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  • U. of I. anthropology professor Stanley Ambrose

    Ancient African herders had lasting ecological impact on grazed lands

    Ancient animal herders added to the ecological richness and diversity of the African savanna thousands of years ago – an effect that persists to the present day, a new study finds. The herders’ practice of penning their cattle, goats and sheep at night created nutrient-rich grassy glades, called hotspots, that still attract wildlife and have increased habitat diversity in the region, researchers report in the journal Nature.

  • Photo of University of Illinois social work professor Ryan Wade

    Research explores impact of racial discrimination on dating websites for gay, bisexual men

    University of Illinois social work professor Ryan Wade is the co-creator of a new scale that enables researchers to assess the impact of racialized sexual discrimination on gay and bisexual men of color.

  • Illinois professors Erik McDuffie and Carol Symes have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2017.

    Two Illinois professors awarded NEH Fellowships

    Illinois professors Erik McDuffie and Carol Symes have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2017.

  • photo of Daniel Berry Spending 35 or more hours weekly in nonparental child care may have significant developmental benefits for children from chaotic home environments, suggests a new study of 1,200 children led by education professor Daniel Berry.

    Children from chaotic homes benefit from time in child care, study finds

    Children in poverty from chaotic homes have better cognitive, social and behavioral outcomes if they spent 35 or more hours weekly in child care.

  • Professor Thomas Rudolph

    What makes political distrust such a problem?

    The polarization and dysfunction in Congress has spread in recent years to the voting public, says professor Thomas Rudolph, but it’s more about simply disliking political opponents than differences over ideology.

  • The emotional trauma of being bullied by peers may surpass that of experiencing child abuse or being exposed to neighborhood violence, suggests a new study led by educational psychologist Dorothy Espelage. Espelage conducted the research while on the University of Illinois’ education faculty. Co-authors on the paper were Illinois alumnus Jun Sung Hong, a professor of social work at Wayne State University; and Sarah Mebane of the Marine Corps Community Services.

    Wounds from childhood bullying may persist into college years, study finds

    Childhood bullying inflicts the same long-term psychological trauma on girls as severe physical or sexual abuse, suggests a new survey of nearly 500 college students.

  • Brian Ogolsky

    'Positive illusions' in romantic relationships

    A Minute With™... Brian Ogolsky, a professor of human development and family studies, who studies romantic relationships

  • Photo of Researcher

    Study ties present-day Native American tribe to ancestors in San Francisco Bay Area

    A genomic study of Native peoples in the San Francisco Bay Area finds that eight present-day members of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe share ancestry with 12 individuals who lived in the region several hundred to 2,000 years ago.

  • Portrait of the researcher outdoors.

    Vigilantism is an identity for some people, researchers report

    A new study finds that some people routinely monitor the behavior of others and are eager to punish those who violate laws or societal norms, especially when they believe authorities have failed to do so. These self-appointed enforcers willingly embrace the job of keeping order, aren’t particularly concerned about accidentally punishing innocent people, and consider themselves kind and moral actors, the researchers found.

  • Headshot of Sean Kennedy

    Private investment in California's solar energy industry increases climate vulnerabilities, study finds

    The large-scale infrastructure needed to attract private investment in solar energy makes it more vulnerable to climate extremes, said urban and regional planning professor Sean Kennedy.

  • Amanda Ciafone, a professor of media and cinema studies at Illinois, is the author of the book “Counter-Cola.”

    Professor’s history of Coca-Cola also tells larger story of globalization

    Coca-Cola’s history is one of innovation in image-making, outsourcing and other now-common practices of global capitalism – and of adapting to challenges from activists and movements resisting its practices, says an Illinois professor in a new book.

  • Residents who repurposed vacant lots through Chicago’s Large Lot Program reported in a new study that the projects made their neighborhoods safer, quieter, friendlier places to live. The study was co-written by U. of I. scholars, from left, postdoctoral researcher Douglas A. Williams; natural resources and environmental sciences professor Carena J. van Riper; graduate student John Strauser; and recreation, sport and tourism professors Alessandro Rigolon and William P. Stewart.

    Chicago's Large Lot Program sowing change in inner-city communities

    Chicago's Large Lot Program is promoting positive changes in inner-city neighborhoods by allowing residents to buy and repurpose vacant lots that have been plagued by crime and other problems, U. of I. researchers found.

  • The Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Crawford v. Washington can discourage prosecutors from litigating many child maltreatment cases, prosecutors reported in a nationwide survey conducted by University of Illinois social work senior research specialist Theodore P. Cross.

    Study: Supreme Court decision complicates prosecuting child abusers

    A Supreme Court decision that limits the types of statements that can be admitted as evidence unless the victim testifies in court discourages prosecutors from trying some child maltreatment cases, according to a recent national survey of more than 200 prosecutors.

