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The Social Sciences and Population Studies (SSPA & SSPB) Study Sections review social, behavioral, and economic applications focused on health and well-being across the life course, health disparities, demographic processes, and social, economic and policy determinants of health at the population level. Research approaches may include cross-sectional, longitudinal, or cohort comparison designs; experimental and quasi-experimental designs; data collection efforts; life course studies; and domestic, international, or cross-national studies. Disciplines commonly represented include sociology, social epidemiology, demography, economics, public health, geography, and human development and family studies. Applications that use animal or other models are typically excluded.

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.

Topics


  • Morbidity, mortality, and health over the life course, including health disparities.
  • Population composition and changes in composition, including issues related to population aging, race/ethnicity, household and family structure, neighborhoods, economic status and inequality, and family relationships.
  • Health and labor economics and policy, including intergenerational exchanges, labor force and retirement influences on health, and income security of population subgroups  
  • Social, economic and policy determinants of population-level obesity and risk behaviors, including substance use and deviance
  • Social and economic determinants of population-level reproductive health and behavior, including studies of contraceptive use and sexual behavior, fertility and infertility, and birth spacing, timing and intentions.
  • Population movement, including migration of people within and across national boundaries.

Shared Interests and Overlaps

Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB): SSPA/SSPB and CIHB have shared interests in social and contextual influences on health. Applications focusing on population-level data, and large public use datasets are typically assigned to SSPA/SSPB. Applications focusing on community-level data are typically assigned to CIHB. 

Healthcare and Health Disparities (HHD): SSPA/SSPB and HHD have shared interests in the study of determinants of health disparities and health outcomes at the population level. Applications that emphasize population-level determinants of health disparities and relevant demographic outcomes, including morbidity, mortality or changes in population composition are reviewed in SSPA/SSPB. Applications that emphasize systematic underpinnings of health disparities as it relates to access to, use of, and effectiveness of health services are reviewed in HHD.

Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology (BGES): SSPA/SSPB and BGES have shared interests in social factors associated with population-level substance use and mental health. Applications focused on social, economic and policy determinants of population-level substance use and mental health outcomes (such as national patterns of opioid use, effects of marijuana legalization on health, influence of neighborhood deprivation on suicide ideation, etc.) are typically reviewed in SSPA/B. Clinical research applications focused on social determinants of substance use and mental health outcomes (such as treatments, diagnoses, prescriptions, etc.) are typically reviewed in BGES.

Addiction Risks and Mechanisms (ARM): SSPA/SSPB and ARM have shared interests in social and contextual factors associated with substance use. Applications looking at population-level patterns and predictors of risk behaviors, including substance use, are reviewed in SSPA/SSPB. Applications concerned with behavioral mechanisms driving substance abuse and addiction in individuals are reviewed in ARM.

Infectious Diseases, Reproductive Health, Asthma and Pulmonary Conditions (IRAP): SSPA/SSPB and IRAP have shared interests in reproductive health. Applications focusing on social and economic determinants of population-level reproductive health, such as fertility patterns or contraceptive use and childbearing, are typically assigned to SSPA/SSPB. Epidemiological studies covering all other determinants of reproductive health are typically assigned to IRAP.

Organization and Delivery of Health Services (ODHS): SSPA/SSPB and ODHS have shared interests in health and economic outcomes at the aggregate level. Applications that emphasize a key social or behavioral focus on health and well-being across the life course, health disparities, demographic processes, and related economic outcomes are reviewed in SSPA/SSPB. Applications that emphasize organization, delivery and financing of healthcare at the health systems level, are focused on the provider and organizational outcomes, and use large administrative data sources are reviewed in ODHS.

Health Services: Quality and Effectiveness (HSQE): SSPA/SSPB and HSQE have shared interests in population-level health outcomes. Applications that emphasize a key social or behavioral focus on health and well-being across the life course, health disparities, demographic processes, and economic outcomes are reviewed in SSPA/SSPB. Applications that emphasize health care services, health care quality, and cost effectiveness are reviewed in HSQE.