The faculty, staff and community partners of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences conduct research and lead projects that are grounded within the themes of health equity, social determinants of health and impact-oriented community engagement.
Diabetes Control and Prevention
Working with communities to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve the quality of life for all residents.
Latino Youth Health
Helping Latino youth develop positive self-identity as bicultural citizens, and a resilience to stress.
Evaluating life expectancy across populations to identify communities that have not shared in the progress made toward longer lives across the U.S. as a whole. Having this information is an important launch point for action to improve health equity in Central Indiana.
The stark differences in life chances of people living in 104 ZIP codes of the Indy Metro area were brought to light by an analysis conducted by Fairbanks School of Public Health faculty. The report, Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area, was produced in partnership with The Polis Center at IUPUI.
Researcher: Tess Weathers
Learn more: Worlds Apart
Plus, listen to the Community Solutions podcast episode about Worlds Apart.
There are clear disparities between the health of white and Black women in the United States, with Black women suffering disproportionately from chronic conditions and disability. Within the U.S., Black women are exposed to more harmful conditions such as economic hardship, unhealthy environments, and discrimination, which, in turn, shape their exposure to stress. This research investigates how inequalities in stress exposure among Black women contributes to physiological damage in early midlife, which then explains growing health disparities in later life.
As a community-academic partnership, we are investigating why the Near Southside has the lowest life expectancy in the 11-county metropolitan Indianapolis area (by ZIP Code). The project integrates data about causes of premature death with community context on social determinants of health and resident perspectives garnered through interview and PhotoVoice. This investigation is a bridge to community action planning.
Researcher: Tess Weathers
Maternal and Child Health
Making change at the community, organizational and policy levels, while meeting the needs of women, infants and families in their neighborhoods by linking them to services.
Making the social and behavioral sciences more accessible, credible, and usable through transparent and reproducible research practices.
The goal of this project is to increase take-up of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines by influential journals in core disciplines of social intervention research. Project activities aim to improve the degree to which journal policies, procedures, and practices facilitate transparent and open social intervention research.
Researcher: Dr. Sean Grant