Laurie DeRose Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
College Park , Maryland 20742
Recent Scientific Accomplishments
DeRose researches the demography of underdevelopment: demographic outcomes and decision-making processes in disadvantaged contexts, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research contributions are in three main areas: 1) fertility effects of educational reversals, 2) the meaning of education in underdeveloped settings, and 3) the demography of hunger, expanded to include breastfeeding and related public health issues. Her work on the demographic effects of declining school enrollments highlights the public policy implications of a trend that runs counter to most historical experience. Her work on the meaning of education defines social contexts in which the impact of education is less than expected (e.g., where polygyny is declining), but also identifies social situations where some education is associated with profound change (e.g., where men’s fertility desires are declining). Finally, her work on the demography of hunger highlights that gender inequality does not necessarily manifest itself in all the expected domains. Her work highlights how public health interventions play out in varying cultural contexts.
DeRose's work is currently exploring the effect family structure on school enrollments. Additionally, her work explores previously neglected effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on both fertility and marriage through school enrollments: poor educational trajectories - i.e., slower expansion of education and even declining enrollments - have been shown to be related to HIV prevalence, but the implications of retarded education progress for fertility and marriage have not yet been measured. She is also working on a new framework for the proximate determinants of HIV prevention that reflects strategies utilized in sub-Saharan Africa far better than the conventional ABC (Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms) rubric. She plans to use this framework to inform empirical work on how religion affects the spread of HIV.