  • Media portrayals of pregnant and postpartum women are unrealistic and may heighten women’s self-consciousness and dissatisfaction with their bodies, women said in a new study led by University of Illinois recreation, sport and tourism professor Toni Liechty.

    Media portrayals of pregnant women, new moms unrealistic, study says

    Media portrayals of pregnant and postpartum women tend to be unrealistic, and their focus on women's bodies may may be detrimental to women and their infants, suggests a new study by University of Illinois scholar Toni Liechty.

  • U. of I. journalism professor Stephanie Craft has focused much of her recent work on news media literacy, trying to understand what people know about the news media and how it works, and how that influences attitudes about politics and civic engagement.

    Conspiracy thinking less likely with greater news media literacy, study suggests

    Those who are more news media literate are less likely to believe conspiracy theories, even ones that resonate with their politics, a study suggests.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and his colleagues found that, for most people, narcissism declines between young adulthood and middle age.

    Research tracks narcissism from young adulthood to middle age

    The belief that one is smarter, better looking, more successful and more deserving than others – a personality trait known as narcissism – tends to wane as a person matures, a new study confirms. But not for everyone, and not to the same extent.

  • Portrait of journalism professor Brant Houston.

    What does the Chicago Tribune sale mean for the future of newsrooms?

    As more newspapers are purchased by “vulture” hedge funds – highlighted by the recent acquisition of Tribune Publishing Co. by Alden Global Capital LLC  – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor Brant Houston touts nonprofit news organizations as a viable alternative to traditional newspaper business models.

  • Study: Police more likely than others to say they are blind to racial differences

    A new study reveals that police recruits and experienced officers are more likely than others to subscribe to colorblind racial beliefs – the notion that they – and people in general – see no differences among people from different racial groups and treat everyone the same.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign social work professor Karen M. Tabb and Brandon Meline, the director of maternal and child health management at Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

    Smoking prevalent among pregnant women enrolled in Illinois WIC program, study finds

    Despite public-awareness campaigns about the potential health risks of smoking while pregnant, more than 15% of low-income women in Illinois may be lighting up anyway, a new study suggests.

  • A new brain-imaging study supports the idea that infants as young as 7 months have a basic grasp of other people’s true and false beliefs.

    Study adds new evidence that infants track others’ mental states

    A brain-imaging study offers new support for the idea that infants can accurately track other people’s beliefs. When 7-month-old infants in the study viewed videos of an actor who saw – or failed to see – an object being moved to a new location, activity in a brain region known to play a role in processing others’ beliefs changed in the infants, just as it did in adults watching the same videos.

  • Sociology professor Ilana Redstone with her arms folded, leaning against a wall outdoors

    How are social media changing higher education?

    Fear of reprisals from outraged parties on social media and unspoken rules about acceptable discourse on college campuses constrain what faculty members teach, research and discuss, says sociology professor Ilana Redstone.

  • University of Illinois recreation, sport and tourism professor Liza Berdychevsky found in a recent study that young women who take sexual risks when traveling fall into five different clusters, based on their motivations for these behaviors and their perceptions of the risks involved. Sexual health campaigns should leverage this diversity in developing messages that are tailored to the needs and beliefs of particular groups of young women, Berdychevsky said.

    Tailored sexual health messages urgently needed for young female tourists, expert says

    With both tourism and casual “hookup” sex on the rise among college-age adults, there’s an urgent need for sexual health campaigns aimed at young female tourists who are sexual risk-takers, University of Illinois scholar Liza Berdychevsky suggests.

  • The Kurds are unlikely to fully realize any hopes of autonomy, says Illinois political scientist Avital Livny, who specializes in the politics of religion and ethnicity in the Middle East.

    Will anything ever change for the Kurds?

    A U. of I. specialist on Middle Eastern politics explains why Kurds often feel they have “no friends but the mountains,” why they’re a political threat to Turkey’s president and motivations for the recent Turkish attack on the Kurds in Syria.

  • Demographer and Illinois professor of sociology Cynthia Buckley is part of The Census Project.

    How worried should we be about the 2020 census?

    An accurate census is essential for public and private planning, but the 2020 effort is underfunded and behind schedule, an Illinois expert says.

  • A new documentary tells the story of Latinos in American baseball, much of it through the research of a University of Illinois history professor.

    Latino baseball documentary ‘Playing America’s Game’ to premiere May 21 on BTN

    The history of Latinos in baseball is the subject of a new documentary, “Playing America’s Game,” which premieres Saturday, May 21, on the Big Ten Network. A production of BTN and the University of Illinois, the film profiles U. of I. history professor Adrian Burgos Jr., a leading expert on Latino baseball history.

