UW News

Social science


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.”


March 14, 2019

Jackson School’s Devin Naar featured in documentary premiering March 24 at Seattle’s Jewish Film Festival

Professor Devin Naar of the UW Jackson School and Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, right, talks with Joseph F. Lovett, director of the documentary "Children of the Inquisition." The film, which Naar consulted on and appears in, will premiere at the 2019 Seattle Jewish Film Festival.

Devin Naar, UW professor of international studies and history, is featured in “Children of the Inquisition,” a new documentary film about descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions discovering their Sephardic Jewish heritage. The film will premiere March 24 as part of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival.


March 12, 2019

A school that values diversity could have health benefits for students of color

Photo of empty classroom

Students of color who attend schools with a culture and mission statements that emphasize the value of diversity show better cardiovascular health than peers whose schools do not express such values, according to a new study.


March 7, 2019

UW anthropologist connects communities to archive of Khmer Rouge-era Cambodia

This is one of dozens of photographs of Cambodian citizens, taken by journalist and UW alum Elizabeth Becker on her tour of the country in 1978. Photo of young girl in a factory

A new project by Jenna Grant, UW assistant professor of anthropology, uses an archive of photos and documents from the Khmer Rouge era — the donation of a journalist and UW alum — to help facilitate storytelling among Cambodians and Cambodian-Americans.


March 5, 2019

Reading summer camp? Study to examine how soon-to-be kindergartners are wired for literacy

A study this summer will examine how the word-recognition portion of the brain develops in preschoolers. Photo of young child sorting cards with simple words on them.

The University of Washington is launching a reading instruction study this summer, a two-week “camp” targeting children entering kindergarten in the fall that aims to teach early literacy skills and measure brain activity before and after instruction.


March 4, 2019

Fake faces: UWs ‘Calling BS’ duo opens new website asking ‘Which face is real?’

Which of these two very realistic renderings of faces is real, and which is a computer-generated fake? Biology professor Carl Bergstrom and Information School professor Jevin West -- creators of the "Calling BS" class and site -- now have a website to help you better discern between fake and real images online. Here, the image on the right is real. Check your own skills at their site, WhichFaceisReal.com

A new website from the UW’s Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom, the duo behind the popular “Calling BS” class, asks viewers to choose which of two realistic face photos is real and which is a complete fake.


February 20, 2019

Playground study shows how recess can include all children

Recess, for most children, is synonymous with freedom. A break from class that has nothing to do with learning and everything to do with play. For children with autism, the playground can be an isolating experience. The spontaneous soccer games, roving packs of friends and virtual buffet of activities can be chaotic, frustrating and confusing….


February 6, 2019

Parenting in the age of legal pot: Household rules, conversations help guide teen use

The legalization of marijuana in Washington state in 2012 gave parents the opportunity for a new teachable moment. Many say that as society has become more permissive, they want information and advice.


January 30, 2019

Building equity: A talk with Renée Cheng, new dean of the UW College of Built Environments

Renée Cheng, new dean of the UW College of Built Environments, joined the UW on Jan. 1. This is a QA story with the new dean.

UW News talks with Renée Cheng, new dean of the UW College of Built Environments, about her background and plans for the college. Cheng joined the UW on Jan. 1.


January 28, 2019

Even a one-hour ‘planting party’ can lift spirits, build skills among women in prison, study shows

Exposure to nature, even through a brief gardening activity, can improve well-being among women in prison, a UW Tacoma-led study finds.


January 15, 2019

Researchers can predict childhood social transitions

A University of Washington-led study finds that children who socially transition to the gender "opposite" their sex at birth also demonstrate strong "cross-gender" identities before the transition. Photo of two children in silhouette.

A new University of Washington study suggests that the children most apt to socially transition to the gender “opposite” their sex at birth are those who already demonstrate the strongest “cross-gender” identities, and that the transitions don’t appear to alter a child’s gender identity or preferences.


December 24, 2018

New global migration estimates show rates proportionally steady since 1990, high rate of return migration

People waiting at an airport

Two University of Washington scientists have unveiled a new statistical method for estimating migration flows between countries. They show that rates of migration are higher than previously thought, but also relatively stable, fluctuating between 1.1 and 1.3 percent of global population from 1990 to 2015. In addition, since 1990 approximately 45 percent of migrants have returned to their home countries, a much higher estimate than other methods.


December 17, 2018

How a workshop about getting along became a story stoking division

A University of Washington class meets outside of Mary Gates Hall on a sunny day. Photo of students in a circle under a tree.

A small study about a workshop to bring together students of different political persuasions found that workshop participants were able to better understand their fellow students as individuals, but their attitudes about opposing beliefs, in general, did not change.


December 13, 2018

Hark! UW talents — on page and disc — for the good Dawgs on your holiday shopping list

collage of books and CD covers

As the year comes to a close and festivities abound, some UW faculty creations can make great gifts for the thinking Dawg on your giving list.


December 12, 2018

Attention, please! Anticipation of touch takes focus, executive skills

A study of 6- to 8-year-old children by the University of Washington and Temple University found that the anticipation of touch was associated with executive function skills such as selective attention and working memory. Photo of children's hands.

A study by the University of Washington and Temple University examines what happens in children’s brains when they anticipate a touch to the hand, and relates this brain activity to the executive functions the child demonstrates on other mental tasks.



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