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 slots. This program builds on our nationally ranked and Graduate School awarded dual-discipline Ph.D. program in Human Development and Family Studies (developmental psychology) and Demography and in Sociology and Demography. Specifically, our predoctoral program 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 scientists. The postdoctoral program is focused on enhancing research in family demography and individual development. The training program brings together 29 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 Penn State's Population Research Institute. This intellectual environment provides rich opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral trainee research apprenticeships. Predoctoral trainees are recruited from the approximately 315 annual applicants to, and students currently enrolled in, the two participating academic departments. Over the past ten years of our T32 grant, 100 percent of all NICHD pre- and postdoctoral trainees have either been awarded their dual-Ph.D in Demography or completed their program, or are currently enrolled and on track to successfully complete their program. Our trainees have moved into positions in academia, government, and research and policy organizations, where they continue to produce high quality research and publications, and influence national programs and policies that affect the health and well-being of families, communities, and societies.

Public Health Relevance

There have been dramatic changes in families and the forces shaping them during the past several decades. At the same time, families continue to be vitally important for the health and development of children and the well-being of adults. Within this context, it is critical to train the next generation of family demography researchers with new interdisciplinary knowledge and methodological skills. Consistent with the NICHD mission and 2012 Scientific Vision report, trainees graduating from this program will be able to contribute to our understanding of the processes that affect the health and well-being of families, communities, and societies.

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
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DRG-D (90))
Program Officer
Clark, Rebecca L
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Pennsylvania State University
Social Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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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