News Bureau

Research News Campus News About

blog navigation

News Bureau - Research
Social Sciences


  • Team members, from left, first author Sehyun Ju, professor Kelly Bost and graduate student Samantha Iwinski

    Emotional overeating fed by temperament, caregivers’ reactions to children’s emotions

    The roots of emotional overeating may be found in temperament and self-regulation of one’s emotions, but caregivers’ responses to children’s negative emotions also influence whether those as young as age 3 eat to ease their distress, according to new study by researchers at the U. of I.

  • sociology professor Jose Atiles

    Puerto Rico’s anti-corruption laws promoted fraud by outsourcing government services

    Fraud and corruption in Puerto Rico flourished under its anti-corruption policies, which promoted the outsourcing of government services to private sector corporations, according to new research by sociology professor Jose Atiles.

  • Professor Yannick Kluch standing in Memorial Stadium on the U. of I.'s Urbana-Champaign campus.

    Will the 2024 Olympic Games become the playing field for social justice protests?

    Yannick Kluch, an expert on sport as a platform for social justice protests, explores the contentious history of political protests by Olympic athletes and if the controversial Rule 50 could be invoked to saction those who make them during the 2024 Summer Games.

  • Team members Xavier Ramirez, Karen Tabb and Sandra Kopels.

    State of Illinois a leader in legislation on perinatal mental health, study says

    Despite the state of Illinois' exemplary record in advancing policies on the detection and treatment of perinatal mental health problems, more work remains to be done, according to a review of the state's policies by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Short but severe episodes of flooding from hurricanes in Texas and Florida triggered a nationwide increase in flood insurance sign-ups depending on how socially connected a county was to the flooded counties, says new research co-written by U. of I. professor of agricultural and consumer economics Yilan Xu, left, and U. of I. graduate student Sébastien Box-Couillard.

    Study: Social networks can influence perception of climate-change risk

    Short but severe episodes of flooding from hurricanes in Texas and Florida triggered a nationwide increase in flood insurance sign-ups depending on how socially connected a county was to the flooded counties, says new research co-written by U. of I. professor of agricultural and consumer economics Yilan Xu and U. of I. graduate student Sébastien Box-Couillard.

  • Headshot of Rebecca Walker

    Green infrastructure plans need to consider historical racial inequalities, say researchers

    Urban greening projects should consider historical development patterns and past discriminatory practices to avoid exacerbating the unequal distribution of environmental benefits, says Rebecca Walker, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign urban and regional planning professor.

  • Portraits of all seven professors named new fellows of the AAAS

    Seven Illinois professors elected AAAS Fellows

    Seven University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors have been elected 2023 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among the 502 scientists, engineers and innovators recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements by the world’s largest general scientific society. 

    The new U. of I. fellows are computer science professor Sarita Adveevolution, ecology and behavior professor Rebecca Fullercivil and environmental engineering professor Praveen Kumarchemistry professor Christy Landescommunication professor Marshall Scott Poolenatural resources and environmental sciences professor Cory Suski; and crop sciences and NRES professor Martin Williams, an ecologist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.  

  • Communication professor Brian Quick and graduate students Ethan Morrow and Minhey Chung.

    Emotional radio ads may ease listeners’ qualms, boosting support for organ donation

    Radio ads that tug at listeners' heartstrings with the personal stories of transplant recipients or patients on the waiting list may overcome the qualms of many nondonor listeners, persuading them to support organ donation, says new research by scholars at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Photo of Omar Pérez Figueroa in his office with a Puerto Rican flag hanging in the background.

    Research examines tweets during Hurricane María to analyze social media use during disasters

    Understanding how social media is used during a disaster can help with disaster preparedness and recovery for future events, says urban and regional planning professor Omar Pérez Figueroa.

  • Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo

    Perinatal women of Mexican descent propose solutions to pandemic-related stressors affecting Latinos

    Perinatal women of Mexican descent living in San Diego proposed solutions to the hardships they faced obtaining food and mental health treatment during the pandemic in a study led by kinesiology and community health professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Karen Tabb Dina in the School of Social Work building

    Paper: Policy reforms urgently needed to mitigate racial disparities in perinatal mental health conditions

    Significant reforms in U.S. health care and antipoverty policies are needed to mitigate the stark disparities in perinatal mental health care that place women of color at greater risk of mortality, according to a team of researchers that includes social work professor Karen Tabb Dina.