  • Illinois history professor Kevin Mumford says historians debate how much the Stonewall riots were a watershed moment for the gay rights movement, but for those involved, “everything seemed to change overnight.”

    What happened at Stonewall 50 years ago? And why did it matter?

    An Illinois historian describes how everything changed for those involved in the Stonewall riots 50 years ago, and the event’s place in the history of gay rights.

  • A team led by social work professor Kevin Tan, right, found in a recent study that girls are more likely than boys to struggle with significant academic, behavioral and social needs than boys during eighth and ninth grade. The team, left to right, includes graduate students Esther Shin, Gaurav Sinha and Yang Wang.

    Study: Girls more likely than boys to struggle with social, behavioral, academic needs

    The more failing grades students have during eighth grade, the more likely they are to experience social-emotional learning problems, academic difficulties and behavioral problems as high school freshmen, a new study found.

     

  • Professor Anita Hund

    Is the tide of sexual misconduct allegations shifting the balance of power?

    News reports, social media campaigns such as #MeToo are raising awareness of sexual misconduct and helping survivors find their voices, says educational psychologist Anita Hund

  • History professor Rana Hogarth's research focuses on the history of both medicine and race, and the connections between.

    Doctors played a role in ideas about racial differences

    Physicians played a key role in defining racial differences in the age of slavery, planting ideas that have carried to the present day, says a U. of I. historian in a new book.

  • Photo of U. of I. psychology professor Dolores Albarracin

    Paper: Even after debunking, misinformation and ‘fake news’ persist

    Even in the face of evidence to the contrary, the effects of misinformation persist and can’t be wholly erased, says a new paper co-written by U. of I. psychology professor Dolores Albarracin.

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit is now only paid as a lump sum after tax return filing, but spacing it out over the course of the year can result in significantly lower borrowing, more stable finances and less financial stress for low- and moderate-income families, according to a recent study led by Ruby Mendenhall, a professor of sociology and of African American studies at Illinois.

    Year-round distribution of Earned Income Tax Credit has significant benefits, says study

    The Earned Income Tax Credit aids millions of Americans each year, lifting many out of poverty – but spacing it out in multiple payments could significantly reduce recipients’ dependence on payday loans and borrowing from friends and family, along with other benefits, suggests a recent University of Illinois study of a pilot program in Chicago.

  • Photo montage of the researcher’s face reflected in a chat screen with several other people onscreen.

    Staring at yourself during virtual chats may worsen your mood, research finds

    A new study finds that the more a person stares at themself while talking with a partner in an online chat, the more their mood degrades over the course of the conversation. Alcohol use appears to worsen the problem, the researchers found.

    Reported in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, the findings point to a potentially problematic role of online meeting platforms in exacerbating psychological problems like anxiety and depression, the researchers said.

  • Graphic warning labels on cigarette packages, like these approved for use in the U.S., may not have the desired effect, according to a University of Illinois study.

    Graphic images may not scare smokers off cigarettes, says study

    Images of disease and suffering should move smokers to kick the habit – at least, that’s the thinking behind graphic warning labels used on cigarette packages in much of the world, and maybe someday in the U.S. According to a University of Illinois study, however, those graphic images may not be effective with many people who perceive them as a threat to their freedom, choice or autonomy.

  • Photo of the research team

    Youths with diverse gender identities bullied up to three times more often than peers, study finds

    Transgender youths are victimized as much as three times more often than students who identify as male or female, according to a study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign social work professor Rachel Garthe.

  • U. of I. social work professor Kevin Tan standing outside the Mahomet-Seymour School District building with director of instruction Nicole Rummel and superintendent Lindsey Hall, both of Mahomet-Seymour school district.

    Projects explore role of social-emotional learning in healing racial wounds

    U. of I. scholars are coordinating online parenting seminars and activities for students and staff members at two Illinois school systems that will explore the role of social and emotional learning in healing racial wounds. 

  • Photo illustration of Dr. Nikki Usher and her new book.

    New book contends that local newspapers bear brunt of news media's increasing elitism

    A new book by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor Nikki Usher examines the market failure of local newspapers in the context of larger U.S. problems such as rising social inequality, geographic polarization and political discord. In “News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism,” Usher posits that newspapers are becoming more focused on serving wealthy, white and politically liberal news consumers.

  • Photo of Aron Barbey.

    Scientists look beyond the individual brain to study the collective mind

    In a new paper, scientists suggest that efforts to understand human cognition should expand beyond the study of individual brains. They call on neuroscientists to incorporate evidence from social science disciplines to better understand how people think.

