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From the College of Natural Sciences
Cognitive Impairment in Hispanic Adults Linked to Discrimination Experiences

Cognitive Impairment in Hispanic Adults Linked to Discrimination Experiences

Black and Latino people experience higher rates of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias than non-Hispanic white people, but scientists have never known why. Now a new study shows that experiences with discrimination may be playing a role in disproportionate experiences of cognitive decline.

Young Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults Have Worse Mental Health than Older Ones

Young Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults Have Worse Mental Health than Older Ones

A new study by The University of Texas at Austin and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological health than older LGBQ people.

How to Best Support LGTBQ Youth, According to Science

How to Best Support LGTBQ Youth, According to Science

Pride Month is a time of celebration every June. This year's commemoration also comes at a time of heightened attention to the mental health concerns of young LGBTQ people. Recent research has shown these youth may be experiencing more concerns than older LGBTQ people.

Two Faculty Named Association for Psychological Science Rising Stars

Two Faculty Named Association for Psychological Science Rising Stars

Two faculty members in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, Liz Muñoz and Hannah Williamson, received Rising Star recognition.

Two early-career faculty members in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences have been named Rising Stars by the Association for Psychological Science, one of the top honors in the field.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Rapid weight gain in the first and final months of a pregnancy may play a key role in the development of excess fat tissue in children and adolescents – at least if those children are girls, according to a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

How a Natural Disaster Can Bring Couples Closer

How a Natural Disaster Can Bring Couples Closer

Although natural disasters can cause horrific damage to homes and infrastructure, they can bring married couples closer together, at least temporarily. That's according to a first-of-its-kind study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at couples in the Houston area before and after Hurricane Harvey.

Black Families Are Combating the Effects of Discrimination on Their Children Through Talks

Black Families Are Combating the Effects of Discrimination on Their Children Through Talks

Black parents in the U.S. who see others experience racial discrimination, such as news coverage involving violence against Black people, are more likely to talk with their children about race and discrimination, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found. Such conversations between parents and their children have been shown to improve young people's behavior and school outcomes.

Older Adults Are Happier When Space Matches Personality

Older Adults Are Happier When Space Matches Personality

The old saying, "Home is where the heart is," has some new science to back it up. A study has found photos of a person's living space can accurately point at personality traits and the mood of the people who live there, especially as a person gets older.

Natural Sciences Welcomes Two Visiting Harrington Faculty Fellows

Natural Sciences Welcomes Two Visiting Harrington Faculty Fellows

The College of Natural Sciences will welcome two members of the Harrington Faculty Fellows Program, which supports a group of visiting scholars each year.

Evidence Against Physically Punishing Kids Is Clear, Researchers Say

Evidence Against Physically Punishing Kids Is Clear, Researchers Say

A conclusive narrative review has found physical punishment of children is not effective in preventing child behavior problems or promoting positive outcomes and instead predicts increases in behavior problems and other poor outcomes over time. The study by an international group of scientists including a researcher from The University of Texas at Austin was published today in The Lancet.

Blaming the Pandemic for Stress Leaves Couples Happier

Blaming the Pandemic for Stress Leaves Couples Happier

Illustrations by Jenna Luecke

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit during the winter of 2020, locking down entire countries and leaving people isolated in their homes without outside contact for weeks at a time, many relationship experts wondered what that kind of stress would do to romantic couples. What they found was that when couples blamed the pandemic for their stress, they were happier in their relationships.

E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Charity

E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Charity

A team of 17 students from The University of Texas at Austin created a donation-based e-cookbook titled "A Taste of Austin Through the Lens of Sustainability" that showcases local restaurants and businesses focused on sustainability.

The Case Against Spanking (Audio)

The Case Against Spanking (Audio)

Physical punishment, or spanking, is widely practiced in the U.S. and around the world, although it appears to be decreasing. Parents, caregivers and school administrators who use it say the goal is to prevent unwanted behaviors and teach children to make better choices. But does it actually work? And what long term effects does it have on the physical and mental health of people who are punished this way?

Two CNS Faculty Receive President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards

Two CNS Faculty Receive President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards

Laura Lashinger (left) and Sally Ragsdale are recipients of the annual President's Associates Teaching Excellence Awards.

Laura Lashinger and Sally Ragsdale, two College of Natural Sciences faculty members, have been named recipients of the annual President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. The award recognizes the university's educational innovators who demonstrate exceptional undergraduate teaching in the core curriculum, including signature courses, and engage with curriculum reform and educational innovation.

Nutrition Researchers Developing Digital Platform for Teachers

Nutrition Researchers Developing Digital Platform for Teachers

A group of University of Texas at Austin nutrition researchers and educators received a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to create a digital platform empowering teachers to include nutrition and gardening lessons in outdoor settings in their curriculum. The premise is that when kids have a direct connection to fresh produce — planting vegetables, tending them and watching them grow — they are more likely to make healthy eating choices.