Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Highlights & Awards from Winter CSDE Lightning Talks & Poster Session

Posted: 3/14/2018 ()

Last Friday, five population scientists in training shared their work at CSDE’s Winter Lightning Talks and Poster Session, held in the Research Commons at Allen Library.

The talented pool of graduate students from the Departments of Economics, Global Health, Sociology, Health Services, and Statistics presented unique research that contributes to the field of population science. The presentations covered a number of timely topics in demography, from methods for estimating child mortality and forecasting fertility, to studies of trust, Internet and vaccines, reports of sexual assault and labor market outcomes in Bangladesh, and determinants of vigilante justice in Chile.

At the conclusion of the event, CSDE Trainee Nikki Eller received an award for best poster. Eller, a student in the Department of Health Services was recognized for her poster “Trust, Epidemiology, and Vaccines”. Eller’s project tested the following hypotheses: 1) mothers with lower levels of trust in their child’s health care provider will list more vaccine information sources compared to mothers with higher levels of trust, and 2) mothers’ level of trust in their child’s health care provider will be associated with the type of vaccine information sources, with low trust associated with non-provider vaccine information sources as a main source. In support of hypothesis 1, Eller found that that trusting mothers report fewer average information sources than less trusting mothers. Meanwhile, only 61% of less trusting mothers reported their child’s pediatrician as their main source of vaccine information, and these mothers were more likely to rely on the internet, other parents, parents of vaccine-injured children, other friends and family, and practitioners of alternative medicine as information sources. Overall, Eller’s findings indicate that while most mothers seek out information on vaccines, the level of trust they place in individual information sources may affect their prioritization of these sources.