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author:("Rosen, zon")
1.  Do the psychosocial risks associated with television viewing increase mortality? Evidence from the 2008 General Social Survey-National Death Index Dataset 
Annals of epidemiology  2013;23(6):355-360.
Television viewing is associated with an increased risk of mortality, which could be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, the content of television programming (e.g., cigarette product placement or stress-inducing content), or both.
We examined the relationship between self-reported hours of television viewing and mortality risk over 30 years in a representative sample of the American adult population using the 2008 General Social Survey-National Death Index dataset. We also explored the intervening variable effect of various emotional states (e.g., happiness) and beliefs (e.g., trust in government) of the relationship between television viewing and mortality.
We find that for each additional hour of viewing, mortality risks increased 4%. Given the mean duration of television viewing in our sample, this amounted to about 1.2 years of life expectancy in the US. This association was tempered by a number of potential psychosocial mediators, including self-reported measures of happiness, social capital, or confidence in institutions. While none of these were clinically significant, the combined mediation power was statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Television viewing among healthy adults is correlated with premature mortality in a nationally-representative sample of US adults, and this association may be partially mediated by programming content related to beliefs or affective states. However, this mediation effect is the result of many small changes in psychosocial states rather than large effects from a few factors.
PMCID: PMC3662979  PMID: 23683712
2.  Gender Differences in Material, Psychological, and Social Domains of the Income Gradient in Mortality: Implications for Policy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59191.
We set out to examine the material, psychological, and sociological pathways mediating the income gradient in health and mortality. We used the 2008 General Social Survey-National Death Index dataset (N = 26,870), which contains three decades of social survey data in the US linked to thirty years of mortality follow-up. We grouped a large number of variables into 3 domains: material, psychological, and sociological using factor analysis. We then employed discrete-time hazard models to examine the extent to which these three domains mediated the income-mortality association among men and women. Overall, the gradient was weaker for females than for males. While psychological and material factors explained mortality hazards among females, hazards among males were explained only by social capital. Poor health significantly predicted both income and mortality, particularly among females, suggesting a strong role for reverse causation. We also find that many traditional associations between income and mortality are absent in this dataset, such as perceived social status.
PMCID: PMC3604107  PMID: 23527129
3.  The general social survey-national death index: an innovative new dataset for the social sciences 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:385.
Social epidemiology seeks in part to understand how social factors--ideas, beliefs, attitudes, actions, and social connections--influence health. However, national health datasets have not kept up with the evolving needs of this cutting-edge area in public health. Sociological datasets that do contain such information, in turn, provide limited health information.
Our team has prospectively linked three decades of General Social Survey data to mortality information through 2008 via the National Death Index. In this paper, we describe the sample, the core elements of the dataset, and analytical considerations.
The General Social Survey-National Death Index (GSS-NDI), to be released publicly in October 2011, will help shape the future of social epidemiology and other frontier areas of public health research.
PMCID: PMC3199263  PMID: 21978529
4.  Early Risk Factors for Violence in Colombian Adolescents 
The American journal of psychiatry  2003;160(8):1470-1478.
Violence and homicide are more prevalent in Colombia, South America, than in the United States, but the role of psychosocial factors in the violent behavior of Colombian adolescents remains unclear. The objective of the study was to identify personality, familial, peer, and ecological variables associated with violence in Colombian adolescents.
A survey of adolescents was conducted in 1995-1996. A standard self-report measure was adapted to ensure linguistic and cultural relevance. A total of 2,837 adolescents ages 12-17 years from various self-reported ethnic groups were randomly selected from the community in three Colombian cities: Bogota, Medellin, and Barranquilla. Eighty percent of eligible adolescents agreed to participate. Data were collected concerning the adolescent's personality attributes, family characteristics, peer characteristics, and ecological/cultural factors, including the availability of illicit drugs and the prevalence of violence in the community. The dependent variable was the adolescent's self-reported frequency of violent behavior.
Violence directed at the adolescent and the adolescent's own drug use were both more highly correlated with the adolescent's violent behavior than were other risk factors. Significant risk factors of less importance included tolerance of deviance, peer drug use, peer deviance, and exposure to violence on television.
The results supported a model in which violent behavior was correlated independently with a number of risk factors from several domains. The findings point to the use of specific intervention procedures for adolescents to prevent their own subsequent acts of violent behavior.
PMCID: PMC2705897  PMID: 12900310
5.  The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on the Neural Substrates Associated with Pleasure 
Low socio-economic status (SES) is associated with increased morbidity and premature mortality. Because tonic adversity relates to a diminished ability to experience pleasure, we hypothesized that subjects living in poverty would show diminished neural responsivity to positive stimuli in regions associated with positive experience and reward. Visual images were presented to twenty-two subjects in the context of a EPI-BOLD fMRI paradigm. Significant differences in neural responses between SES groups to poverty vs. neutral images were assessed, examining group, condition, and interaction effects. The data suggest that persons living in low-SES have neural experiences consistent with diminished interest in things generally enjoyed and point toward a possible explanation for the relationship between socioeconomic inequalities and mood disorders, such as depression, by SES.
PMCID: PMC2731107  PMID: 19718457
fMRI; depression; mood; stress; socio-economic status.
6.  Predictors of Cigarette Use Among South African Adolescents 
The present study assesses the interrelation among domains of ethnic factors, the individual’s sense of well-being, personality/attitudes/behaviors, sibling and peer smoking, and adolescent smoking behavior. The sample consisted of 1,468 South African adolescents selected from four ethnic groups self-identified as defined by current South African usage: Black (mainly Zulu and Xhosa), Indian, White, and Coloured (mixed ancestry). In accordance with Family Interactional Theory, there was a sequence of patterning from ethnic factors and the individual’s sense of well-being to adolescent personality/attitudes/behaviors and models of smoking. All of the four domains in the model also had a direct effect on adolescent smoking behavior. The findings suggest four possible targets of therapeutic or preventive intervention with regard to adolescent smoking: ethnic factors, the individual’s sense of well-being, personality/attitudes/behaviors, and smoking within the peer group.
PMCID: PMC1343497  PMID: 16262539
Adolescent smoking; Ethnicity; South Africa; Sense of well-being; Personality

Results 1-6 (6)