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Study Led by Dr. Amelia Arria Suggests Parental Provision of Alcohol Increases Risk of Adolescent Alcohol Abuse
Study Led by Dr. Amelia Arria Suggests Parental Provision of Alcohol Increases Risk of Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

A new study led by Dr. Amelia Arria reviewed 22 studies which examined the association between parents providing alcohol to adolescents and adolescent drinking outcomes and found parental provision was generally associated with increased use of alcohol by adolescents, and in some cases higher rates of alcohol-related problems.

Published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs in July 2014, Dr. Arria, associate professor of behavioral and community health and director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the UMD SPH, and colleagues relied on a mix of cross-sectional and longitudinal peer-reviewed studies for their findings.

Noting that parental provision is a complex issue, researchers included studies in their review where parents offered alcohol, allowed underage drinking in the home, supplied alcohol, were present while their children were consuming alcohol, or hosted social gatherings at which underage children and their friends consumed alcohol. On the whole, the evidence suggested that parental provision of alcohol led to increased adolescent alcohol use and, in some instances, increased binge drinking and higher rates of problems stemming from alcohol use.

The authors' messages for parents regarding alcohol provision, include:

• Allowing children to drink underage, even when supervised by the parent, is always associated with a greater likelihood of drinking during adolescence over time.

• Parents should talk to children early about alcohol use expectations and have consistent rules about it.

• "Social hosting" is never a good idea. Parents might believe they are keeping their children and their children's friends safe by allowing them to drink in their home, but adolescents who attend parties where parents supply alcohol are at increased risk for heavy episodic drinking, alcohol-related problems, and drinking and driving.

Dr. Amelia Arria is the Principal Investigator on the NIH-NIDA-funded College Life Study, a longitudinal prospective study of health-risk behaviors among college students. Her research interests include understanding risk and resiliency associated with underage drinking and illicit drug use, investigating the prenatal effects of maternal drug exposure, and translating research findings for parents and families. She also co-leads the Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems.

Click the below link to read the paper, "Providing Alcohol for Underage Youth: What Messages Should We Be Sending Parents?".

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(Date Added: July 23, 2014)
Doctoral Student's Research Recognized by American College of Epidemiology

Jessica Montresor-Lopez, doctoral student in Toxicology and Environmental Health, received an Associate Member travel award from the American College of Epidemiology (ACE) conference in recognition of her research, "Short-term effects of ambient ozone on stroke risk in South Carolina." Montresor-Lopez's abstract, which describes the research conducted for her MPH thesis, ranked second out of all abstracts submitted by Associate Members.

Although recent reports have suggested that exposure to ozone air pollution is associated with stroke events, findings have been inconsistent, according to her research. Montresor-Lopez used a case-crossover study design to explore the association between acute ozone exposure and risk of stroke hospitalization among South Carolina residents, taking race and gender into consideration.

Her research shows that for total stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic combined), a 10 ppb increase in ozone exposure on the day of hospitalization was associated with an increased risk of stroke hospitalization. She observed subtle differences among women, who have a slightly lower risk than males. For hemorrhagic stroke, the magnitude of the association differed by race for all time periods of ozone exposure considered.

Montresor-Lopez completed her MPH in environmental health in 2013, and is now in the PhD program in Toxicology and Environmental Health. She is advised by Dr. Robin Puett, assistant professor in the Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health.

(Date Added: July 23, 2014)
Jae Shim Receives Grant to Study Impact of Recovery Drink on Mild TBI in Youth Athletes

Dr. Jae Kun Shim, associate professor of kinesiology, has received a Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) award to study the effects of a post-workout recovery drink on concussions in young athletes.

Brain injuries have become a serious problem in youth and college sports. Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also known as a concussion, is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that results in negative consequences to brain function-- specifically, in cognition and movement control by the brain.

Dr. Shim and fellow kinesiology assistant professor Dr. Ross Miller are co-principal investigators of the project, accompanied by UMD co-investigators Dr. Hyun Joon Kwon, Kinesiology and Dr. David Klossner, Associate Director in Athletics. Their study, "Muscle Recovery with 5th Quarter Fresh," aims to determine if the high-protein, fat-free chocolate milk drink can improve the negative consequences of cognition and movement control from mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) in youth and college athletes. Data will be collected and analyzed in a collaborative effort involving the University of Maryland and Washington County Public Schools.

The MIPS program's goals are to promote the commercialization of advanced technology through university-industry partnership, and to strengthen the economy of the state of Maryland.

(Date Added: July 17, 2014)
Dr. Alice Horowitz Authors IOM Discussion Paper on Dentist-Patient Communication
Dr. Alice Horowitz Authors IOM Discussion Paper on Dentist-Patient Communication

A new Institute of Medicine discussion paper, co-authored by Dr. Alice Horowitz in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, advocates for dentists to provide patients with written "after visit summaries," a document that provides relevant and actionable information and instructions, and suggests that this is an important tool to help improve oral health and general health literacy for all patients.