  • Photo of professor Joelle Soulard

    Study: Holocaust Museum motivates visitors to create social change

    New research suggests that exploring one of the darkest chapters in mankind’s history – the Holocaust – may inspire tourists to act on human rights and social change. 

  • Pro sports stadiums don't bolster local economies, scholars say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If you build it, they will come ... with wallets bulging, eager to exchange greenbacks for peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs and beer, and T-shirts and ball caps with team logos.

  • Bruce Levine

    Gettysburg at 150 (Vicksburg, too): Neither a turning point in the Civil War

    A Minute With™... Civil War historian Bruce Levine

  • Child welfare agencies struggling to increase parent engagement and counter negative stereotypes might consider enhancing social workers' communication skills and creating public service announcements, suggests a new study by, from left, researcher Jill C. Schreiber, Tamara Fuller and Megan Paceley.

    Negative public images hamper child welfare investigators

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Even parents who have had no contact with child welfare agencies believe negative stereotypes about social workers and the likely outcomes of abuse or neglect investigations, misconceptions that complicate agencies' efforts to engage parents in interventions.

  • Sociology professor Tim Liao led a recently published study that examined the association between inequality and COVID-19 cases and deaths in U.S. counties.

    COVID-19 cases, deaths in U.S. increase with higher income inequality

    U.S. counties with higher income inequality faced higher rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the earlier months of the pandemic, according to a new study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign sociology professor Tim Liao. Counties with higher proportions of Black or Hispanic residents also had higher rates, the study found, reinforcing earlier research showing the disparate effects of the virus on those communities.

  • Man wearing face mask shown in car's side view mirror. In front of his car, workers wearing safety gear are preparing to test patients for COVID-19.

    Projects offer COVID-19 testing, explore virus transmission's social factors

    U. of I. researchers, local clinicians and volunteers are providing pop-up COVID-19 testing clinics in Rantoul, Illinois, to essential workers and other high-risk residents, and are exploring the behavioral factors behind infection clusters.

  • A new study led by Patrick Hill, a postdoctoral research associate in psychology, suggests that feeling invulnerable to depression, low self esteem and other issues safeguards young people's emotional health during the turbulent years of adolescence and perhaps into adulthood.

    Young people's feeling of invulnerability has drawbacks - and benefits

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A sense of invulnerability isn't a hallmark of youth as many adults may believe nor is it necessarily detrimental, a new study suggests. However, feeling immune to the problems and threats that affect others can be a blessing or a curse, depending on whether people believe they're exempt from psychological risks or physical harm.

  • Craig Koslofsky is an Illinois history professor. His new book, co-written with Roberto Zaugg, translates the journal of a barber-surgeon in the Atlantic slave trade.

    Rediscovered journal brings unique perspective on Atlantic slave trade

    The trade that brought enslaved Africans to the New World was not just a story of slave ship captains and their human cargo. Many others were part of the machinery, among them a young German barber-surgeon who kept a journal. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign history professor Craig Koslofsky and co-author Roberto Zaugg of the University of Zurich translated his account and put it in context.

  • Dual-earner families, gender roles, and the economic recession

    A Minute With™... Amit Kramer, a professor of labor and employment relations

  • Families spend about half of their evening meal distracted by electronics, toys and tasks, according to a recent study by University of Illinois alumna Jaclyn Saltzman, who conducted the research while earning a doctorate in family studies.

    Study: Families spend half of their evening meal distracted by technology, tasks

    When families gather for dinner at night, they spend nearly half of their time distracted by electronic devices, toys and tasks that take them physically or mentally away from the table, a new study at the University of Illinois found.

  • Photo of University of Illinois social work professor and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow for 2019-20 Liliane Windsor

    Illinois social work professor named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow

    Liliane Windsor, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois, has been named a Health Policy Fellow by the National Academy of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • Educational psychologist Brendesha Tynes says adolescents are increasingly experiencing both individual and vicarious discrimination online, which in turn triggers stress, depression and anxiety.

    Online racial discrimination linked to depression, anxiety in teens

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In the early days of the Internet, some scholars once predicted a lessening of racism and race-based discrimination in online interactions thanks to the anonymity and race-neutral nature of the medium. But according to a new study published by a University of Illinois professor who studies race and the Internet, adolescents are increasingly experiencing both individual and vicarious discrimination online, which in turn triggers stress, depression and anxiety.

  • Political science professor Jake Bowers is spending the year on a White House team that uses social and behavioral science to aid government programs.

    U. of I. professor on White House team working to improve access to federal programs

    Jake Bowers, a University of Illinois political science professor, has been appointed to a White House team that’s applying insights from social and behavioral science to improve access to federal programs. Bowers began his stint with President Obama’s year-old Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) last month.