Blog Archives

PAA to Host Briefing on Demographic Insights into COVID-19

The Population Association of America will host a virtual congressional briefing, “Living, Working, Dying: Demographic Insights into COVID-19” on Friday, April 23, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET. The event will feature presentations by prominent population scientists who will present findings on the disparate impacts of COVID, especially as they relate to mortality, education, food insecurity, and family dynamics, and what additional research and data are needed to understand and address its far-reaching effects. The briefing will feature Dr. Noreen Goldman of Princeton University. Dr. Caitlyn Collins of Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Marc Garcia of the University of Nebraska, and Dr. Anna Gassman-Pines of Duke University. Registration is available here.

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Posted in Issue 7 (March 30), Update, Volume 40 (2021)

PAA Congressional Briefing Explores Factors Affecting Life Expectancy

On April 9, the Population Association of America (PAA), a COSSA governing member, hosted a Congressional briefing entitled Grave Consequences: Why Some Americans Are No Longer Living Longer on the decline of average life expectancy among some groups in the United States. COSSA was a co-sponsor of the event.

Andrew Fenelon, researcher at the University of Maryland, spoke about the regional divergence in adult mortality. The Central South has a higher mortality rate than the rest of the country and has gotten worse over time, while the East Coast has shown significant improvements. Shannon Mannat, researcher at Syracuse University, presented on the significant increase in “deaths of despair,” which are deaths caused by drug overdose or suicide. However, she emphasized that we must focus on underlying factors that lead to opioid abuse, including economic insecurity and isolation from family and communities. The final panelist was John Haaga, Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), who presented NIA research initiatives related to life expectancy, including behavioral and social research projects.

All the panelists acknowledged that improving Americans’ health must be a collaborative effort that includes reducing economic insecurity, fighting the opioid epidemic, improving community connectedness, and increased social science research. Andrew Fenelon stated, “Any policy, even if not directly related to health, is going to have health implications.”

This article was contributed by COSSA’s spring intern, Dakota Leonard of Arizona State University.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 17), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

COSSA and Members Comment on Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule

COSSA, in conjunction with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) (a COSSA governing association) and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, submitted comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or the “Common Rule” (click here for context on the NPRM). Overall, the comments are supportive of the proposed changes affecting the social and behavioral sciences and urge that “major and substantial improvements… not be delayed or deferred even if it is determined that some issues require further analysis before some rule changes can be made.” The comments also points out several sections where additional clarification would be useful.

The American Psychological Association (APA), Population Association of America (PAA) (COSSA governing associations), and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) (a COSSA member), also submitted comments on the NPRM, which are available on (docket ID HHS-OPHS-2015-0008).

Now that the window for public comment has closed, the Office of Human Research Protections will review all submitted comments and release a final rule. However, if the pace of the Common Rule revision process thus far is any indication, it will likely be several months, if not longer, before we see a final rule.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 12), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Congressional Briefing Explores the Impact of Education on Mortality

On July 27, the Population Association of America (PAA) held a congressional briefing, “Live Long and Prosper: The Impact of Education on Mortality,” which focused on the federal investments in longitudinal demographic research that have allowed researchers to identify and measure how educational attainment affects important life factors, including long-term health and mortality. COSSA joined PAA, a COSSA Governing Member, along with several other COSSA member organizations in sponsoring the briefing.

Sharing the latest findings with a standing-room-only audience, the panel of distinguished researchers included Robert M. Kaplan, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR); Jennifer Karas Montez, Syracuse University; Ray K. Masters, University of Colorado at Boulder; and Vida Maralani, Yale University. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 15 (August 11), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

PAA/PRB Briefing Explores the Changing Landscape of Marriage

The Population Association of America, a COSSA governing member, and the Population Reference Bureau, also a COSSA member, held a congressional briefing on April 17 called “The Vow Factor: Marriage, Divorce and Family Formation & their Impact on Health and Well-Being.” COSSA was a co-sponsor of the briefing. Moderated by Robert Moffitt of Johns Hopkins University, the briefing featured presentations on trends and consequences of changes in marriage and parenthood. Andrew J. Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University, gave a presentation on the education-based gap in the marriage rate. Lisa Berkman, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, discussed how single motherhood and maternity leave polices affect women’s health much later in life. The final speaker, Elizabeth Peters, Urban Institute, spoke about incentives for couples to marry and father involvement. A video recording of the presentations will be posted on the Population Reference Bureau’s website.

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 21), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Events Calendar

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, April 21-25, 2015

Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions, San Antonio, TX, April 22-25, 2015

Population Association of America Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 30-May 2, 2015

American Association for Public Opinion Research Annual Conference, Hollywood, FL, May 14-17, 2015

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, May 28-31, 2015

OBSSR 20th Anniversary Celebration, Bethesda, MD, June 23-25, 2015

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA website. COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to
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Posted in Issue 7 (April 21), Update, Volume 34 (2015)


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