Dr. Horowitz, research associate professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, articulates in the IOM publication, "After Visit Summaries: A Tool Whose Time Has Come for Use in Dentistry" that oral health providers are key members of the multidisciplinary health team and that there is a need for closer integration between dentistry and medicine on all levels of the healthcare system.

The paper describes that because people receive and process information differently and act on changing life and health practices when they are ready, it is important that dentists ask patients directly how they learn best and to provide a variety of educational materials in plain and culturally appropriate language which can help patients understand their health conditions and guide them to self manage their chronic diseases.

The notion of after visit summaries came into the foreground as a result of the electronic health record incentive program called "meaningful use," yet the authors assert that after visit summaries are not well-known or commonly used among dental practices in the United States. Dr. Horowitz and her colleagues argue that this is a missed opportunity for oral health education. Given the interconnectedness of oral health with a variety of systemic conditions, incorporating after visit summaries into dental practices could serve as an important care coordination tool for the patients and the multidisciplinary teams inside and outside of the health system, the authors argue.

Dr. Horowitz is an expert on the intersection of health literacy and oral health. In 2010, Dr. Horowitz was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Oral Health Initiative.

(Date Added: July 16, 2014)
Dr. Rada Dagher to Receive 2014 APHA Young Professional Award
Dr. Rada Dagher to Receive 2014 APHA Young Professional Award

Dr. Rada Dagher, assistant professor of health services administration in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, was selected to receive the Young Professional Award from the American Public Health Association's Maternal and Child Health Section.

This APHA award recognizes a young professional on behalf of either a specific, creative endeavor or sustained, outstanding achievement in the maternal and child health field over the years. APHA also considers an awardee's potential to make a sustained and meaningful contribution to his or her field long-term.

Dr. Dagher specializes in research on postpartum depression. She also researches how work policies and work-family conflicts influence workers' mental and physical health outcomes and health care expenditures.

A study led by Dr. Dagher, published by Women's Health Issues in May, found that mothers in the United States who have unintended pregnancies return to work sooner after childbirth than mothers whose pregnancy was intended. Dr. Dagher also led a study--published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law in December 2013--that found that women who return to work sooner than six months after childbirth are at higher risk for postpartum depression.

Dr. Dagher will receive the award at APHA's annual conference, which will be held November 17, 2014 in New Orleans.

(Date Added: July 16, 2014)
FMSC Couple and Family Therapy Program Faculty and Students Participate in Beijing Family Therapy Conference
FMSC Couple and Family Therapy Program Faculty and Students Participate in Beijing Family Therapy Conference

Professor Norman Epstein and eight graduate students from the Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) program are traveling to China July 19-29 to participate in the Second International Forum on Marriage and Family Therapy at Beijing Normal University (BNU). The conference is a gathering of family scholars and clinicians from several universities in the U.S. and across China. Its goal is to enhance the young but rapidly growing field of Marriage and Family Therapy in China.

Students Jennifer Young, Lindsey Foss, and Elizabeth Brown will present a paper "Experiences of Intercultural and Immigrant Families: Suggestions for Working with Couples and Parent-Child Dyads in the US and China." The presentation reviews research on sources of stress in immigrant and intercultural families in the United States, including language barriers, differences in values and customs, discrimination, acculturation differences among family members, and limited social support from family of origin. The presenters describe a study conducted in our Center for Healthy Families indicating higher conflict in intercultural couples than in couples from the same racial background, which accounted for intercultural couples having a higher risk of separation. A strengths-based approach to couple therapy for immigrant families is described that can help them learn constructive ways of communicating about their cultural experiences and reduce sources of stress.

Students Sam Allen and Michelle Collins will present a paper "I Don't Want the Neighbors to Know: An Analysis of Untraditional Gender Roles in Traditional Families." In spite of increased tolerance toward changing gender roles and diverse sexualities in many countries, traditional assumptions regarding what is normal and abnormal lead many families to experience stress and hardship when adolescents exhibit such diversity. The presenters describe findings from a qualitative study involving in-depth interviews and content analyses investigating how adolescents with untraditional gender roles have navigated the historical and traditional assumptions and stigma in their families and communities. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.

Students Andrea Lystrup and Jocylynn Stephenson will present a paper "Culture-Infused Solution-Focused Family Therapy" addressing concerns that the empirically supported solution-focused family therapy model lacks cultural sensitivity for addressing problems of diverse clients. The presenters will focus on gaps between principles and procedures of solution-focused therapy and concepts of cultural competence. A culturally sensitive version of solution-focused therapy will be described.

Dr. Epstein will present a half-day training workshop "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Couples" for the conference attendees, as well as lead a discussion group "Transitioning from Child-Focused Family Sessions to Couple Therapy." Dr. Epstein and the CFT students also will have discussions with the Chinese faculty and students about family therapy research and practice in China, and will plan further research projects to continue the ongoing collaboration between our CFT program and the Institute for Developmental Psychology at BNU.

(Date Added: July 16, 2014)
Professor Barbara A. Curbow Appointed Chair of Dept. of Behavioral and Community Health
Professor Barbara A. Curbow Appointed Chair of Dept. of Behavioral and Community Health

The University of Maryland School of Public Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Barbara A. Curbow, PhD, as professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health.

