UW News

Social science


November 4, 2019

Single discrimination events alter college students’ daily behavior

Five hands making fists in a circle. All arms have black Fitbit trackers on them.

UW researchers aimed to understand both the prevalence of discrimination events and how these events affect college students in their daily lives. Over the course of two academic quarters, the team compared students’ self-reports of unfair treatment to passively tracked changes in daily activities, such as hours slept, steps taken or time spent on the phone.


October 29, 2019

UW book notes: Political scientist Megan Ming Francis to edit new series on race, ethnicity, politics

Megan Ming Francis, UW political science professor, who will edit a new book series on race, ethnicity and politics

University of Washington political scientist Megan Ming Francis says there is a dearth of academic book series being published on topics of race, ethnicity and politics. Now, she will start to change that. An associate professor of political science, Francis will be the editor of a new series of books from Cambridge University Press called…


October 28, 2019

Teen marijuana use may have next-generation effects

Marijuana plants

A new study by the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group shows how a parent’s use of marijuana, past or present, can influence their child’s substance use and well-being.


October 15, 2019

Deaf infants more attuned to parent’s visual cues, study shows

Baby looking at something not seen by the camera.

A University of Washington-led study finds that Deaf infants exposed to American Sign Language are especially tuned to a parent’s eye gaze, itself a social connection between parent and child that is linked to early learning.


October 14, 2019

Fishing for the triple bottom line: profit, planet — and people

fish swimming

In a new study, an interdisciplinary group of researchers used Pacific herring in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, as a case study for modeling the implicit tradeoffs within the triple bottom line that result from various fisheries management decisions.


October 8, 2019

New paper explores race, representation in campaign finance

Jake Grumbach, UW political science professor with new research on race and campaign giving

In American politics, the question of “Who donates?” is linked to the crucial question of “Who governs?” Most campaign donations historically have come from white voters. But new UW-led research indicates that if more candidates of color ran for office, donations from individuals of color would likely increase as well.


Genes contribute to dog breeds’ iconic traits

A new study by a research team that included the University of Washington offers new evidence to support what scientists have long suspected about dogs: that some dog behaviors that help characterize breeds — a drive to chase, for example, or aggression toward strangers — are associated with distinct genetic differences among them.


October 4, 2019

Health disparities, strong social support among state’s LGBTQ community

Two gender nonbinary people sit on steps outside and talk.

A report released Oct. 4, the Washington State Equity and Diversity Project, is the first study of its kind to examine the health of LGBTQ people of all ages throughout the state.


September 26, 2019

Income gains for many, but no change in poverty rates for Seattle and King County

The share of Washingtonians living below the federal poverty threshold declined from 11.0 to 10.3 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to new Census data released Thursday. 


September 25, 2019

Fish micronutrients ‘slipping through the hands’ of malnourished people

man selling fish

Millions of people are suffering from malnutrition despite some of the most nutritious fish species in the world being caught near their homes, according to new research published Sept. 25 in Nature.


Joel Migdal, founder of International Studies Program, to mark UW retirement with public lecture, workshop, Oct. 3

Joel Migdal retiring Jackson School professor founded the UW international studies program

Joel S. Migdal, professor in the UW Jackson School of International Studies, will celebrate retirement after 39 years at the UW on Oct. 3 with a daylong workshop featuring current and former students, followed by a lecture on “State and Society: Then and Now.”


September 5, 2019

Study shows exposure to multiple languages may make it easier to learn one

Man writes on whiteboard.

A new study from the University of Washington finds that, based on brain activity, people who live in communities where multiple languages are spoken can identify words in yet another language better than those who live in a monolingual environment.


August 29, 2019

Crowdsourced archaeology shows how humans have influenced Earth for thousands of years

Regions of the map turn purple as the time-lapse counter advances, showing the spread of agriculture over time.

A new map synthesized from more than 250 archaeologists worldwide, including from the University of Washington, argues that the human imprint on our planet’s soil goes back much earlier than the nuclear age.


