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Social Sciences

Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Mark

How does society, and the manner in which humans behave, influence our world? Our social scientists transform the way we think about the economy, politics, basic motives of human behavior, and the nature of social interactions.

A mother holding her child

Using behavior patterns to build happier families

Christie Petrenko’s research suggests “pre-emptive strategies” are an effective way to care for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

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A child peering over a table

New grant to help the youngest victims of trauma

Sheree Toth and the Mt. Hope Family Center received a $1.98 million five-year grant to provide trauma treatment services for children and families exposed to a wide array of stress and trauma, and to promote policies for trauma care.

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A woman in distress

Can stress in relationships affect parenting?

Mt. Hope Family Center researchers Melissa Sturge-Apple and Patrick Davies have received a grant to study the effects of conflicts between parents on parent-child interactions.

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New book focuses on life after genocide in Rwanda

Robert Foster first visited Papua New Guinea in the 1980s, when telephones of any kind were scarce. Upon returning in 2010, he found a country transformed by mobile phones.

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Language teacher

Saving endangered languages

Joyce McDonough, Nadine Grimm, and other linguists are working to document disappearing languages before they are lost completely to the world.

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Gacca court

New book focuses on life after genocide in Rwanda

Kristin Doughty has published her first book, Remediation in Rwanda, looking at how grassroots courts play a role in life after genocide.

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Impeachment protest sign

The reverberations of impeachment

In an editorial, Gretchen Helmke discusses why political strife in Brazil will be felt throughout Latin American countries. (Photo: Reuters)

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Polish Flag

How Polish democracy has changed over the years

Randall Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, discusses the evolution of democracy in Poland since the fall of Communism. (Photo: Flickr/Mariusz Szczepanik)

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Male teenager playing a video game

Difficult video games linked to intrinsic motivation

Richard Ryan’s self-determination theory helps explain why we keep playing video games that challenge us the most. (Photo: ©iStockphoto)

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Teens working in a garden

Supported teens care more for others

Assistant professor in psychology, Laura Wray-Lake and her group discover that caring for others dips during adolescence. But when teens feel supported from their social circles, their concern for others returns.

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World map

A broader worldview for the candidates

Randall Stone has a message for GOP presidential candidates: Focus on the world, and the US will be better off.

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Icons for wellness

How to improve your personal wellness

Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory can point the way to living a good life.

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