  • Photo of LaKisha David in a stairwell

    Can genetic genealogy restore family narratives disrupted by the transatlantic slave trade?

    Some political figures seek to remove references to slavery from the study of American history, adding to the vast knowledge gaps that stem from the transatlantic slave trade. To better understand these histories, scholars and individuals are turning to genetic genealogy to discover and retrace descendant-family lineages. In a recent paper published in the journal American Anthropologist, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign anthropology professor LaKisha David described these efforts. She spoke about the work to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates. 

  • Cynthia Buckley standing in her office with a bookcase full of books behind her

    How is the Russia-Ukraine war affecting non-allied countries’ interest in joining NATO?

    Diminshed humanitarian and miliary assistance for Ukraine has severe implications and is critical to U.S. national security and its influence within NATO and around the globe, says University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign sociology professor and demographer Cynthia Buckley.

  • Sociology professor Matthew Soener standing in front of a wall map of the world

    Greenhouse gas emissions in Global South countries linked with IMF lending policies

    Global South countries' greenhouse gas emissions rose after borrowing from the International Monetary Fund using a structural loan, and rose even faster with additional loans, sociology professor Matthew Soener at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found.

  • High school students seated at their desks writing with shelves full of books in the background

    Illinois schools sought to participate in 2024 Illinois Youth Survey

    The Center for Prevention Research and Development invites Illinois schools to participate in its biennial Illinois Youth Survey, an online assessment of substance use and school climate issues among the state’s eighth, 10th and 12th grade students.

  • U. of I. political scientist Jeffery J. Mondak, left, and graduate student Matthew Mettler

    Study: Americans struggle to distinguish factual claims from opinions amid partisan bias

    Americans struggle to tell the difference between statements of fact and statements of opinion – a troubling trend that has grave implications for civic discourse in the U.S., says research co-written by U. of I. political scientist Jeffery J. Mondak and graduate student Matthew Mettler.

  • Researcher Michelle Nelson portrait

    How will generative artificial intelligence affect political advertising in 2024?

    It’s estimated that $12 billion will be spent on political ads this election cycle – 30% more than in 2020. The sheer volume of ads is remarkable, and there is vast potential to use this political information to contribute to democracy: to reach more potential voters and provide accurate information. There's also more potential than ever for generative artificial intelligence to misrepresent candidates and policies, leading to confusion in the voting booth. News Bureau editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with advertising professor and department head Michelle Nelson about the topic.

  • Portrait of Rebecca Walker standing in front of a window with the exterior of Temple Buell Hall behind her.

    Study: Historic racial covenants in property deeds linked to disparities in exposure to dangerous heat

    Historic racial covenants in property deeds continue to influence who is most at risk from exposure to extreme heat today, according to a study by Rebecca Walker, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Communication professor Stewart Coles

    White people more likely to confront authors of racist online posts to set discussion rules

    White internet users surveyed in a recent study co-written by communication professor Stewart Coles said they would be more likely to confront the authors of racist social media posts to reinforce norms for online discussions rather than to attempt to change others’ prejudiced beliefs.

  • Recreation, sport and tourism professor Liza Berdychevsky

    Ageism, mistaken beliefs complicate acceptance of older adults’ sexuality

    Despite their having generally permissive attitudes about sexuality in later life, many young adults also harbor ageist misperceptions and erroneous beliefs, according to a new study led by Liza Berdychevsky at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Communication professor Emily Van Duyn

    News media trigger conflict for romantic couples with differing political views

    For romantic couples with differing political ideologies, negotiating their consumption of political news can cause significant conflict in their relationship, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign communication professor Emily Van Duyn says in a new study.

  • Diptych image with headshots of Hermann von Hesse and Julie Turnock

    Two Illinois professors awarded NEH Fellowships

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors Julie Turnock and Hermann von Hesse have been awarded 2023 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships.

  • Photo of graduate student Amir Maghsoodi

    Cultural capital is key to a sense of belonging for college students of color

    Psychologists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign explored the factors associated with students' sense of belonging at college and found that of the four factors they identified that contribute to it, cultural capital is a key element for those from marginalized groups.

  • Portrait of Helaine Silverman

    How can Illinois better preserve its cultural identities?

    Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently announced new funding to support communities working to preserve and celebrate their unique cultural heritage. The “State Designated Cultural District” initiative will provide $3 million to selected cultural districts to aid such efforts. U. of I. anthropology professor Helaine Silverman, whose work focuses on the ways that nations and communities create and deploy cultural heritage as a means of building identity and attracting tourism, spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the new program and its implications for the state.

  • Portrait of Lisa Lucero.

    Paper: Ancient Maya reservoirs offer lessons for today’s water crises

    Ancient Maya reservoirs, which used aquatic plants to filter and clean the water, “can serve as archetypes for natural, sustainable water systems to address future water needs," writes U. of I. anthropology professor Lisa Lucero in a perspective in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Lynette Strickland, Brian Allan and Samantha Capel

    State politics, industry drive planetary health education for K-12 students in US

    While the climes may be a-changing, the state science standards that shape what U.S. schoolchildren learn about environmental problems are shaded by state politics, leaving many unprepared for the challenges ahead, a new study says.  

  • Woman in a bathrobe seated on a bench in a hospital hallway being comforted by her physician

    Women seeking credibility in health care feel ‘on trial,’ struggle with constraints of double binds

    Women with chronic, undiagnosed conditions find themselves in several double binds while laboring to establish their credibility as a patient and the legitimacy of their medical problems with their doctors and loved ones, says a new study.

  • A YouTube icon on a device screen

    Study: YouTube did not actively direct users toward anti-vaccine content during COVID-19

    New research led by data science experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and United Nations Global Pulse found that there is no strong evidence that YouTube promoted anti-vaccine sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, performed an algorithmic audit to examine if YouTube’s recommendation system acted as a “rabbit hole,” leading users searching for vaccine-related videos to anti-vaccine content

  • Co-authors include members of Alaska Native groups

    Study links epigenetic changes to historic trauma in Alaska Native communities

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers investigated the relationship between historical traumatic events experienced by Alaska Native communities and epigenetic markers on genes that previous studies have linked to trauma. The new study found a similar pattern among Alaska Native participants, with specific epigenetic differences observed in those who reported experiencing the most intense symptoms of distress when reflecting on historic losses. 

    The study also found that individuals who strongly identified with their Alaska Native heritage and participated in cultural activities generally reported better well-being. The new findings are detailed in the International Journal of Health Equity.

  • Bo Zhang, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois

    New paper points to better way to assess noncognitive abilities

    New research led by Bo Zhang, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois, points to a better way of assessing noncognitive abilities such as personality and career interests.

  • Diptych image with headshot of Bobby J. Smith II and book cover of "Food Power Politics: The Food Story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement"

    Illinois professor examines the overlooked role of food in civil rights struggle

    African American studies professor Bobby J. Smith II tells the overlooked story of how food was used as both a weapon and a tool of resistance during the Civil Rights Movement in his new book “Food Power Politics: The Food Story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.”

  • Photo of human development and family studies professor Allen W. Barton

    Families with a team mindset strengthened their bonds during COVID-19 pandemic

    Families that perceived themselves as members of a team working for their collective benefit were more likely to improve their family's well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, U. of I. professor  Allen W. Barton found in a new study.

  • Researchers, from left, Sanda Dolcos, Florin Dolcos and Paul Bogdan

    Study: People expect others to mirror their own selfishness, generosity

    New research shows that a person’s own behavior is the primary driver of how they treat others during brief, zero-sum-game competitions. Generous people tend to reward generous behavior and selfish individuals often punish generosity and reward selfishness – even when it costs them personally. The study found that an individual’s own generous or selfish deeds carry more weight than the attitudes and behaviors of others.

  • Daniel Simons portrait.

    New book explores the psychology of being duped

    According to two psychologists who study memory and perception, fraudsters tend to exploit the common habits of thought and decision-making that make us susceptible – and often oblivious – to their fabrications. Their book, “Nobody’s Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do About It,” gives readers an overview of dozens of types of scams, hoaxes and strategies used by cheaters to deceive, and explains how to evaluate their ploys and avoid becoming a victim.

  • Image of the interior of the cave and the massive trench with people standing at different levels and looking into the trench. The cave is dark and you can see the grid of guidelines used to plot the location of items found in the dig. There are bright worklights overhead.

    Cave excavation pushes back the clock on early human migration to Laos

    Fifteen years of archaeological work in the Tam Pa Ling cave in northeastern Laos has yielded a reliable chronology of early human occupation of the site, scientists report in the journal Nature Communications. The team’s excavations through the layers of sediments and bones that gradually washed into the cave and were left untouched for tens of thousands of years reveals that humans lived in the area for at least 70,000 years – and likely even longer.

