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Vision and hearing impairments affect 55% of people aged 60+ years and are associated with lower cognitive test performance; however, tests rely on vision, hearing, or both. We hypothesized that scores on tests that depend on vision or hearing are different among those with vision or hearing impairments, respectively, controlling for underlying cognition.
Leveraging cross-sectional data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS), we used item response theory to test for differential item functioning (DIF) by vision impairment (better eye presenting visual acuity worse than 20/40) and hearing impairment (better ear .5–4 kHz pure-tone average > 25 decibels).
We identified DIF by vision impairment for tests whose administrations do not rely on vision [e.g., Delayed Word Recall both in ARIC-NCS: .50 logit difference between impaired and unimpaired (p = .04) and in BLSA: .62 logits (p = .02)] and DIF by hearing impairment for tests whose administrations do not rely on hearing [Digit Symbol Substitution test in BLSA: 1.25 logits (p = .001) and Incidental Learning test in ARIC-NCS: .35 logits (p = .001)]. However, no individuals had differences between unadjusted and DIF-adjusted measures of greater than the standard error of measurement.
DIF by sensory impairment in cognitive tests was independent of administration characteristics, which could indicate that elevated cognitive load among persons with sensory impairment plays a larger role in test performance than previously acknowledged. While these results were unexpected, neither of these samples are nationally representative and each has unique selection factors; thus, replication is critical.
Adequate dietary intake during pregnancy is vital for the health and nutritional status of both mother and fetus. The nutritional status of reproductive age women in Pakistan is poor, with 14% being underweight (BMI<18.5) and 42% experiencing iron deficiency anemia. This may stem from beliefs, practices and other barriers influencing dietary intake. This qualitative study seeks to determine which factors impact dietary intake during pregnancy in rural Punjab.
In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted, and then analyzed using thematic analysis.
Three purposively selected rural districts (Sahiwal, Okara, and Pakpatan) with the highest prevalence of maternal and child malnutrition in the province of Punjab, Pakistan
Mothers with children under age two (n=29), and healthcare providers with at least five years of experience working in the district (n=12)
We identified a combination of physiological, socio-cultural, and structural barriers that inhibited healthful dietary intake during pregnancy. The primary physiological barriers to optimal dietary intake and dietary practices included food aversions and food cravings. Food classification, fear of a difficult childbirth, fear of high blood pressure, and household food politics were the principal socio-cultural barriers. Additionally, two structural barriers, inadequate antenatal counseling and a lack of affordable food options, were identified.
Our study demonstrates that complex barriers prevent pregnant women in the Punjab area from consuming adequate dietary intake, and that antenatal health education programs and structural interventions are needed to support healthful dietary practices during this critical period.
During the 2018/19 Antarctic field season, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Basal conditions on Rutford Ice Stream: BEd Access, Monitoring and Ice Sheet History’ (BEAMISH) project drilled three holes through the Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica. At up to 2154 m, these are the deepest hot water drilled subglacial access holes yet created, enabling the recovery of sediment from the subglacial environment, and instrumenting the ice stream and its bed. The BEAMISH hot-water drill system was built on extensive experience with the BAS ice shelf hot-water drill and utilises many identical components. With up to 1 MW of heating power available, the hot water drill produces 140 L min−1 of water at 85°C to create a 300 mm diameter access hole to the base of the ice stream. New systems and processes were developed for BEAMISH to aid critical aspects of deep access drilling, most notably the creation of cavities interlinking boreholes at 230 m below the surface and enabling water recirculation throughout the deep drilling operations. The modular design of the BEAMISH drill offers many benefits in its adaptability, redundancy, and minimal logistical footprint. These design features can easily accommodate the modifications needed for future deep, clean access hole creation in the exploration of subglacial environments.
Three holes were drilled to the bed of Rutford Ice Stream, through ice up to 2154 m thick, to investigate the basal processes and conditions associated with fast ice flow and the glacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A narrative of the drilling, measuring and sampling activities, as well as some preliminary results and initial interpretations of subglacial conditions, is given. These were the deepest subglacial access holes ever drilled using the hot-water drilling method. Samples of bed and englacial sediments were recovered, and a number of instruments were installed in the ice column and the bed. The ice–bed interface was found to be unfrozen, with an existing, well-developed subglacial hydrological system at high pressure, within ~1% of the ice overburden. The bed itself comprises soft, water-saturated sediments, consistent with previous geophysical interpretations. Englacial sediment quantity varies significantly between two locations ~2 km apart, and possibly over even shorter (~20 m) distances. Difficulties and unusual observations encountered while connecting to the subglacial hydrological system in one hole possibly resulted from the presence of a large clast embedded in the bottom of the ice.
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
How does the gender of a political leader affect policy compliance of the public during a public health crisis? State and national leaders have taken a variety of policy measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, with varying levels of success. While many female leaders have been credited with containing the spread of COVID-19, often through implementing strict policy measures, there is little understanding of how individuals respond to public health policy recommendations made by female and male leaders. This article investigates whether citizens are more willing to comply with strict policy recommendations about a public health issue when those recommendations are made by a female leader rather than a male leader. Using a survey experiment with American citizens, we compare individuals’ willingness to comply with policy along three dimensions: social distancing, face covering, and contact tracing. Our findings show that a leader's gender has little impact on policy compliance in general during the pandemic. These findings carry important implications for successful crisis management as well as understanding how a crisis in a nonmasculine issue context influences the effectiveness of a leader's ability to implement measures to mitigate the crisis.