Dr. Curbow joins UMD from the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, where she served as professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health from 2006-2014. She also served as team leader for the Population Sciences Section at the University of Florida Cancer Center from 2012-2014. Her research focuses on health disparities in treatment decision-making for adjuvant chemotherapy among colorectal cancer patients, use of alternative tobacco products, tobacco control and cancer caregiving.

From 1987-2005, Curbow was on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health where she held appointments in the Departments of Health Policy and Management, Environmental Health Sciences, and Health, Behavior and Society. She received her PhD in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

"The School of Public Health is very fortunate to have attracted Dr. Curbow to chair the Department of Behavioral and Community Health," said Dean Jane E. Clark. "She brings an excellent combination of research, teaching, and administrative skills to lead the continued growth and development of a strong and dynamic department."

The UMD Department of Behavioral and Community Health studies the cultural and behavioral factors that influence health in order to develop innovative methods for prevention and treatment. A social/health psychologist, Dr. Curbow's expertise in psychosocial oncology, health psychology, and occupational health psychology will enhance the department's commitment to tackling current and emerging public health issues.

Current research initiatives within the department include developing cancer prevention programs in faith-based communities, preventing and controlling smoking and tobacco use, addressing minority health and health disparities, and promoting oral health literacy. Dr. Curbow's research leadership on the use of alternative tobacco products and tobacco control measures complements the work being conducted by the UMD Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS), a transdisciplinary research program funded by the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration.

(Date Added: July 15, 2014)
Research and Innovation Seed Grant Awarded to SPH to Improve Health in Haiti
Research and Innovation Seed Grant Awarded to SPH to Improve Health in Haiti

Dr. Robert Feldman, Professor in the University of Maryland School of Public Health's Department of Behavioral and Community Health and Dr. Jane Lipscomb, Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health in the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) were awarded a UMD and UMB Research and Innovation Seed Grant for their research project, "Blood-Borne Pathogen Assessment Survey among Healthcare Workers in Haiti."

Feldman and Lipscomb's joint seed grant award was one of seven awarded this year.

Each seed grant is awarded to a team that includes at least one researcher from each institution (University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore). The program supports basic science research that crosses disciplinary boundaries and has the potential to be used for future health care improvements and technologies. The seed grant program is part of MPowering the State, a strategic partnership launched in 2011 to support collaborative research and education between the state's top two public research institutions, UMD and UMB.

The project's goal is to protect the healthcare workforce by reducing the risk of blood borne pathogen (BBP) transmission among healthcare workers employed in Haitian hospitals. The UMD-UMB research team will develop recommendations to address knowledge gaps and unsafe practices identified in this pilot work. To accomplish this, they will use a mixed methods research approach to assess current practices in the prevention of BBP transmission in the delivery of healthcare in Haiti and identify culturally relevant control strategies for preventing BPP transmission. The project ultimately aims to improve working conditions and practices among healthcare workers in Haiti.

Feldman and Lipscomb's research team includes Beth Barrows, MS, RN, Clinical Instructor and Marik Moen, MS, MPH, RN, Assistant Professor from UMSON's Office of Global Health and Department of Family and Community Health. Collaborating institutions consist of the UMSON Office of Global Health (Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, Professor and Director), the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Institute of Human Virology (Dr. Robert Redfield, Professor and Associate Director), the UMSON's PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center in Occupational Health (Dr. Melissa McDiarmid, Professor and Director), and a number of health care institutions in Haiti.

Recent SPH seed grant recipients include Robin Puett, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, in 2013, and Kinesiology professor J. Carson Smith in 2012. Since the creation of the research and seed grant program in 2008, School of Public Health investigators have received nine seed grants.

Pictured: SPH Dean Jane E. Clark; Dr. Robert H. Feldman, SPH; Dr. Jane Lipscomb, School of Nursing; Jane Kirschling, Dean of the School of Nursing

(Date Added: July 15, 2014)
New Public Health Science Undergraduate Program Launches Fall 2014 in College Park!
New Public Health Science Undergraduate Program Launches Fall 2014 in College Park!

The School of Public Health is offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Science for students who want a foundation in public health that will inform and strengthen future careers in health professions such as public health, medicine, nursing, dentistry, and the allied health professions. Get the interdisciplinary training needed to address the public health challenges of communities at the state, national, and global levels! Science and public health courses are augmented by opportunities for individualized exploration through electives, laboratory and internship opportunities, and the interdisciplinary capstone course. Visit the Public Health Science website or contact Kristin Cipriani, Assistant Director for Public Health Science for more info.

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(Date Added: July 14, 2014)
Support Undergraduates in Need: Give to Wrenn Endowed Scholarship
Support Undergraduates in Need: Give to Wrenn Endowed Scholarship

Each year, the Jerry P. Wrenn Endowed Scholarship enables the School of Public Health to support undergraduate students with financial need. Your gift will help provide support to academically successful students entering their senior year. Visit the SPH advancement site for details.

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(Date Added: July 09, 2014)

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