Faculty in SBPS focus on behavioral and social science research. Behavior and context are central to all of public health. Many of the major diseases causing death and disability stem from behavior – such as smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating, inactivity, sexual risk-taking, and violence – so public health practitioners need to understand the reasons people engage in these behaviors and how we can work with people and communities to have healthier lives.
Factors that influence health behavior range from individual to interpersonal, community to structural levels, including knowledge, attitude, family structure, economic status, social norms, and the built environment.
In Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences our research is geared towards serving the communities we work with. We study the individual, social, and environmental determinants of unhealthy behaviors, effective interventions leading to positive behavior change, and the translation of evidence-based research to public health practice.
Faculty research in SBPS explores how behavior and context are implicated in the major public health problems of our day, including drug abuse, risky sexual behavior, under– and over–nutrition, maternal and child mortality, and violence. Our research also focuses on promoting healthier behavior, healthier environments, and universal coverage of essential services, and how to plan, monitor, and evaluate programs that pursue these goals.
The Mary Amelia Center seeks to reduce inequities in women’s health and to enhance health and well-being through community building, interdisciplinary research on health promotion and determinants, advocacy, and leadership development. This center is endowed by the Frost Foundation with projects funded through the NIH and other agencies. Projects include:
Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science, and Practice (CEMCH) is a training program working to expand and strengthen the MCH workforce for the purpose of improving the health status of women, infants, children, youth and families in Louisiana and beyond. It is supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The CEMCH offers seminars and workshops, student mentoring, and professional development resources. In addition to the CEMCH Scholars program, which provides additional training to select MCH students, the CEMCH also supports the MCH-focused academic program, ensuring alignment with MCH national and program competencies; offers opportunities for MCH student exposure to research projects and translation of research to practice; and works closely with MCH-related community organizations and MCH governmental agencies to provide technical assistance and opportunities for student involvement.
Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC)is one of 26 prevention research centers and has been funded by the CDC for community-based participatory research since 1998. The PRC mission is to reduce and prevent obesity in the Greater New Orleans area by addressing the physical and social environmental factors that influence diet and physical activity. The work of the PRC is community initiated and guided, and its community reach is through grassroots efforts as well as through stakeholder and policy levels. The Tulane PRC facilitates changes in the social and physical environment to promote health and healthy behaviors by designing and implementing strategies for prevention.
Violence Prevention Institute (VPI) at Tulane functions as a hub for supporting and expanding multidisciplinary violence prevention-related research, teaching, community programs, and advocacy efforts across Tulane University, New Orleans, and beyond. The VPI aims to build a collaborative network of faculty, staff, students, alums, community partners and other stakeholders interested in violence prevention. The VPI is designed to strengthen the work of its members by creating new connections, circulating violence-related funding opportunities, and disseminating violence prevention information and resources. The VPI website and social media highlights the violence prevention-related work of over 50 participating faculty and doctoral students across 7 Tulane University schools and 12 departments ranging from social work to public health to neuroscience, and more. The VPI website also houses digital reservoirs of publications, new faculty-led research projects. Tulane courses, media appearances, and community resources related to violence prevention. Examples of VPI research focus areas include:
The VPI is directed by Dr. Catherine Taylor and managed by Kate Schulze (firstname.lastname@example.org)