August 22, 2019

UW books in brief: Tribal sovereignty and the courts, mentoring through fan fiction, UW Press paperback editions

Recent notable books by UW faculty members explore the legal history of Indigenous nations and the mentoring benefits of fan fiction. Plus, a UW anthropologist’s book is honored, a former English faculty member is remembered in a biography, and UW Press brings out paperback editions of three popular titles.


August 8, 2019

Study shows gun shops can aid in preventing suicides

Man behind the counter of a gun shop talks to a customer.

Firearm retailers throughout Washington are willing to learn about suicide prevention but are reluctant to talk to customers about mental health issues, according to a new study by Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington.


July 25, 2019

Decades after a grade-school program to promote social development, adults report healthier, more successful lives

Photo of adult helping a boy in class with a paper.

University of Washington researchers have found that that “good life” in adulthood can start in grade school, by teaching parents and teachers to build stronger bonds with their children, and to help children form greater attachments to family and school.


July 24, 2019

How to consider nature’s impact on mental health in city plans

two children in park

An international team led by the UW and Stanford has created a framework for how city planners and municipalities around the world can start to measure the mental health benefits of nature and incorporate those into plans and policies for cities and their residents.


July 16, 2019

8 UW professors elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2019

Suzzallo Library at night

Eight scientists and engineers from the University of Washington have been elected this year to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.


July 11, 2019

National attention, praise for new Silicon Valley history ‘The Code’ by UW historian Margaret O’Mara

Margaret O'Mara's history of Silicon Valley was published in July by Penguin Press.

Her sweeping new book about the history of Silicon Valley has UW history professor Margaret O’Mara on a busy national book tour this summer. The book, “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America,” was published this month by Penguin Press and is receiving many positive reviews.


July 5, 2019

UW books in brief: US credit markets in history, ‘value sensitive’ design, the lasting effects of reproductive slavery, and more

Recent notable books by UW faculty members explore how the U.S. government has historically used credit to create opportunity, how “reproductive slavery” has left lasting ramifications and how technology design benefits from human values.


June 27, 2019

LGBTQ Asian Americans seen as more ‘American’

For Asian Americans who are gay or lesbian, their sexual orientation may make them seem more “American” than those who are presumed straight. A new University of Washington study, the latest in research to examine stereotypes, identity and ideas about who is “American,” focuses on how sexual orientation and race come together to influence others’ perceptions.


June 24, 2019

Creating community, battling loneliness among LGBTQ seniors

Research shows that LGBTQ older adults are at higher risk for social isolation. To that end, UW social work professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen helped establish an LGBTQ senior center in Seattle.


June 19, 2019

Partnerships for Impact: NSF Awards an additional $4M to the West Big Data Innovation Hub co-led by the UW eScience Institute

The National Science Foundation is awarding a second round of funding for the Regional Big Data Innovation Hubs — organizations launched in 2015 to build and strengthen data science partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits and government to address scientific and societal challenges. The University of Washington, in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Diego, will continue to coordinate the West Big Data Innovation Hub.


June 10, 2019

UW’s Pacific Northwest English Study seeking new group of research participants for summer 2019

The Pacific Northwest English Study, headed by UW linguist Alicia Beckford Wassink, is about to begin a new, three-year research project listening to voices from throughout the region and is looking for participants.


June 4, 2019

How early-life challenges affect how children focus, face the day

Experiences such as poverty, residential instability, or parental divorce or substance abuse, can affect executive function and lead to changes in a child’s brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones, according to a new University of Washington study.


June 3, 2019

Documentary films by UW faculty members Jeff Shulman, David Shields to screen

Two films by UW faculty members — business professor Jeff Shulman and English professor David Shields — will have screenings in Seattle in coming days — both with strong connections to the city.


May 31, 2019

Seattle’s forgotten street community: UW anthropologist talks about the unique circumstances of vehicle residency

UW doctoral student Graham Pruss has studied vehicle residency for a decade. Photo of an RV being used as a residence on a Seattle street.

Vehicle residents are a significant proportion of Seattle’s unsheltered population. The University of Washington’s Graham Pruss, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, has studied vehicle residency for a decade and speaks about the challenges and solutions facing this community.


