Society

Society: Understanding Human Nature and Behavior

Different Disorders, Similar Stigma

People with autism are twice as likely to use drugs and alcohol than someone without the disorder — a statistic that most people are unaware of. To educate the public on this topic, UNC autism professional Ann Palmer and addiction specialist Elizabeth Kunreuther teamed up to write a book: “Drinking, Drug Use, and Addiction in the Autism Community.”

Tonya VanDeinse

Tonya VanDeinse is a clinical assistant professor within the UNC School of Social Work. Her research focuses on how to improve mental health and criminal justice outcomes for adults diagnosed with both mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

The Kids Are Not Alright

Even though more than 1.4 million American children under the age of 18 care for siblings or parents who have a chronic illness or disability, support for this demographic is in short supply. UNC geographer Elizabeth Olson and collaborators look to other countries as models for growing youth caregiver resources in the United States.

A Foreign Exchange

Last fall, UNC professor Maureen Berner visited food banks across Belgium to learn how they handle issues of poverty and food insecurity. This scholarly exchange was also a home exchange, as University of Antwerp historian Maarten Van Ginderachter came to Carolina to work on his new book and collaborate with professors.

Allison Mathews

Allison Mathews is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Social Medicine within the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Her research focuses on the use of crowdsourcing to learn how to better engage communities about the social and ethical implications of HIV cure clinical trials, HIV testing, and other health services.

Jordan Dodson

Senior Jordan Dodson is double-majoring in computer science and information science within the UNC School of Information and Library Science. She is a research assistant in the Interactive Information System Laboratory. Her research focuses on how collaborative agents like chatbots can assist people in their information-seeking processes.

The One Doing the Talking

Across the nation, data indicate that meaningful conversations between teachers and students from kindergarten to third grade are limited to an average of 28 total minutes per day — something that prevents children from developing their ability to communicate in important ways. The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute’s FirstSchool initiative strives to change that.

Brotherhood of Hope

In October 2010, seven men embarked on a rare and unexpected journey — they joined a support group for widowed fathers. The experience was so instrumental in their healing that the group’s organizers, UNC researchers Don Rosenstein and Justin Yopp, wrote a book about it called, “The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life.”