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The PDB (formerly the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch) supports research and research training in demography, reproductive health, and population health. In demography, the Branch supports research on the scientific study of human populations, including fertility, mortality and morbidity, migration, population distribution, nuptiality, family demography, population growth and decline, and the causes and consequences of demographic change. In reproductive health, the Branch supports behavioral and social science research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, family planning, and infertility. In population health, the Branch supports data collection and research on human health, productivity, behavior, and development at the population level, using such methods as inferential statistics, natural experiments, policy experiments, statistical modeling, and gene/environment interaction studies.
- Branch-Funded Research:
- Branch-Supported Study: This study examined the effect of experimental changes in children's sleep duration on self-reported food intake, food reinforcement, appetite-regulating hormones, and measured weight.
Hart CN, Carskadon MA, Considine RV, Fava JL, Lawton J, Raynor HA, Jelalian E, Owens J, Wing R. (2013). Changes in Children's Sleep Duration on Food Intake, Weight and Leptin. Pediatrics, [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24190680
- Branch-Supported Finding: Neighborhoods, obesity, and diabetes. A randomized social experiment shows that neighborhood environment contributes to obesity and diabetes.
Ludwig J, Sanbonmatsu L, Gennetian L, Adam E, Duncan GJ, Katz LF, Kessler RC, Kling JR, Lindau ST, Whitaker RC, & McDade TW. (2011). Neighborhoods, obesity, and diabetes--a randomized social experiment. NEJM, 365(16):1509-1519. PMID:22010917
- Branch-Funded Study: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health, formerly the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health)
This ongoing longitudinal study examines the developmental and health trajectories of a large, nationally representative sample of youth. First interview occurred in grades 7-12 during the 1994-95 school year, and the most recent interview occurred at ages 24-32 in 2007-08. Add Health involves an innovative, integrative approach that stimulates interdisciplinary research teams bridging social and biomedical sciences. The study is funded by more than a dozen federal agencies, and the NIH has funded about 90 independent Add Health-related projects. Visit http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/addhealth for more information on the study and its findings.
- Branch-Funded Study and Finding: Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (Fragile Families Study)
This multidisciplinary longitudinal study examines the health and well-being of children born to unmarried parent in large U.S. urban areas, including from the fields of medicine, psychology, economics, and public health. Findings from nearly a decade of the study were featured in the NICHD Spotlight: Understanding Fragile Families.
- Branch-Supported Finding:
Hale L, Berger LM, LeBourgeois MK, & Brooks-Gunn J. (2011). A longitudinal study of preschoolers' language-based bedtime routines, sleep duration, and well-being. J Fam Psychol, 25(3), 423-433. PMID:21517173