Seminar Series

DUPRI's Demography of Aging Training Seminar March 5, 2020 - Ruth Wygle & Anna Holleman

Abstract: Though the primary role of religious congregations is to offer worship services and guidance in the religious lives of their parishioners, they also play a central role in the provision of mental health services in the United States to both parishioners and non-parishioners alike. Approximately a quarter of individuals who experience mental illness turn to religious congregations for assistance (Wang et al. 2003), with about half of these individuals relying only on religious congregations for their mental health needs (Wang et al. 2005). Though past research has identified numerous characteristics of religious congregations that provide mental health services, a key contradiction has arisen concerning the practice of spiritual healing and its relationship to the provision of mental health services (Frenk 2014; Wong et al. 2018). The current study attempts to adjudicate between these past contradictions by operationalizing a reliance on spiritual prayer for the healing of mental disorders, which past research has shown to be in opposition to a reliance on secular medicine. I find that congregations that practice spiritual healing are more likely to offer mental health services that relate specifically to substance abuse disorders. Understanding this relationship is vital for mental health professionals and policy makers who benefit from understanding the ways the orientation of religious congregations towards secular medicine could aid or impede congregations’ willingness to collaborate to assist individuals in need of mental health services.

DUPRI presents Chris Wildeman PhD, Cornell University

Parental incarceration is now sufficiently common and unequally distributed that it could have implications for population health and population health disparities if it has negative effects on children. In this presentation, I present descriptive results from linked administrative data in New York City showing how paternal incarceration during the gestational period is associated with a range of infant outcomes. In so doing, I present the first estimates of the paternal incarceration-child health association using objectively measured indicators of both paternal incarceration and child health.

DUPRI presents Paternal Incarceration and Birth Outcomes: Evidence from New York City, 2010-2016 - Christopher Wildeman

Duke University Population Research Institute Presents Christopher Wildeman, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology; Associate Vice Provost for the Social Sciences; Director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research; Director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell University.

DUPRI presents Jayanti Owens - "What Drives Racial/Ethnic Disparities in School Discipline?"

School suspension and expulsion predict lower school achievement, higher school dropout, and greater interaction with the criminal justice system. Black and Latinx students are respectively 3.2 and 1.3 times more likely than White students to be suspended or expelled. Nonetheless, the causes of these racial/ethnic gaps in discipline remain unclear, due largely to challenges from non-random student sorting into schools/classrooms and difficult-to-observe variation in student behaviors, discipline histories, and classroom situational cues. This study uses an original video vignette experiment with roughly 1,000 U.S. teachers, each linked to administrative data on their school’s characteristics, to disentangle for the first time the roles of three widely-supported mechanisms of Black-White and Latinx-White gaps in school discipline. Tested mechanisms include: 1) between-school sorting (i.e., non-white students disproportionately attend majority-minority and economically disadvantaged schools, which are more punitive to all students), 2) differential behavior perceptions (i.e., comparable behaviors are perceived as worse with non-White vs. White students), and; 3) differential treatment/support (i.e., non-White students are sanctioned more harshly or provided less support for comparable behaviors). (A fourth mechanism, behavior differences, has also been proposed but has gained limited empirical support in prior research and thus is not the focus of the present study.) Findings reveal that between-school sorting plays the largest role in explaining racial disparities in discipline: if White students were to equally attend disadvantaged and minority schools, they would experience similarly high rates of school discipline as Black and Latinx students. Differential behavior perceptions and differential treatment/support also gain some empirical support.

DUPRI's Demography of Aging Training Seminar presents Jessica West, PhD Student in Sociology

Abstract: As the older adult population in the U.S. is expected to double by the year 2030, the health needs of this aging population will likely increase. However, there is limited research on which attributes matter most (or least) to older adults when they decide to seek and utilize care. Research is particularly sparse on the specific needs and priorities of members of the older adult population who face additional challenges in accessing healthcare, such as those with disabilities. People with disabilities experience physical, communication, and attitudinal barriers within the healthcare setting that likely shape their utilization of services, their health outcomes, and their overall satisfaction with their care. In this (very early-stages) presentation, I outline how I plan to address this gap in the literature using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and a specific focus on people with hearing, vision, or dual sensory impairments.

DUPRI presents Arnaud Maurel, PhD - "Fertility and Uncertainty"

his paper investigates the impact of economic uncertainty on fertility behavior. We use the fall of the Berlin Wall as a natural experiment that suddenly increased economic uncertainty among women living in East Germany, who underwent a fast transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we show that the fall of the Wall resulted in childbearing postponement, which, consistent with a real option framework, is more pronounced early on in the life cycle. We also find that fertility responses to the fall of the Wall were less pronounced for women who report being more shielded from economic uncertainty. We then combine this natural experiment with a dynamic structural model of fertility to estimate the impact of earnings uncertainty on the timing of births, and predict how fertility dynamics would respond to different types of uncertainty shocks.

DUPRI Presents Michela Carlana, PhD - Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools

If individuals become aware of their stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers’ bias in grading immigrants and native children in middle schools. Teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives who have the same performance on standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers’ stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that math teachers with stronger stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same performance. Literature teachers do not differentially grade immigrants based on their own stereotypes.

DUPRI presents Sarah H. Cross, Changes in Place of Death in the United States

Between 2003 and 2017, there were nearly 35.2 million natural deaths. In 2003, 905,874 deaths occurred in hospitals (39.7%), decreasing to 764,424 (29.8%) in 2017, while nursing facility deaths reduced from 538,817 (23.6%) to 534,714 (20.8%). Home deaths increased from 543,874 (23.8%) in 2003 to 788,757 (30.7%) in 2017, while hospice facility deaths increased from 5395 (0.2%) to 212,652 (8.3%) by 2017. Younger patients, females, and racial/ethnic minorities had reduced odds of home death compared to older patients, males and whites. Cancer patients had the greatest odds of home and hospice facility deaths and the lowest odds of nursing facility death relative to other conditions. Relative to other conditions, dementia patients had the greatest odds of nursing facility death, and respiratory disease patients had the greatest odds of hospital death. Stroke patients had the lowest odds of home death, and cardiovascular disease patients had the lowest odds of hospice facility death, relative to other conditions.