UW Today

Social science


June 24, 2015

Group at UW shows how to account for nature’s benefits in decisions

Planting mangroves for coastal protection in Placencia, Belize.

The Natural Capital Project, with offices at UW, wants to integrate the socioeconomic, cultural and spiritual values of nature into all major decisions affecting the environment and human well-being.


June 22, 2015

Manning up: Men may overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened

A hand gripping

From the old Charles Atlas ads showing a scrawny male having sand kicked in his face to sitcom clichés of henpecked husbands, men have long faced pressure to live up to ideals of masculinity. Societal norms dictating that men should be masculine are powerful. And new University of Washington research finds that men who believe…


June 19, 2015

Access to electricity is linked to reduced sleep

A Toba/Qom child sleeps.

New research comparing traditional hunter-gatherer living conditions to a more modern setting shows that access to artificial light and electricity has shortened the amount of sleep humans get each night.


June 16, 2015

Study reveals surprising truths about caregivers

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

Caregiving is a part of daily life for millions of Americans, particularly the so-called sandwich generation balancing the needs of aging parents with looking after their own children. A new study looks at just who is doing that caregiving, and who they’re caring for — and some of the findings are surprising.


June 11, 2015

Nearly half of African-American women know someone in prison

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African-American adults — particularly women — are much more likely to know or be related to someone behind bars than whites, according to the first national estimates of Americans’ ties to prisoners.


Greater suicide prevention efforts coming to rural Washington state

washington women's foundation logo

Washington state’s rural communities with the highest suicide rates soon will get more resources to help with prevention training and support. Washington Women’s Foundation is giving Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention $100,000 for suicide prevention in six underserved rural communities.


June 9, 2015

Early intervention improves long-term outcomes for children with autism

A toddler takes part in early intervention activities at the UW Autism Center.

Early intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder helps improve their intellectual ability and reduces autism symptoms years after originally getting treatment, a new study shows.


June 3, 2015

Ocean Modeling Forum to bring human element to herring fishery, others

An albatross catches a herring.

The Ocean Modeling Forum is trying something very rare — bringing together multiple science models and people who care about a particular ocean resource or fishery to decide what’s most important for its vitality and the communities it serves.


June 2, 2015

UW psychology professor Yuichi Shoda honored for famous long-term study on delayed gratification

Yuichi Shoda, UW professor of psychology and recipient of 2015 Golden Goose Award from AUP.

University of Washington psychology professor Yuichi Shoda has been honored for his ongoing participation in a well-known — and perhaps slightly misunderstood — long-term study about delayed gratification.


May 21, 2015

Students put GIS skills to use on social justice projects

Elwood meets with students Stella Jones, left, Jackie Divita and Kendal Dressel to discuss their project.

Geography professor Sarah Elwood sits at the front of a University of Washington classroom on a recent afternoon, listening and making suggestions as students discuss the data challenges they’re having. Some are wondering how to put data in a particular format. Others are muddling through the process of mapping data, or figuring out where to…


May 20, 2015

UW-led network seeks to reframe poverty locally and globally

Students participate in a discussion with Sanford Schram, a professor at New York's Hunter College, after his lecture on campus in April 2014.

Two University of Washington geography professors are leading an effort with what might be considered a staggeringly ambitious goal — to reframe how poverty is perceived and studied around the world. Victoria Lawson and Sarah Elwood are the co-founders of the UW-based Relational Poverty Network, a coalition of academic institutions and organizations around the United…


May 6, 2015

Fishermen, communities need more than healthy fish stocks

A typical day at the fish market in Dakar, Senegal.

The Fishery Performance Indicators are the most comprehensive, global tool that considers social factors in addition to the usual biological measures when gauging a fishery’s health.


April 8, 2015

Game played in sync increases children’s perceived similarity, closeness

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What helps children who have just met form a connection? A new study shows that a simple game played together in sync on a computer led 8-year-olds to report a greater sense of similarity and closeness immediately after the activity. Children who played the same game but not in a synchronous way did not report…


March 30, 2015

UW faculty team for five-year study of Seattle’s minimum wage increase

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What will be the effects of the city of Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance? Faculty from the UW’s schools of public affairs, public health and social work are teaming up for The Seattle Minimum Wage Study, a five-year research project to learn that and more.


