Sunday, November 9, 2008

GROUP 2 - Health in New Jersey (1st post)

This group is responsible for conducting research to map the overall status of health and racial disparities in New Jersey with a focus on New Brunswick, Camden, Trenton, and Newark. They will consider health issues (e.g. asthma, infant mortality, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes) across a range of intersecting status identities (socio-economic status, race, gender, age, urban residence, etc.).

Each member will focus on a specific topic:
- Childhood vaccination, childhood asthma, and childhood injuries (Alexandra Douwes)
- Diabetes, obesity, and heart disease (Emily Hankin)
- Lung cancer, cirrhosis, and AIDS (Sara Peters)
- Unintentional injuries and their resulting death rates across races and genders in NJ, (Yuna Sakuma)
- Infant mortality and maternal health (Rosalynd Upton)

For the final products, each group member is expected to design and conduct a survey on specific issue, and produce a report, a short paper, and several power-point slides for the final presentation. The group as a whole will also produce a short paper that will be included as a chapter of the final report.

Just last week, Nick Carnes, the preceptor overseeing Group 2, has held two 45-min sessions on applied statics in social analysis, in order to help group members designing and analyzing their survey. He introduced students to the Princeton University Data and Statistical Services, which contained a wide range of data sets that are related to social analysis of health. He also gave a brief introduction to some key concepts of statistics, e.g. frequency distribution, central tendency, confidence interval, Chi-square test, etc. He also demonstrated how computer programs such as SPSS and Excel can be used in students' projects. With the training sessions, the memebers set off to develop their own research.