  • Photo of social work professor Doug Smith standing outside the School of Social Work

    Cannabis use lower among Illinois teens living in ZIP codes with medical dispensaries

    Teens who live in Illinois ZIP codes with medical cannabis dispensaries are significantly less likely to use the drug, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found in a new study.

  • Photo of professor Liza Berdychevsky

    Healthy sex life during pandemic tied to an array of sexual coping strategies

    Some people's sex lives sizzled, while others' fizzled, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. New research by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign scholar Liza Berdychevsky may explain why.

  • Photo of Jenny Davis, Christopher Prom and Bethany Anderson standing between library stacks filled with boxes, with materials including newspapers spread in front of them.

    Illinois researchers, Native American tribes working together to curate, increase access to oral histories

    Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are part of the Doris Duke Native Oral History Revitalization Project, which aims to make ethnographic materials collected from Native American tribes accessible online and to return materials to those communities.

  • Emily Mendelson with a TikTok logo

    Viral videos about private moments may affect offline relationships

    Posting videos about intimate relationships to social media platforms may affect offline relationships, according to a case study of the “couch guy” video by Emily Mendelson, a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Dean Designate of the School of Social Work Benjamin Lough

    Lough named School of Social Work dean

    Benjamin J. Lough will be the next dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. 

  • Diptych image of book cover and headshot of Teri Chettiar

    Illinois historian examines how emotional intimacy became politically valued in post-WWII Britain

    History professor Teri Chettiar said emotional well-being was seen as a key factor for a stable democracy in the period following World War II.

  • Photo of Kevin T. Leicht

    Book: Professional jobs have changed – but not for the better

    The new book “Crisis in the Professions: The New Dark Age” examines the social, political and economic forces that are changing the practice and public perceptions of elite professions such as law, medicine and higher education.

  • Two smiling students sitting under a tree on the U. of I. quad in the autumn surrounded by fallen leaves

    Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative accepting freshmen applicants for fall semester

    The Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is accepting applications from neurodiverse students who will be incoming freshmen in the 2023 fall semester.

  • Sociology professor Kevin Leicht wearing a suit and tie, sitting in his office with bookshelves behind him

    What's the remedy for medical misinformation?

    Sociology professor Kevin Leicht is co-leading the development of a software app that will alert clinicians to medical misinformation that's circulating on social media so they can address it with their patients if desired.

  • Photo of professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo and graduate student Mary Ellen Mendy standing in front of an arched window

    Study examines COVID-19 pandemic's effect on Black, Latina women's mental health

    Black and Latina women had high rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms during the pandemic, but prayer had differing effects, kinesiology and community health professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo found in a study.

  • CUMTD bus on U. of I. campus

    Researchers illuminate gaps in public transportation access, equity

    Public transit systems offering broad coverage of stops and routes may still underserve the communities that rely on them the most, according to a new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study. The study, by former civil and environmental engineering student Dale Robbennolt and Applied Research Institute senior research scientist Ann-Perry Witmer, applies contextual engineering to help determine lapses in equity in public bus transportation access using data from the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District as a case study.

  • Researchers Margaret Yee Man Ng and Harsh Taneja

    Geography, language dictate social media and popular website usage, study finds

    Since its inception, the internet has been viewed by technology experts and scholars as a way to access information at a global scale without having to overcome hurdles posed by language and geography. However, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign  found that how people around the world use the same popular social media platforms and websites remains vastly different based on their language and geography.

  • Male and female social work students studying together using a laptop computer

    U of I online social work degree programs address diversity needs

    The School of Social Work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is offering two new degree-completion programs – the iBSW and the iMSW – that aim to address racial and gender disparities in the school’s student population and the social work profession.


  • Photo of Dominika Pindus

    Study links exercise intensity, attentional control in late-adolescent girls

    Adolescent girls who engage in more moderate and vigorous physical activity each day have better attentional control, a new study finds. The study focused on girls and boys aged 15-18.

  • Photo of a brick home surrounded by trees, with brick pillars on either side of the front walk.

    Site of integrated Illinois town founded by former slave is newest national park

    The New Philadelphia National Historic Site in western Illinois, commemorating the first U.S. town to be legally founded by African Americans, is the nation’s newest national park. Several University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors were among those leading the effort seeking national park status for the site.