February 2022 Newsletter

February Research Briefs

February 8: Rural Working-Age Adults Report Worse Health than their Urban Peers
Author(s): Shannon Monnat and Danielle Rhurbart

February 22Aging and Disability Services are Unequally Distributed Across the United StatesAuthor(s): Claire B. Pendergrast and Danielle Rhurbart

In the News

Scott Landes‘ research on COVID-19 risk among people with disabilities was referenced in a The Atlantic article. The piece highlights the critical conflict between caregiving needs and risks to the people needing care.
Kevin Antshel was interviewed for the NBC News story “Instagram and TikTok pull ads from startup Cerebral linking ADHD to obesity.”
Danielle Rhubart’s research brief, “Gender Disparities in Caretaking during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was quoted in a TIME story by writer Aubrey Hirsch.
A journal article, “More than a rural revolt: Landscapes of despair and the 2016 Presidential election,” by Shannon Monnat and Cornell University’s David L. Brown was cited in a The New York Times guest essay by Thomas Byrne Edsall.


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Shannon Monnat is the PI on a grant funded by the University of Michigan’s NIH-funded Social, Behavioral, and Economic COVID Coordinating Center (SBE CCC). The project “Enhancing the Utility of the National Wellbeing Survey to Understand Rural-Urban Differences in the Impacts of COVID-19 on Adult Psychological Wellbeing and Substance Use” will enable the research team to oversample rural residents in the 2022 wave of the National Wellbeing Survey, which was first disseminated in 2021. Co-investigators include Jennifer Karas Montez (SU), Doug Wolf (SU), Emily Wiemers (SU), and David Wheeler (Virginia Commonwealth University).

Associate Professor Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat was appointed to the Population Association of American Committee on Population Statistics (COPS). COPS is a prestigious group of PAA members, appointed by the PAA President, who examine technical issues and activities important to Federal statistical agencies and advise the PAA leadership on these issues.

Shannon Monnat will also be presenting at a Congressional Briefing on Friday, March 18, 12:00-1:00 EST. The briefing, “Small Towns, Big Trends: Demographic Insights on Living, Working, and Thriving in Rural America” will cover demographic, economic, health and environmental challenges and opportunities facing rural communities in the U.S. The event is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more and to register.

Graduate Research Affiliate Claire Pendergrast

Claire Pendergrast has accepted a position as “Senior Analyst, Health Improvement and Healthy Aging” for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). With this new opportunity, Claire will be leaving the Lerner Center in March. We thank her for all her contributions to the Center and wish her much success in her future endeavor.

We would like to welcome new Lerner Center Faculty Affiliate, Alfonso Flores-Lagunes. Dr. Flores-Lagunes is Melvin A. Eggers Faculty Scholar, Professor of Economics, and Senior Research Associate in the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. He is also a research fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) since 2008 and the Global Labor Organization since 2017.

Dr. Flores-Lagunes’ main research interest is in methods for estimation of causal effects that are relevant to the evaluation of government programs. He also has an interest in the bi-directional effects of education and health; mental health; obesity; polygenic risk scores; food insecurity; public programs and health. For more info, check out his faculty page. Welcome, Dr. Flores-Lagunes!

Publications & Research

A piece debating plans to increase federal support for child nutrition by Amy Ellen Schwartz and Michah Rothbart was published in EducationNext.
Scott LandesJanet Wilmoth and colleagues co-authored “Racial-ethnic inequities in age at death among adults with/without intellectual and developmental disability in the United States,” which was published in Preventive Medicine.
Scott Landes co-authored “Factors Associated with the Reporting of Down Syndrome as the Underlying Cause of Death on Us Death Certificates” in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.
Danielle Rhubart and Shannon Monnat co-authored “Self-Rated Physical Health among Working-Aged Adults Along the Rural-Urban Continuum – United States, 2021” published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Catherine García and Marc A. Garcia co-authored “Demographic and Health Characteristics of Older Latino Birth Cohorts in the Health and Retirement Study” in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B (Advanced Article).
Several publications by Shannon Monnat were released this month, including:
Rural-Urban Variation in COVID-19 Experiences and Impacts among U.S. Working-Age Adults” in the ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Two co-authored publications in a special issue on rural population health and aging of the Journal of Rural Social Sciences: Rural Population Health and Aging: Introduction to the Special Issue” and “Support from Adult Children and Parental Health in Rural America“.
Claire Pendergrast and Danielle Rhubart co-authored “Socio-Spatial Disparities in County-Level Availability of Aging and Disability Services Organizations,” published in a special issue on rural population health and aging of the Journal of Rural Social Sciences.
Bryce Hruska and colleagues authored “Incorporating community-level risk factors into traumatic stress research: Adopting a public health lens” in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.