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National Academies Release Report on Strengthening Support Systems for Military Families

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) released a consensus study report on the social challenges affecting the families of military service members and potential solutions. The report covers a wide array of issues including the well-being of military families, demographic characteristics of military families, opportunities and challenges of military life, stressors affecting military children, high-stress events, and the efficacy of existing military family support systems. The report also illustrates several recommendations for the Department of Defense (DOD) to address these issues including standardizing definitions of “family well-being,” improving understanding of diversity in the military, using data to track child risk and adversity, recognizing non-traditional family structures, providing guidance to military leaders on interacting with surrounding communities, promoting civilian understanding of military family situations, strengthening of the Military Family Readiness System (MFRS), monitoring existing support programs’ effectiveness, improving use of big data to analyze programs, and updating instruction and training to reflect the findings of the report.

The National Academies will be holding a public event on September 12 to discuss the recommendations in the report and potential actions that DOD and practitioners may take to address these recommendations. More information about the event can be found on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 3), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Releases Report on The Promise of Adolescence

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently published a consensus study report on  The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, which details the neurobiological as well as the social and economic factors that affect adolescent mental and physical well-being and development. The report defines adolescence as beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s, and it claims that key areas of the brain mature and develop during this time. This process is impacted both by the biological components of development as well as the environmental factors and stressors surrounding it, which supports an epigenetic view on adolescence. After determining the biological and genetic components, this report delves into several policy recommendations regarding programs and policies affecting adolescents to bolster their mental and physical health as well as complement their natural brain development.

The policy recommendations surround four critical areas: education, the health system, the child welfare system, and the justice system. Within education, the report details the need to rectify disparities in resources, teach practical knowledge and emotional adaptability, and foster culturally sensitive learning environments, among others. Recommendations for the health system focus not just on providing adequate access to healthcare, but also on fostering independence among adolescents, improving training of providers, and supporting more data collection and research on adolescent-specific health services. The racial disparities and disconnect of systems related to child welfare and justice systems are also emphasized in this report, with calls for enacting policies that best support growth rather than establishing punitive and antagonistic measures.

This report hopes to highlight the collective responsibility that the U.S. has to build systems that support and promote resiliency and positive adolescent development so that young people can grow successfully.

More information about the report can be found on the NASEM website.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s summer intern, Joanna Hua of Cornell University.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 6), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Release New Report on Adolescent Development

A new report on factors affecting the development of adolescents in the U.S. was released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). The NASEM report, titled The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, identifies the characteristics unique to adolescent brains as well as environmental challenges to the development of adolescent brains, especially economic, social, and racial inequities. The report also offers recommendations for the national education system, the health system, the child welfare system and the justice system to remedy the effects of inequalities on adolescent brain development. More information can be found on the NASEM website.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 28), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

May’s Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on Academies’ Decadal Survey of Social Science Applications for Intelligence Analysis

headlines bannerCOSSA members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly Headlines webchat on May 16, in which COSSA staff will recap the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answer participants’ questions. The May chat will feature a deep dive discussion with guests from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to discuss their recent consensus study report, A Decadal Survey of the Social and Behavioral Sciences: A Research Agenda for Advancing Intelligence Analysis. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 14), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NASEM Report Analyzes Factors for Reproducibility and Replicability in Scientific Research

In response to a Congressional directive to conduct a comprehensive study of issues related to reproducibility and replicability of scientific research, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, Reproducibility and Replicability in Science. The consensus study report defines the terms “reproducibility” – or getting similar results using the same research methods – and “replicability” – getting similar results across multiple research methods – as they relate to research practices. The report sets forth several steps on how to improve the reproducibility and replicability of research, including identifying clear descriptions of how the reported result was reached, providing training for scientific institutions on proper statistical analysis, investing in tools and infrastructure that support reproducibility, encouraging journals to consider reproducibility factors in publications, and having the National Science Foundation (NSF) facilitate the sharing of data for NSF-funded research. The report also considers how the public’s confidence in scientific findings can be improved by two factors: first, that scientists avoid overstating the implications of their research to public-facing audiences, and second, that journalists report on scientific results with “as much context and nuance as the medium allows.” The full report can be found on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 14), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Seeking Community Input on First Phase of Alzheimer’s Decadal Survey

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a call for white papers from the scientific and stakeholder communities on the first phase of a decadal survey focused on reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementias (ADRD). Individuals and organizations, especially those in the fields of behavioral and social science research and aging at large, are encouraged to submit white papers providing direct input into the initial work of the decadal. White paper submissions are due June 15, 2019. More information and submission guidelines can be found on the National Academies’ website.

The decadal survey on AD and ADRD is being led by the National Academies’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) and is focused on assessing how research in the behavioral and social sciences can reduce the burden of individuals affected by AD and ADRD over the next decade. More information about the decadal survey can be found on the DBASSE website.

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Posted in Issue 9 (April 30), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Releases Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science Applications to National Security

On March 5, the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Academies of Science released a Consensus Study Report of the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science for Applications to National Security. A decadal survey is a method of engaging members of a scholarly community to identify lines of research with the greatest potential to be used over a 10-year period in pursuit of a particular goal. This is the first decadal survey to attempt to set a research agenda for the social and behavioral sciences or the intelligence community.

The report, A Research Agenda for Advancing Intelligence Analysis, recommends that the intelligence community make sustained collaboration with research in the social and behavioral sciences as a central part of the 10-year research agenda. The report highlights ways to promote interdisciplinary collaboration so that the insights from social and behavioral science research are more fully integrated with the needs and objectives of the intelligence community. The report also includes opportunities for social and behavioral science research to help strengthen, plan, and design intelligence analysis. The full report can be read on the National Academies’ website.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 19), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NASEM Report Evaluates Strategies for Reducing Child Poverty

In response to a 2015 Congressional directive to conduct a comprehensive study of child poverty in the United States, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. The consensus study report evaluates the evidence surrounding the efficacy of existing federal programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and proposes a strategy for reducing the child poverty rate in the United States by half over the next decade. The authoring committee identifies several priority areas for research, including developing effective work-oriented child poverty reduction programs, program administration that enhances the stability of low-income families, and reducing barriers to accessing assistance programs. The report also recommends improving data collection and measurement (including developing a health-inclusive poverty measure), continued monitoring and program evaluation, and better coordination of research and data priorities across departments. The full report can be accessed on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Seeking Nominations for New Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science Research Related to Alzheimer’s Disease: DEADLINE FEBRUARY 6

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is seeking nominations to a committee that will be charged with developing a Decadal Survey of Behavioral and Social Science Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias. The study will identify research opportunities throughout the social and behavioral sciences, including psychology, sociology, demography, economics, anthropology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience, that can be brought to bear on prevention, care, and better understanding of the effects of the disease on society. Various techniques will be used to identify the community of experts outside of the appointed committee including town halls, the use of social media directed towards science (e.g. IdeaBuzz), and webcasting of special workshops to draw attention to the initiative. Nominations may be submitted by filling out this form by February 6, 2019.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Establishes Standing Committee on Science Communication Research and Practice

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced on November 21 the establishment of a new standing committee to bring together science communication practitioners and researchers. The Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice will engage broad networks of stakeholders from across sectors to advance science communication around the goals of building a coherent knowledge base about communicating science, making it easier for science communicators to access research, and support organizations and individuals communicating science outside the science enterprise. More information about the standing committee and a list of members can be found at the NASEM website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 27), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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