November 3, 2017

Many School of Public Health faculty are running through their slide decks and reviewing their notes one more time before converging on Atlanta for the 2018 American Public Health Association meeting. Dozens of faculty members will be presenting their research throughout the conference; check our complete list of all UMD School of Public Health presenters. Here are just a few highlights:

Dushanka Kleinman, DDS, MScD, UMD School of Public Health Professor and Associate Dean for Research, will present the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 on Monday, Nov. 6 from 10:50 - 11:10 a.m. (#3121.0, GWCC - B311). Dr. Kleinman is co-chair of the committee.

The purpose of the report is provide guidance to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services “to facilitate the process of developing and implementing national health promotion and disease prevention goals and objectives.”

Dr. Kleinman will discuss the progress that has been made in creating the framework for Healthy People 2030, including its mission, vision, overarching goals, foundational principles and plan of action. She will briefly review the work of the committee's 11 working sub-committees. The committee’s recommendations were approved on October 16.

Kecia Ellick, a doctoral student in the Department of Family Science was selected to be presented at APHA through the Delta Omega poster contest. 

Her poster, titled "African American Teen Mothers' Parenting Stress, Self-Efficacy, and Child Behavior," found that boosting a mother's belief in her skill and ability to parent well can help interrupt the negative impact of parenting stress on child behaviors for teen mothers and their children. 

By boosting the confidence of mothers, Ellick believes the interventions could alter and limit the detrimental psychological trajectories of children born to teen mothers. 

"While teen pregnancy rates are decreasing, teens are still getting pregnant and raising children at significant rates," Ellick said. "It is important to identify pathways through which negative outcomes occur as well as identify protective factors that promote positive development for teen parent families."

As part of the selection process, Ellick was awarded a cash prize of $350 at the Delta Omega National Meeting and reception. Ellick's presentation will be Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 2:30-3:30 (#4256.0, GWCC - Hall B2/B3)

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Assistant Professor Quynh Nguyen will present findings that people living in areas that have negative sentiment towards racial and ethnic minorities can correlate to adverse health outcomes on Monday, Nov. 6 from 8:50 - 9:10 a.m. (#3028.0, GWCC - A402) 

Dr. Nguyen found Twitter messages from states with lower positive sentiment towards minority groups had a 10 to 20 percent increase in adverse health outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm birth even when controlling for predisposing material characteristics and state-level demographic characteristics. 

Hostile climates may be a source of stress for mothers, which is a known risk factor for poor pregnancy outcomes, she said. 

"An environment that is higher in hostility towards minorities appears to be associated with detrimental outcomes even for individuals not belonging to minority groups," she said. "Our Twitter-derived indicators do not point to the personal experience of discrimination but rather they attempt to capture an overall climate." 

 

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Dushanka V. Kleinman, Kecia Ellick, Quynh Nguyen