March 19, 2015

Suspension leads to more pot use among teens, study finds

Leaf

Suspending kids from school for using marijuana is likely to lead to more — not less — pot use among their classmates, a new study finds. Counseling was found to be a much more effective means of combating marijuana use. And while enforcement of anti-drug policies is a key factor in whether teens use marijuana,…


March 13, 2015

UW expert part of international research project on female genital cutting

The tiny Senegalese village of Keur Simbara, population 300, formally abandoned female genital cutting in 1998 following a three-year community empowerment program.

Decades of efforts to end female genital cutting have resulted in some progress, but the ancient tradition stubbornly persists in many places. The latest initiative to tackle the issue is a $12 million research project launched this month by a consortium comprising several African organizations and two U.S. researchers: Bettina Shell-Duncan, a University of Washington…


March 9, 2015

UW leads nation in primary care, rural medicine and family medicine; top 10 in dozens of graduate programs

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The University of Washington has 42 graduate schools and specialty programs among the nation’s top 10 in each area, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Graduate School Rankings released Tuesday. The UW again ranked as the No. 1 primary care medical school, while the rural medicine and family medicine specialties continue to lead the…


Study shows teens and adults hazy on Washington marijuana law

MarijuanaCC

More than two years after Washington legalized marijuana, parents and teens may be hazy on the specifics of the law, if the findings of a new study are any indication. University of Washington research, published recently in Substance Use & Misuse, found that only 57 percent of Washington parents surveyed knew the legal age for…


February 25, 2015

Forefront and Facebook launch suicide prevention effort

If the author of a reported post is thought to be suicidal, a series of screens will be launched to offer help.

Facebook users share countless details about their personal lives, from where they’re going on vacation to what they’re eating for dinner — and occasionally, feelings of dark despair, even thoughts of suicide. As the world’s biggest social network, with more than 1.39 billion users, Facebook is uniquely positioned to provide online resources and support to…


February 17, 2015

Study: Manufacturing growth can benefit Bangladeshi women workers

Workers in an apparel company in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2014.

The life of a Bangladeshi garment factory worker is not an easy one. But new research from the University of Washington indicates that access to such factory jobs can improve the lives of young Bangladeshi women — motivating them to stay in school and lowering their likelihood of early marriage and childbirth.


February 13, 2015

AAAS symposium looks at how to bring big-data skills to academia

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A session Feb. 15 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting will explore how big data scientists can find careers at universities and within academic settings.


AAAS talk: Some bilinguals use emoticons more when chatting in non-native language

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A research team has found that one group of bilingual speakers used emoticons more often when typing in their second language in casual, online communication than they did when typing in their native tongue.


February 11, 2015

How to interest girls in computer science and engineering? Shift the stereotypes

Guy laying on grass, using laptop. URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49889874@N05/4768870493/

Women have long been underrepresented among undergraduates in computer science and engineering for a complex variety of reasons. A new study by University of Washington researchers identifies a main culprit for that disparity: inaccurate stereotypes depicting computer scientists and engineers as geeky, brilliant and socially awkward males. And they say broadening those stereotypes is key to…


February 6, 2015

Elders-in-residence program brings traditional learning to campus

Elders Howard Luke, left, and Elizabeth Fleagle shared stories about their lives with an ungraduate health class.

As a girl growing up in Alaska, Elizabeth Fleagle learned life lessons and hands-on skills from her grandmother, from cooking to making fish nets and moccasins. “Our grandma taught us how to make everything we had to make,” said Fleagle, who lives in Fairbanks and is Inupiat Eskimo. “In my culture, that’s how we learn.”…


January 29, 2015

Landmark study to track ‘pioneer’ generation of transgender children

Transgender-tile

Marlo Mack’s son was 3 years old when he told her very adamantly that he was not a boy, but a girl. Unsure what to do, Mack went in search of answers. She found little information online, her pediatrician knew nothing about transgender children, and even a psychologist who specialized in child identity issues couldn’t…


January 28, 2015

Child maltreatment not a clear path to adult crime

Child-on-swing-head-down

Research has found a significant link between childhood abuse and neglect and crime in adulthood. But a recent University of Washington study finds that link all but disappears when accounting for other life factors. “We find that children who were involved in child welfare services are at high risk of adult crimes, but once we…


