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Georgia Southern: Looks at How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Sleep Duration in Adults

Researcher photos.

The association of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and subsequent short sleep duration among adults was examined using data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Multinominal logistic regression analyses included survey weighting procedures and adjusted for age, race, education, income, sex, and body mass index; associations were also examined by age strata, using age as a proxy for time since ACEs occurred.

Complete data were available for 22,403 adults (mean age = 46.66 years) including 14,587 (65 percent) with optimum sleep duration (7–9 h/night) and 2069 (9 percent) with short sleep duration (<6 h/night). Compared with adults with optimum sleep duration, the number of ACEs was associated with the odds of short sleep duration (odds ratio [OR] = 1.22, 95 percent CI = 1.16 to 1.28), and the odds increased as the number of ACEs increased. The association held for each decade of age until the 60s, although the magnitude attenuated. Mental health challenges or poor physical health did not account for the association.

ACEs increased the odds of chronic short sleep duration during adulthood and showed both a time-dependent and dose-response nature. These associations were independent of self-reported mental health challenges or poor physical health. The association of ACEs with short sleep duration throughout the adult lifespan emphasizes the importance of child health and identifying underlying psychological challenges in adults with sleep difficulties.

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Georgia Southern: Examines Compliance of Personal Protective Equipment Among Wastewater Workers.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a significant factor that can reduce or decrease the probability of an accident from hazards in work environments. Unfortunately, the PPE compliance is often neglected in many occupations. The purpose of this study was to examine wastewater worker’s beliefs and practices on wearing PPE through the integration of the Health Belief Model and determine the predictors of PPE compliance among these workers. Data was collected from wastewater workers located at 33 wastewater treatment facilities across the US southeast region. Descriptive statistical analysis was conducted to present frequency distributions of participants’ knowledge and compliance with wearing PPE.  Regression models were applied to determine the association of predictors of interest with PPE compliance. Collected data showed that positive predictors of PPE compliance were perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of contracting an occupational illness (p < 0.05). A negative association was identified between managers setting the example of wearing PPE sometimes and PPE compliance (p < 0.05). Therefore, utilizing perceived susceptibility and severity for safety programs and interventions may improve PPE compliance among wastewater workers.

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Georgia Southern: Collaborates on New Perspectives on Public Health Workforce

Dr. Gulzar Shah
Dr. Gulzar Shah

This peer-reviewed analytical essay provides new perspectives on the public health workforce, using data from the 2017 and 2014 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Surveys, the largest nationally representative surveys of the governmental public health workforce in the United States. Dr. Gulzar Shah, at the Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, collaborated with 10 leaders in the industry and academia, to coauthor this essay. Five major thematic areas were explored: workforce diversity in a changing demographic environment; challenges of an aging workforce, including impending retirements and the need for succession planning; workers’ salaries and challenges of recruiting new staff; the growth of undergraduate public health education and what this means for the future public health workforce; and workers’ awareness and perceptions of national trends in the field. The authors concluded with implications for policy and practice and a discussion of what needs to be done to build a public health workforce needed for contemporary public health.

The State of the US Governmental Public Health Workforce, 2014–2017” was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health.


Association between earthquake exposures and mental health outcomes in adults after the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes.

Dr. Jessica Schwind

In 2015, two strong earthquakes, as well as continuous, high magnitude aftershocks, struck Nepal. Phulpingdanda village was greatly impacted due to its lack of infrastructure and environmental remoteness. Adults from sampled households were surveyed 1-year later to examine the association between earthquake exposures and indicators of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and resilience. Results showed 33% of surveyed residents screened positive for depression, 9% screened positive for severe PTSD, and 46% displayed moderate to high resilience. Additionally, participants experienced resource loss (100%), damaged home and goods (99%), and exposure to the grotesque (82%). Traumatic earthquake experiences related to personal harm were associated with symptoms of depression and PTSD and resource loss was associated with depressive symptoms. Earthquake experiences associated with less damage to home and goods, but greater exposure to the grotesque were associated with increased resilience. This research adds to our knowledge of the relationship between traumatic exposures and indicators of psychological distress and resilience following a disaster.

Association Between Earthquake Exposures and Mental Health Outcomes in Phulpingdanda Village After the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes” was recently published in Community Mental Health Journal.


Looking at barriers and facilitators to physical activity among rural adolescents with cerebral palsy.

The purpose of this study was to use a qualitative, community-based participatory action research method – Photovoice – to identify perceived facilitators and barriers to physical activity among adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) in a rural community.

Fifteen participants including adolescents with CP and parents were included in this study. The researchers followed the nine-step methodology recommended for Photovoice. During the training session, participants completed versions of the Barriers to Physical Activity Questionnaire for People with Mobility Impairments. This questionnaire was used to generate descriptive information about participant barriers and facilitators. Participants were given 14 days to take photographs after which researchers used in-depth and focus group interviews structured by the SHOWeD method. Content analysis of transcripts was used to identify common themes.

Photographs and accompanying text were presented to local stakeholders and an action plan to increase physical activity for adolescents with CP was created. Perceived barriers included lack of inclusiveness, family isolation, and limited accessibility of equipment and resources. Facilitators included support services for families and adaptive sport leagues. Photovoice serves as a powerful tool to initiate change to promote physical activity among rural adolescents with CP.

Using participatory action research to examine barriers and facilitators to physical activity among rural adolescents with cerebral palsy” was recently published in Disability and Rehabilitation.