May 30, 2019

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things among topics at May 31 xTech + Impact Summit

Academics will gather May 31 at the UW with policymakers, entrepreneurs, and representatives of corporations, foundations and nonprofits for The xTech + Impact 2019 Summit, a daylong seminar exploring the role of exponential technology and its impact on society.


May 29, 2019

Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts

A collaborative group led by the University of Washington has released a set of research papers, fact sheets and modeling tools to help agencies incorporate traditional knowledge and human dimensions into Pacific herring management.


UW, collaborating institutions awarded $9.5 million for detecting autism earlier in childhood

A child and an adult playing with toys.

A multicenter research team that includes the University of Washington Autism Center has received a five-year, $9.5 million grant to further evaluate whether brain imaging can help detect very high risk of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy.


May 24, 2019

UW books in brief: Mindful travel in an unequal world, day laborers in Brooklyn, activist educators

Recent notable books by University of Washington faculty explore mindful international travel, men seeking work as day laborers, and activist teachers.


May 23, 2019

Tiny fishes fuel life on coral reefs

small fish looks out cautiously

In a paper published May 23 in Science, a team of international researchers from Simon Fraser University, University of Washington and other institutions reveals that the iconic abundance of fishes on reefs is fueled by an unlikely source: tiny, bottom-dwelling reef fishes.


May 13, 2019

UW Information School’s Hala Annabi creates new ‘Autism @ Work Playbook’

Hala Annabi, associate professor in the UW Information School, created the Autism @ Work Playbook, which advises companies how to create and support inclusive work programs for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Hala Annabi, associate professor in the UW Information School, is creator of the new “Autism @ Work Playbook,” a resource to guide organizations toward creating well-supported employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum.


May 10, 2019

UW students face food, housing insecurity, survey shows

A study of college students from around the state shows the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Suicide prevention advocates say this illustrates the need for more mental health resources on campuses.

Early results from a faculty-led survey on the University of Washington’s three campus estimate the extent of food and housing insecurity among students.


May 6, 2019

Security cameras in nursing homes aim to protect the vulnerable but present ethical dilemmas

With reports of crimes against nursing home residents gaining media attention around the country, seven states have passed laws regulating the use of cameras in care facilities. An assistant professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work outlines the list of legal and moral issues that surveillance raises.


May 1, 2019

US public support for undocumented immigrants seeking citizenship stronger if pathway includes military service, UW research shows

Americans appear more willing to support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants if that path includes serving in the United States military, according to new research from UW political scientists Sophia Jordán Wallace and Geoffrey Wallace.


April 22, 2019

Brains of blind people adapt to sharpen sense of hearing, study shows

People who are visually impaired rely on other senses to interpret their surroundings. A pair of studies from the University of Washington shows how the brains of blind people adapt to process information. Photo of blind person walking with cane.

Research from the University of Washington uses functional MRI to identify two differences in the brains of blind individuals — differences that might be responsible for their abilities to make better use of auditory information.


April 8, 2019

How societal attitudes, political rhetoric affect immigrants’ health

This 2007 photo shows the border between California, left, and Tijuana, Mexico, right.

For immigrants to the United States, the current political climate, and debates over issues such as a border wall, become part of the environment that influences their health, according to a new University of Washington study.


March 21, 2019

How discrimination, PTSD may lead to high rates of preterm birth among African-American women

African-American women give birth prematurely at a higher rate than white women, a trend a University of Washington study suggests is attributable to racial discrimination and PTSD. Photo of woman and her baby.

African-American women are nearly twice as likely to give birth prematurely as white women. Amelia Gavin, an associate professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work, connects preterm birth to racial discrimination via PTSD.


March 18, 2019

Information School to welcome high school students March 19 for ‘MisInfo Day’ – from ‘Calling BS’ faculty duo

The UW Information School is taking a leading role in helping people better navigate this era of increasing online fakery and falsehood. On March 19, the school will welcome 200-some Seattle-area high school students for “MisInfo Day,” a daylong workshop on how to navigate the misinformation landscape, from Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom, the faculty duo behind “Calling BS in the Age of Big Data.”



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