This proposal requests a five-year renewal of the Penn State NICHD National Research Service Awards Institutional Training grant for Family Demography Training: Contextual, Developmental, and Biobehavioral Processes. We request continued support for the current four predoctoral and one postdoctoral training slot. Building on our nationally ranked (#5) and Graduate School awarded dual-discipline Ph.D. program in Human Development and Family Studies (developmental psychology) and Demography and in Sociology and Demography, we propose a predoctoral program which integrates individual developmental science and biobehavioral science with our strong (eight-course minimum) training in core demography/population science (methods, theory, and population processes - fertility, health/mortality, migration/immigration, aging, family status change) for a manifestly interdisciplinary training experience for a new generation of family demography research scientist. The postdoctoral program is focused on enhancing research in family demography and individual development. A strength of the proposed training program is that it brings together 28 research-active primarily advanced academic-rank population faculty with expertise in contextual, developmental, and biobehavioral scholarship related to family demography, and whose grant activity is supported by the strong research infrastructure of the Penn State Population Research Institute. This intellectual environment provides rich opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral trainee research apprenticeships. Predoctoral trainees are recruited from the approximately 335 annual applicants to and students currently enrolled in the two high nationally-ranked participating academic departments. Over the past nine years of our NRSA training grant, 91 percent of all pre- and postdoctoral trainees have either been awarded their dual-PhD in Demography or completed their program, or are currently enrolled and on track to successfully complete their program.

Public Health Relevance

The relevance to public health is primarily because families are so important for the health and development of children and well-being of adults, and because there have been dramatic changes in family forms and family formation during the last several decades. Within this context, it is critical to train the next generation of family demography researchers with new interdisciplinary knowledge and methodological skills.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Clark, Rebecca L
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Pennsylvania State University
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University Park
United States
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Smith-Greenaway, Emily (2015) Are literacy skills associated with young adults' health in Africa? Evidence from Malawi. Soc Sci Med 127:124-33
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