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April 19, 2018

Director's Voice

Social and Behavioral Sciences Crucial to Treating Autism. April is National Autism Awareness
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological and developmental disorder marked by challenges with social interaction and communication that begin in early childhood. Although relatively rare, ASD is sufficiently prevalent (1 in 68) that most people know of someone, or the children of someone, affected by ASD. I have two nephews diagnosed with ASD, which provides a personal perspective for the importance of advancing research and clinical services for the children and families dealing with ASD.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research

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The Great Recession raised Americans' blood pressure and glucose levels

The 2008 – 2010 Great Recession negatively impacted the cardiovascular health of American adults according to a new study funded by NHLBI. Data from 4,600 adults participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 2000 – 2012 were used for this study. Primary outcomes included measured blood pressure and blood glucose levels and changes in the use of antihypertensive and antiglycemic medications.

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How your smile can induce physiological stress in others

Physiological responses to verbal feedback have been well documented, however less is known about non-verbal cues. A recent NIMH-funded study examined whether different smiles received during a speech resulted in physiological  hanges. The study included 90 male undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to one of three smile conditions (i.e., dominance, affiliation, reward).


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Predicting chronic opioid use with electronic health record data

Over 200 million opioid prescriptions are written each year in the US, yet research determining which patients will develop chronic opioid use is limited. Predictive tools provide a novel way for clinicians to identify individuals at risk for developing opioid use disorders. This was the focus of a recently study by NIDA-supported researchers. The study used EHR data from over 27,000 hospitalized patients between 2008 and 2014. 

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In the Know

Events and Announcements

2018 COSSA Distinguished Service Awardee

The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) has named OBSSR Director William T. Riley, Ph.D., as one of the recipients of the 2018 COSSA Distinguished Service Award. The COSSA Distinguished Service Award recognizes leaders who have gone above and beyond to promote, protect, and advance the social and behavioral science research enterprise. Awardees are chosen by the COSSA Board of Directors, which represents COSSA’s governing member associations. The award will be officially presented at a reception on April 30th as part of COSSA’s 2018 Science Policy Conference.


11th NIH Matilda White Riley ESI Paper Competition Awardees

OBSSR has selected four early stage investigators (ESIs) to present their research and contribute to a moderated panel discussion at the 11th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors. This year’s paper competition awardees were among more than 330 submissions. Register to attend this in person only event, to be held on Thursday, May 31, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the NIH's main campus, Wilson Hall (building 1). 

Diego García-Huidobro Munita, M.D., Ph.D.: 
Squeezing observational data for better causal inference: Methods for prevention research
Ruth T. Morin, Ph.D.: 
Do multiple health
events reduce resilience when compared with single events?
Justin Parent, Ph.D.: 
stress-related epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene
promoter during early development: The role of child maltreatment
Bryan F. Singer, Ph.D.: 
Understanding Drug Addiction in
Humans Through the Study of Animals

SOBC Grand Rounds Webinar: Nudging Mindset

The Science Of Behavior Change (SOBC) Program is hosting a Grand Rounds webinar on Monday, April 23, from 2pm to 3pm ET. Alia Crum, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, will present Nudging Mindset: Improving Health and Motivating Healthy Behaviors. Dr. Crum’s research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms.

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NIH BSSR Festival Meeting Summary and Video Recordings

On December 8, 2017, the OBSSR in collaboration with the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee held the 2017 NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival. The festival highlighted exciting research results, emerging areas, and innovations in health-related behavioral and social sciences research. The full meeting summary and video recordings are available on the OBSSR website. The website has a link to the videos where you can watch the whole day or scroll down to view a specific presentation.

Declines in Childhood Obesity: Papers and Webinar

Childhood Obesity published six papers highlighting findings from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research’s (NCCOR) Childhood Obesity Declines project. The supplement details the strategies and policies implemented in four diverse communities— Anchorage, AK; Granville County, NC; New York City, NY; and Philadelphia, PA—that experienced declines in childhood obesity prevalence from 2003 to 2011.

On Monday, April 30, from 1pm to 2pm ET, NCCOR is hosting a Connect & Explore webinar “Examining Declines in Childhood Obesity in Four Communities: Highlights from Six Papers Published in Childhood Obesity.” The webinar will examine the multi-level approaches, including policies, across all jurisdictions to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments through a socio-ecological lens. OBSSR’s Deborah Young-Hyman, Ph.D. is a guest presenter. She and other speakers will discuss research and evaluation implications and provide guidance for future studies of community-based childhood obesity prevention.

NCCOR brings together four of the nation’s leading research funders—the CDC, the NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the USDA—to accelerate progress in reducing childhood obesity in America.

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Webinar: Biopsychosocial effects of Qigong/Tai Chi on breast cancer survivors

Linda K. Larkey, Ph.D., CRTT, will review the broader evidence on Meditative Movement (MM) effects on cancer survivorship, supporting the goals of her research underway in breast cancer survivors. Extended models proposing various biomolecular and neurophysiological markers as mechanisms of effects on
physical and emotional symptoms, cognitive function and body composition outcomes will be discussed at this
May OBSSR Director's Webinar to be held on Tuesday, May 15, from 2pm to 3pm ET.

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Funding Announcements

Improving Patient Adherence to Treatment and Prevention Regimens to Promote Health (R01 and R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is being issued by the NIH Adherence Network through the OBSSR with participation from multiple NIH Institutes and Centers. This FOA calls for research grant applications that address patient adherence to treatment and prevention regimens to promote health outcomes. Applications may address healthcare regimen initiation, implementation, and/or persistence by patients.

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Social and Behavioral Research eLearning Course

Good Clinical Practice in Social and Behavioral Research

Complete the free NIH Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training through the Society of Behavioral Medicine. In September 2016, the NIH issued a Policy on Good Clinical Practice Training for NIH awardees involved in NIH-funded clinical trials. The principles of GCP help assure the safety, integrity, and quality of clinical trials. Certificates will be given upon completion of the training.
Take The Training

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