The Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB) seeks to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and populations by adding to knowledge about human population dynamics and their causes and consequences. The Branch’s portfolio of demographic, behavioral, and social sciences research addresses topics such as health, human development, family change, pregnancy and HIV prevention, and population movement. The DBSB advances its mission by funding investigator-initiated research and through extensive collaborative activities within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), across the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and with other federal and non-federal organizations.
The DBSB’s mission in health research encompasses three goals: examining the causes and consequences of health and well-being from a population perspective; understanding the interrelationships among health and demographic processes; and supporting the integration of social science, behavioral, and biomedical approaches to understanding health. Recent Branch-supported research has explored the role of genetic influences in adolescent risk behaviors, the emergence of racial and ethnic health disparities early in life, the impact of early life socioeconomic disadvantage on later health, and the effects of public policies, communities, health care disparities, and families on population health.
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