiota. Methods Using the 1999 Longitudinal Study of Vaginal Flora (n  = 2439), a primarily African American cohort of women, we fitted Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between perceived stress and incident STIs. We tested  bacterial vaginosis  (measured by Nugent Score) and sexual behaviors (condom use, number of partners, and partner concurrence) as mediators using VanderWeele's difference method. Results Baseline perceived stress was associated with incident STIs both before and after adjusting for confounders (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.015; 95% confidence interval, 1.005–1.026). Nugent score and sexual behaviors significantly mediated 21% and 65% of this adjusted association, respectively, and 78% when included together in the adjusted model. Conclusions This study advances understanding of the relationship between perceived stress and STIs and identifies high-risk sexual behaviors and development of bacterial vaginosis—both known risk factors for STIs—as mechanisms underlying this association.
Located in Retired Persons / Natalie Slopen, Sc.D. / Natalie Slopen Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Cumulative Psychosocial Stress and Ideal Cardiovascular Health in Older Women: Data by Race/Ethnicity
  BACKGROUND: Research implicates acute and chronic stressors in racial/ethnic health disparities, but the joint impact of multiple stressors on racial/ethnic disparities in cardiovascular health is unknown. METHODS: In 25 062 women (24 053 white; 256 Hispanic; 440 black; 313 Asian) articipating in the Women's Health Study follow-up cohort, we examined the relationship between cumulative psychosocial stress (CPS) and ideal cardiovascular health (ICH), as defined by the American Heart Association's 2020 strategic Impact Goals. This health metric includes smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and glucose, with higher levels indicating more ICH and less cardiovascular risk (score range, 0-7). We created a CPS score that summarized acute stressors (eg, negative life events) and chronic stressors (eg, work, work-family spillover, financial, discrimination, relationship, and neighborhood) and traumatic life event stress reported on a stress questionnaire administered in 2012 to 2013 (score range, 16-385, with higher scores indicating higher levels of stress). RESULTS: White women had the lowest mean CPS scores (white: 161.7±50.4; Hispanic: 171.2±51.7; black: 172.5±54.9; Asian: 170.8±50.6; P overall <0.01). Mean CPS scores remained higher in Hispanic, black, and Asian women than in white women after adjustment for age, socioeconomic status (income and education), and psychological status (depression and anxiety) ( P<0.01 for each). Mean ICH scores varied by race/ethnicity ( P<0.01) and were significantly lower in black women and higher in Asian women compared with white women (β-coefficient [95% CI]: Hispanics, -0.02 [-0.13 to -0.09]; blacks, -0.34 [-0.43 to -0.25]; Asians, 0.34 [0.24 to 0.45]); control for socioeconomic status and CPS did not change these results. Interactions between CPS and race/ethnicity in ICH models were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: Both CPS and ICH varied by race/ethnicity. ICH remained worse in blacks and better in Asians compared with whites, despite taking into account socioeconomic factors and CPS.
Located in Retired Persons / Natalie Slopen, Sc.D. / Natalie Slopen Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Trajectories of childhood adversity and the risk of depression in young adulthood: Results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
  BACKGROUND: The significance of the timing and chronicity of childhood adversity for depression outcomes later in life is unclear. Identifying trajectories of adversity throughout childhood would allow classification of children according to the accumulation, timing, and persistence of adversity, and may provide unique insights into the risk of subsequent depression. METHODS: Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, we created a composite adversity score comprised of 10 prospectively assessed domains (e.g., violent victimization, inter-parental conflict, and financial hardship) for each of eight time points from birth through age 11.5 years. We used semiparametric group-based trajectory modeling to derive childhood adversity trajectories and examined the association between childhood adversity and depression outcomes at the age of 18 years. RESULTS: Among 9,665 participants, five adversity trajectories were identified, representing stable-low levels (46.3%), stable-mild levels (37.1%), decreasing levels (8.9%), increasing levels (5.3%), and stable-high levels of adversity (2.5%) from birth through late childhood. Approximately 8% of the sample met criteria for probable depression at 18 years and the mean depression severity score was 3.20 (standard deviation = 3.95, range 0-21). The risk of depression in young adulthood was elevated in the decreasing (odds ratio [OR] = 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19-2.48), increasing (OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.15-2.86), and stable-high (OR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.00-3.23) adversity groups, compared to those with stable-low adversity, when adjusting for potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Children in trajectory groups characterized by moderate or high levels of adversity at some point in childhood exhibited consistently greater depression risk and depression severity, regardless of the timing of adversity.
Located in Retired Persons / Natalie Slopen, Sc.D. / Natalie Slopen Publications