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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Published research/scholarship/creative work

Opioids kill minorities at younger ages

AlthoughOutline of the state of Washington filled with the image of an ambulance and opioids in the background. opioid use cuts across socio-economic boundaries, WSU researchers have found racial and ethnic minorities in Washington state are more likely to die from an overdose earlier in their lives than non-Hispanic white residents.

“This work confirms the epidemic is far reaching and having dramatic impacts on quality and length of life for Americans of all » More …

Birds look for social cues, too

Two pine sisken birds.Birds of a feather not only flock together but also appear to settle down together.

“The presence of another bird that isn’t migratory seems to be a really potent cue to stop migration,” said Heather Watts, a Washington State University behavioral ecologist and corresponding author on a study recently published in Biology Letters. “We saw changes in their behavior and changes in their » More …

Predicting age, gender based on temperment

A smiling infant laying face down on a blanket.A team of researchers led by Maria Gartstein, professor of psychology, developed a novel research study using machine learning to attempt to classify infants by gender and age.

“It was a cool opportunity to do kind of a demonstration study using techniques that require really large data sets and are not very common in social emotional development research,” Gartstein said. “It gave us the opportunity for » More …

Book review: Breaking the Mold

Book cover: Breaking the Mold, by Blanca Blanco.When she was nine and newly arrived in Washington state, Blanca Blanco (’03 psychology) performed scenes with her sisters in the garage in which they lived. Putting on these “homemade plays,” the self-made starlet writes in her new memoir, “was a way to escape our current life.” Acting, she notes, “gave me a sense of strength.” » More …

Food insecurity related to later diabetes

Man opening an empty-looking refrigerator late at night.An interdisciplinary study of adolescence-to-adult health found young adults who were at risk of food insecurity had an increased incidence of diabetes 10 years later.

WSU researchers in sociology, medicine, and nursing analyzed data on nearly 4,000 people from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. They found that adults ages 24–32 who said they’d been » More …

Volatile shifts linked to high‑cost debt

Mariana Amorim.Time, more than money, appears to influence whether service sector employees end up turning to so-called predatory lenders.

“We found the more schedule volatility people experienced, the more likely they were to take out expensive loans, such as those from pawn shops and auto-title lenders—or they use credit cards in ways that are problematic,” said Mariana Amorim, WSU sociologist and » More …

Using the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope

Vivienne Baldassare.One of the biggest questions in astrophysics right now is how do black holes form that are between the size of a stellar and a supermassive black hole? The existence of these intermediate-sized black holes has long been theorized but finding them has proven difficult.

“Most of the theories for their formation rely on conditions that are found only in the very early universe. We wanted to test another theory that » More …

Race and environmental inequality

Children's playground with a smokestack billowing smoke in the background.Although previous research has shown that Black communities statistically suffer environmental problems more than white communities of similar income levels, a recent WSU study found only 33% of U.S. households believe that Black people are more likely to experience environmental pollution and that this well-documented inequality is unfair. » More …

Fighting for Uncle Sam and for civil rights

Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on two fronts.A new documentary about African Americans who fought in the U.S. military in the late 1800s and early 1900s features expert commentary from Ryan Booth, an assistant professor of history at Washington State University.

“Both the Buffalo Soldiers and the Indian Scouts have been waiting a long time for their story to be told,” Booth said. “My hope is that this documentary gives people a better understanding » More …