January 23, 2015

$3.9 million project will identify, treat Washington state toddlers at risk for autism

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Early detection can make a world of difference for toddlers with autism, but many children do not get diagnosed until they’re at least 4 years old. As a result, they often don’t get specialized services during the critical period up to age 3 that can greatly improve their skills and behavior. A new project at…


January 6, 2015

New open-source program aims to help parents of children in foster care

Alise Hegle with her daughter, Rebekah

The first time Alise Hegle saw her daughter again after her birth was 11 months later at a court-ordered, supervised visit. Newly out of jail and treatment for drug addiction, Hegle was riddled with anxiety. She had no idea how to parent her only child and worried about the visitation supervisor who sat silently observing,…


December 18, 2014

Survey shows hope, optimism among homeless Alaska Native elders

Chief Seattle Club provides a range of services to urban native people. Image courtesy of Chief Seattle Club

Mention homeless people and words like optimistic, hopeful and happy are typically not what spring to mind. More likely, said Jordan Lewis, an assistant professor in the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, the stereotypes are negative — “that they’re chronic alcoholics, depressed, they steal, they’re thieves. They don’t have hope. They’ve just given up.”…


November 24, 2014

Study: US attracting fewer educated, highly skilled migrants

Empty immigration line

The U.S. economy has long been powered in part by the nation’s ability to attract the world’s most educated and skilled people to its shores. But a new study of the worldwide migration of professionals to the U.S. shows a sharp drop-off in its proportional share of those workers – raising the question of whether…


November 20, 2014

Cost of meeting basic needs rising faster than wages in Washington state

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A Washington family of four must spend 46 percent more on average to make ends meet today than 13 years ago, according to a new report from the University of Washington. The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Washington State 2014, released Thursday (Nov. 20), provides a sobering look at how much it costs individuals and families statewide…


November 5, 2014

UW study shows direct brain interface between humans

An example of how the brain to brain interface demonstration would look.

University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team’s initial demonstration a year ago.


October 22, 2014

Traditional, tea party conservatives seem split on foreign policy

A Tea Party Express bus.

Foreign policy looms large as the 2014 midterm elections approach. But traditional conservatives and their tea party counterparts may bring different concerns and motivations to the November ballot, according to a University of Washington political scientist. While traditional conservatives seem most motivated by concern over American security, Christopher Parker, UW professor of political science, suggests…


October 14, 2014

Orphanage care linked to thinner brain tissue in regions related to ADHD

brain scan image

Psychological studies of children who began life in Romanian orphanages shows that institutionalization is linked to physical changes in brain structure. The thinning of the cortex leaves a lasting legacy that can explain impulsivity and inattention years later.


October 7, 2014

Toddlers regulate behavior to avoid making adults angry

A toddler reacts after an adult has expressed "annoyance" at the behavior of another adult.

UW researchers have found that children as young as 15 months can detect anger in other people’s social interactions and then modify their own behavior.


September 18, 2014

Poverty, income inequality increase in Washington state

graph showing the trend in Washington state.

The number of Washingtonians living in poverty jumped by more than 50,000 from 2012 to 2013, and the state poverty rate rose as well, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday.


World population to keep growing this century, hit 11 billion by 2100

graph of world population and each continent

A study by the UW and the United Nations finds that the number of people on Earth is likely to reach 11 billion by 2100, about 2 billion higher than widely cited previous estimates.


August 16, 2014

Virginity pledges for men can lead to sexual confusion — even after the wedding day

Hands of a man and woman wearing weddng rings on to pf open bible

Young men receiving support after they pledge to abstain from sex until marriage, can find themselves without advisors and help once they do marry.


July 8, 2014

Better visualizing of fitness-app data helps discover trends, reach goals

sample visualization on a smartphone

University of Washington researchers have developed visual tools to help self-trackers understand their daily activity patterns over a longer period and in more detail. They found people had an easier time meeting personal fitness and activity goals when they could see their data presented in a broader, more visual way.


June 11, 2014

Nearly 1 in 8 American children are maltreated before age 18

black and white photo of a child

By the time they reach age 18, nearly one in eight of American children experience a confirmed case of maltreatment. Co-author Hedy Lee, a UW assistant professor of sociology, says the study shows that child maltreatment is much more common than previously thought.



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