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Social Resources, Environment, and Health: Linkages and Future Directions
December 16, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Slides here: HSR-12-16-16 Slides
Abstract: The influence of social relationships on health is well-documented. Recent advances in methods used to assess and analyze social networks and the availability of representative and longitudinal data have led to more nuanced examinations of this association. Furthermore, current research continues to document the important role of context (e.g., environmental, socio-economic, etc.) in shaping the link between relationships and health. This talk will highlight findings from recent studies exploring interconnections between social resources, environmental context and health. Presented findings will highlight: 1) effects of community resources and technology on health in the context of few social resources; 2) approaches used to measure and analyze social network structure and composition; and 3) bi-directional associations between social relationships and health across contexts. The talk will conclude with a discussion of plans for the development of a social network-based intervention, the example case of affordable senior housing.
Bio: Noah J. Webster, Ph.D. is an Assistant Research Scientist in the Life Course Development Program at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Dr. Webster’s research focuses on the interrelated themes of: 1) the bidirectional influences of health, health-related behaviors and social relationships; and 2) the role of environmental and social contexts in shaping health disparities across the life course. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University with specializations in Medical Sociology and Research Methods. Dr. Webster is co-investigator on a number of ongoing sponsored research projects including, the longitudinal study of Social Relations, Aging and Health funded by the National Institute on Aging; a study of Humility and Forgiveness: The Role of Social Relations among Three Ethnic Groups funded by the Templeton Foundation; and a multidisciplinary study to assess the impact of green infrastructure in Detroit funded by the University of Michigan Water Center through a grant from the Erb Family Foundation. He was co-investigator, collaborating with Drs. Antonucci and Kahn on a recently completed MacArthur Foundation funded experimental field study to examine the impact of a multifaceted intervention in affordable senior housing communities.