Paola Scommegna is a senior writer in U.S. Programs and has held a variety of communications positions at PRB since 2011. Her focus is on communicating academic research on U.S. health, well-being, and aging in nontechnical language for policymakers and program planners. She has previously worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Bread for the World, and PRB. She has also served as an independent consultant for a variety of research and social change organizations, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Firelight Foundation, and Amizade. Scommegna holds an master’s degree in global education from American University and a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern University.
Infographic: U.S. Aging and Dementia Trends
The share of older Americans with dementia is decreasing, but the total number will rise as the large baby boomer population ages and more people live longer. While education gives older adults an edge, reducing their dementia risk, racial and socioeconomic disparities in dementia are large and p…
Family Instability Linked to Behavior Problems in Kindergarten
Children who enter kindergarten after experiencing repeated household changes are more likely to display problem behaviors that inhibit learning and disrupt classrooms. Such changes include residential moves and shifts in family composition and household routines.
Is Working Longer Good for Older Americans’ Health?
Part Two of Three excerpted from Today’s Research on Aging No. 37: Health and Working Past Traditional Retirement Ages Working at older ages appears to keep people mentally sharp, physically active, and socially connected, according to some research. But other studies suggest that retirement may red…
Will More Baby Boomers Delay Retirement?
Part Three of Three excerpted from Today’s Research on Aging No. 37: Health and Working Past Traditional Retirement Ages A growing share of Americans are working beyond their 65th birthday, a reversal that began in the mid-1980s (see figure). Labor force participation rates for men ages 65 to 69 beg…
New Research Finds Health-Promoting Improvements Concentrated in More Advantaged U.S. Neighborhoods
The concentration of neighborhood improvement in more advantaged neighborhoods provides residents—who already have better health outcomes, on average, than those in less advantaged neighborhoods—with opportunities to become even healthier.
Opioid Overdose Epidemic Hits Hardest for The Least Educated
In 1994, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rate was 4.8 deaths per 100,000 people; by 2015, the rate had more than tripled to 16.3 per 100,000. Rural and small urban counties that have high concentrations of deaths from drug overdose, suicide, and alcohol abuse also have other indicators.
New Studies Probe “Who Smokes and Why” to Bolster U.S. Prevention Efforts
To better design and target anti-smoking efforts, researchers are examining stress, genes linked to nicotine addiction, and neighborhood/family characteristics to identify who smokes today and why. About 15 percent of U.S. adults now smoke, down from 45 percent in 1965.