A team of researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University are developing a study to monitor heavy college drinkers in real time to prevent intimate partner violence. The study, supported by a $434,491 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, involves 100 self-identified heavy drinkers with histories of intimate partner violence. They will be using pocket-sized devices to track drinking habits, alcohol levels, mood, and behavior. Participants will receive prompts on their phones five times daily to report Breathalyzer results and answer surveys. The objective data aims to identify blood-alcohol concentration levels associated with the highest risk of perpetrating violence, addressing the challenge of under-reported alcohol consumption among college students. The study also broadens the definition of intimate partner violence to include online and technology-based forms, including cyberstalking and bullying. Researchers hope that the results of the study will help in developing solutions to reduce alcohol-related domestic violence.
Dispelling Myths of Regret Among Gender- Affirming Surgery Patients
The scientifically unfounded theory that many transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals regret gender-affirming surgery (GAS) has been recently challenged by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. By examining the existing studies on post-GAS regret, the researchers found that fewer than 1% of TGD individuals who underwent GAS reported feelings of regret associated with their surgery. The researchers propose that further studies on GAS regret improve their analysis by using tools like GENDER-Q, waiting to evaluate regret until one year after surgery, and considering baseline factors
Effects of High Risk Pregnancy on Children with Disabilities
Northwestern University scientists, January 2024 recipients of a $5 million National Institutes for Health grant, are leading a two-year study to explore the impact of a high risk pregnant person’s environment, diet, stress, medications, and social well-being on both pregnancy and their resulting child’s health. As part of the national Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program, the researchers aim to uncover bidirectional influences between mothers and children.— from pregnancy through early childhood. Unlike other ECHO awardees, Northwestern researchers will specifically investigate a cohort of children born during the study who are subsequently diagnosed with disabilities, including those with physical and neurological conditions, a group who has historically been excluded from medical research.
Health Inequity a Greater Motivator for Social Action
A new American Association for the Advancement of Science study examines the impact of highlighting racial disparities in health, economics, and belonging on social media engagement and support for disparity-mitigating policies. Led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania; University of California, Irvine; and University of Michigan, a series of four health-related studies found that racial health disparities prompt greater action support, social media engagement, and policy endorsement compared to economic or belonging-based disparities. The findings suggest that people view health inequity as violating sacred moral values, enhancing perceived injustice. Despite many of these inequities being intrinsically linked, an emphasis on health consequences is more likely to garner support, even for economic solutions. The study provides evidence of the potency of health-related disparity information, highlighting its potential to mobilize public support and guide efforts to address racial inequality.