September 2021 Newsletter

September Research Briefs

August 31: Taking the Measure of Addiction Recovery: A Brief History of Recovery Capital
Author(s): Austin McNeill Brown

September 14: Strengthening SNAP and TANF is Essential to Support Children in Early Childhood
Author(s): Colleen Heflin, Michah W. Rothbart, Mattie Mackenzie-Liu

September 21Elder Mistreatment is Pervasive in New York State
Author(s): Karl Pillemer, David Burnes

September 24Why are COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Lower in Rural than in Urban areas of the U.S.
Author(s): Shannon M. Monnat, Yue Sun

In the News

Professor Scott Landes

Scott Landes was quoted in an LAist article: “People With Developmental Disabilities Want Their Home Health Workers Vaccinated“.

Assistant Professor Bryce Hruska
Bryce Hruska’s research on strategies to reduce stress and mental health issues for EMS workers was featured in a story by Relias Media: “Certain Recovery Activities Can Protect First Responders’ Well-Being“.
Associate Professor Shannon Monnat
Shannon Monnat was quoted in an NBC News article: “Behind Alex Murdaugh’s ‘fall from grace’: Drug addiction fueled by opioid epidemic“.

Grants and Awards

Professor Dessa Bergen-Cico

Dessa Bergen-Cico is the co-principal investigator on a novel grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) titled Psychophysiological Sensing to Enhance Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Self-Regulation of Opioid Cravings.

This study aims to support recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD) with the development of wearable physiological sensing technologies that will help identify individual predictors of craving and relapse risk, while also teaching participants how to use mindfulness-based practices to manage cravings and reduce neurophysiological responses associated with stress and relapse risks. Click for more info.

Amy Ellen Schwartz, along with Co-Investigator Michah Rothbart, is the Principal Investigator on a grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research: COVID-19, Vaccinations and School/Community Resources: Children’s Longitudinal Health and Education Outcomes using Linked Administrative Data. Read more about the project below in the Research Profile of the Month.
Shannon Monnat, Principal Investigator, and Co-Investigators Jennifer Karas MontezDoug WolfEmily Wiemers, and David Wheeler (Associate Professor of Biostatistics at Virginia Commonwealth University) were awarded a U01 grant for their project: States’ COVID-19 Mitigation Policies and Psychological Health, Drug Overdose, and Suicide among U.S. Adultsfrom the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Read more about the project below in the Research Profile of the Month.
Catherine García received an NIH R01 Supplement for her project: “Socioenvironmental Influences on Health among Older Island Puerto Ricans.”

Publications & Research

Marc A. Garcia and Claire Pendergrast published a blog, “The Devastating Toll of Structural Racism“, on Public Health Post arguing the need for targeted health policies and structural policy change to reduce population health disparities in the US.
Associate Professor Rashmi Gangamma
Rashmi Gangamma co-authored a commentary on JAMA Network entitled: “Chicago’s Stay-at-Home Mandate—The Need to Improve on Domestic Violence Prevention and Response.”
Professor of Sociology Jennifer Karas Montez
Jennifer Karas Montez and colleagues’ article was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior: Trends in U.S. Population Health: The Central Role of Policies, Politics, and Profits.”
Yue Sun and Shannon Monnat had a new paper published in the Journal of Rural Health: Rural-Urban and Within-Rural Differences in COVID-19 Vaccination Rates.”
Scott LandesJanet WilmothAndrew London and Ann Landes (Syracuse VA), authored “Risk Factors Explaining Military Deaths from Suicide, 2008–2017: A Latent Class Analysis” in Armed Forces & Society.


Graduate Research Affiliate Claire Pendergrast
Claire Pendergast presented “Aging Services Organizations’ Disaster Preparedness Activities: Best Practices and Knowledge-Sharing” at New York State’s Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) Conference, the state’s premier professional development conference for aging service professionals.

Research Profile of the Month

Lerner Center Faculty Secure New NIH Grant Funding to Conduct COVID-19 Research

Impacts of Mitigation Policies on Psychological Health, Drug Overdose, and Suicide

Lerner Center Director, Shannon Monnat, is the Principal Investigator on a new U01 grant awarded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse titled: “States’ COVID-19 Mitigation Policies and Psychological Health, Drug Overdose, and Suicide among U.S. Adults“. This 5-year $1.95 million project will identify how the policies U.S. states enacted to combat the spread and adverse effects of COVID-19 may have affected psychological health and mortality from drug overdose and suicide among working-age and older adults in both the immediate and longer terms.

The project will provide novel large-scale data on adult COVID-19 experiences and wellbeing and use the variation in policy responses across states to shed light on which policies and combinations of policies are consequential for adult psychological health and related mortality, the mechanisms through which policies affect those outcomes, and the population subgroups that are disproportionately affected. Co-investigators on the team include Syracuse University’s Jennifer Karas Montez (Director of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies and University Professor of Sociology), Doug Wolf (Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs), and Emily Wiemers (Associate Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs), and David Wheeler (Associate Professor of Biostatistics at Virginia Commonwealth University).