May 2022 Newsletter

May Research Briefs

May 2: Social Infrastructure (“Third Places”) is Not Distributed Equally across the U.S.,
Author(s): Danielle Rhubart, Yue Sun, Shannon Monnat, and Claire Pendergrast

May 9Civil Rights, Firearm Safety, and Environmental Protection Policies Predict Better Health among U.S. Midlife Adults,
Author(s): Blakelee R. Kemp, Jacob M. Grumbach, and Jennifer Karas Montez

May 11COVID-19 Has Reduced the Latino Mortality Advantage among Older Adults,
Author(s): Marc A. Garcia and Rogelio Saenz

May 16Nine Ways Grandparenting is Changing with the COVID-19 Pandemic,
Author(s): Madonna Harrington Meyer

May 23Benefits of Plant-Centered Diets Among Older Adults Demonstrates a Need for Improved Nutritional Health Messaging,
Author(s): Margaret Rose

May 31COVID-19 Negatively Impacted Health and Social Relationships among Working-Age Adults with Disabilities
Author(s): Claire Pendergrast and Shannon Monnat


The Lerner Center is excited to announce that Lerner Chair, Dr. Shannon Monnat has been named the next Director of the Maxwell School’s Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University. She will begin the position on July 1, 2022. Congratulations, Professor Monnat! Read the full announcement here.

Dessa Bergen-Cico serves as the Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group International Drug Policy Academy. She co-developed the International Drug Policy Academy curriculum which consists of three, week-long modules spread out over 9 months. Training topics include:

  • Module I – Policy: Health, Safety, Human Rights; 
  • Module II – Science of Substances, Behavior, Addictions; and
  • Module III – Practice of Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication

       More information on the training can be found here.

On April 30, 2022 the inaugural class of the International Drug Policy Academy completed its professional training program. The International Drug Policy Academy is a collaboration between Syracuse University’s Addiction Studies Program, The University of Malta, and The Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group. There were 22 participants representing 16 countries.

Additionally, she will present at the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group’s Executive Training on ‘Substance Use, Addictions and Online Practices” in June 2022 at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. On June 21 she will present on “Substance and their Effects on the Brain: Substance Use Habit Formation,’” and on June 22 she will present on the “Correlation Between Different Forms of Addiction: Behavioral and Chemical Addictions.”

Congratulations to Bryce Hruska on receiving a CUSE grant for his study entitled “EMS Worker Navigation Study – Phase 2: Preliminary Test of a Resilience Building Intervention & the Role of Psychosocial Safety Climate on Mental Health”.

The project will perform an initial efficacy test of Self-Reflective Resilience Training-Recovery Activity Promotion (SRRT-RAP) in reducing mental health symptoms among emergency medical service (EMS) workers.

Publications & Research

A study “Perceived Impacts of COVID-19 on Wellbeing among U.S. Working-Age Adults with ADL Difficulty,” by Claire Pendergrast and Shannon Monnat was published in the Disability and Health Journal. The study compares perceived COVID-19 physical and mental health, social, and financial impacts on U.S. working-age adults with and without ADL difficulty

Professor of Sociology Jennifer Karas Montez

Blakelee Kemp, Jacob M. Grumbach, and Jennifer Karas Montez co-authored “State Policy Contexts and Physical Health among Midlife Adults,” which was published in Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World. The authors examine associations between policy domains and health among adults 45 to 64 years old, and assess how much of the associations are accounted for by adults’ socioeconomic, behavioral and lifestyle, and family factors.

Professor Dessa Bergen-Cico

Dessa Bergen-Cico and her colleagues co-authored “Self-compassion and Self Judgement: Potential Mediators of a Mindfulness Intervention on Depression,” in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine. The study investigates how participation in mindfulness intervention may impact an individual’s self-compassion and depression.

Additionally, she co-authored “Mechanisms of Change Underlying Mindfulness-based Practice Among Adolescents,” in Mindfulness. The authors look at how mindfulness-based practice influences self-regulation and self-compassion during adolescence.

Catherine García and her colleagues co-authored two studies in the Journal of Aging and Health, (1) “Stress is a Latent Construct: Exploring the Differential Experience of Stress and Discrimination on Depressive Symptoms Among Black Older Adults,” which looks at the impact of stress exposure on older Black Americans’ mental health, and (2) “20th Century Puerto Rico and Later-Life Health: The Association Between Multigenerational Education and Chronic Conditions in Island-Dwelling Older Adults,” where the authors investigate the effects of multigenerational educational attainment and chronic conditions among older Puerto Ricans.

Additionally, she co-authored a quick response report titled, “¡Estamos Bien, Puerto Rico! Young Adults and the Impacts of Compounding Disasters,” for the National Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. The report focuses on college students and recent college graduates in Puerto Rico and how the “Dire Trio” affected their mental health and well-being.

Kent Jason Cheng and colleagues authored “Estimating the EQ-5D-5L Value Set for the Philippines,” in Quality of Life Research. The study aimed to develop a value set for the EQ-5D-5L based on health preferences of the healthy general adult population in the Philippines.
Colleen Heflin Portrait
Colleen Heflin and colleagues authored “Churn in the Older Adult SNAP Population,” in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. The study suggests that a significant portion of older adults experience gaps in SNAP benefit receipt.

Upcoming Events and Presentations

Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern presented her paper, “Protracted Dependence and Unstable Relations: Agrarian Questions in the H-2A Visa Program,” at the Joint Conference of Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society in Athens, Georgia.