Chapter 7 turns to closing the gendered qualification gap. I develop and experimentally test three strategies to close the gendered qualification gap. I show that simply providing voters with more information about female candidate qualifications is not enough to close the gendered information gap, and thereby the gendered qualification gap. Putting qualification information in context that tells voters that female candidates have more or better qualifications than male candidates effectively closes the gendered qualification gap. Self-promotion does not close the gendered qualification gap. This chapter points to the need for more research on how to disrupt the implicit biases voters bring with them to the ballot.
Chapter 3 addresses the question: How do ideas about gender, namely femininity and masculinity, affect what it means, from the voter’s perspective, to be qualified for political office? I apply social role theory to the development of political leadership in the United States to show how masculinity determines the expectations voters have for what a qualified political candidate looks like. Ideas about femininity and masculinity shape the expectations individuals hold for the different types of roles and occupations women and men hold. Caregiving roles are bound up in norms of femininity, and there is an intrinsic link between masculinity and leadership roles. The expectation that leaders have masculine qualities extends back to America’s founding and, indeed, well before the United States came into existence. I use two empirical tests of how masculinity influences thinking about political leadership and qualifications.
In Chapter 5, I draw on shifting standards theory, derived from social psychology research, to determine how and when voters hold candidates to gendered typicality standards. These standards provide voters with a comparative metric to assess whether a female and a male candidate have the qualifications needed for political office. These standards also clarify the subtle and pernicious role gender stereotypes play in how voters rate the qualifications of political candidates. The experiments I use in this chapter allow me to control the qualification information about the female and male candidates to trace how being a woman affects the way voters use this information in decision-making. I am also able to measure voters’ qualification expectations more directly to assess just how high the gendered qualification bar is for female candidates. This chapter shows that less qualified male candidates generally have a baseline electoral advantage over highly qualified female candidates.
Chapter 4 asks: What information do voters have about candidate qualifications? More specifically, this chapter hones in on whether there is a gendered information gap. I investigate the qualification information environment through content analyses of campaign websites as well as analyses of news coverage from the 2016 Senate elections. I gathered data on how female and male Senate candidates in 2016 presented their qualifications on their campaign websites. Female candidates, the results show, talk about their professional experiences much more than male candidates. I pair the campaign website analysis with an exhaustive content analysis of campaign news coverage of the 2016 Senate candidates. These results show a disjuncture in the information female candidates provide about themselves and the information presented in news coverage. Most female candidates talk about their political experience, but female candidates receive less political experience coverage relative to male candidates. The benefit of conducting content analyses in this chapter is that the method has a high level of external validity as I can draw conclusions about the actual amount of qualification information voters have about high-profile female candidates running in actual elections.
Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for developing my theory of the gendered qualification gap and the empirical tests I conduct in later chapters. I start by defining the gendered qualification gap. The gendered qualification gap explains the empirical phenomenon where female candidates are just as likely to win their elections as male candidates but win by smaller margins and run in more competitive races. This empirical outcome is taken by some scholars and political pundits to mean that there is no consequential bias in voter decision-making. Yet these successful women have better qualifications than their equally successful male counterparts. This means that highly qualified female candidates are just as likely to win their elections as less qualified male candidates. If there were no gender bias in voter decision-making, then female candidates would be more likely to win their elections compared with less qualified male candidates. This chapter discusses how current explanations overlook the role that gender bias plays in how voters evaluate candidate qualifications. Past research examines how institutional barriers and socialization patterns contribute to the gendered qualification gap, but missing from the extant body of scholarship is how voters contribute to the qualification gap.
Stereotypes about women and men influence how voters evaluate the qualifications of political candidates, but stereotypes about gender sharply intersect with stereotypes about political parties. Chapter 6 builds on Chapter 5 and investigates how stereotypes about Democrats and Republicans affects evaluations of Democratic and Republican female candidates. Voters stereotype Democrats as feminine and Republicans as masculine. These stereotypes, I contend, create a set of gendered partisan-typicality standards that affect how voters select candidates in primary elections. Republican female candidates face obstacles in primary elections where Republican voters are more likely to support a Republican male relative to a Republican female candidate. Partisan-typicality standards shaped by gender stereotypes contribute to the partisan gender gap in political representation.
Chapter 8 highlights the broader implications of this research for women seeking to enter positions characterized by masculine expectations and traditionally dominated by men. The gendered qualification gap applies not only to political leadership but to the many public institutions that underrepresent women. Women, in general, need better qualifications than men to succeed in business leadership, the legal field, STEM industries, higher education, and other institutions traditionally dominated by men. The gendered qualification gap creates steep entry barriers for women pursuing professions that typically underrepresent women. The result is that women are noticeably absent from public life.