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OBSSR Connector Monthly Newsletter

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Connector Monthly Newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter featuring updates from OBSSR Director William T. Riley, Ph.D., information about behavioral and social sciences in the news, events and announcements, findings from recently published research, funding announcements, and other updates. The current newsletter is provided below.
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February 11, 2021

Director's Voice

Addressing Structural Racism to Improve Health. Racism, prejudice, and discrimination have been indelible sins of our country since its founding. Throughout our history, our collective failure to live up to the declaration that all are created equal has simmered and festered, pervasively impacting people of color but largely ignored by White people like me. Periodically, this collective failure to address racism can no longer be contained. George Floyd’s murder last May, and the social unrest that followed, is only the latest manifestation of a serious underlying problem of our society that we can no longer ignore, especially in light of the recently disturbing increases in White supremacy violence.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research

Marijuana use may impair a woman’s fertility

Marijuana use may impair a woman’s fertility

The prevalence of marijuana use continues to rise, with self-reported use nearly doubling among women of reproductive age over the last 20 years, likely due to increasing perceptions of overall safety and acceptability. A recent study, supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NICHD and other funders, investigated if there were differences in conception rates in that women who use marijuana as compared to those who do not.
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Vaccine uptake in sparse verses dense communities

Vaccine uptake in sparse verses dense communities

Community vaccinations have been a proven method of saving lives. A study funded by grants from the NIAID, NIDA, and NIMH investigated the specific motivations that individuals consider when deciding to vaccinate. Individuals decide to vaccinate for various reasons, such as the density of the community, cost to vaccinate, and risk of infection, but motivation to vaccinate for the benefit of others (prosocial benefits) has not yet been explored.
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Prenatal stress may increase children’s disease risk, especially in Black women

Prenatal stress may increase children’s disease risk, especially in Black women

Our environment can cause changes to our biology and result in an increased risk for a multitude of diseases and disorders. In a study funded by the NHLBI and NIEHS, researchers investigated whether changes to the prenatal environment due to maternal stress impacted children’s mitochondrial function and ultimately neurobehavioral development.
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In the Know

Events and Announcements

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Funding Announcements

Recently Published FOAs

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Protocol Template for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Resource for communicating the science, methods, and operations of a clinical trial

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