Aging is Happening

October 2020


Media Trust Correlated with COVID-19 Prevention

Whether someone takes proper precautions to fight COVID-19 may be linked to whether they trust right- or left-leaning media outlets, according to a USC Leonard Davis study.


$4.4 Million Renewal for Biodemography Center

USC-UCLA center has been a pioneering force for integrating biological data into population studies for more than 20 years.


Mindfulness in Dementia Caregiving

In a column for the LA Weekly, George Shannon says caregivers for people with dementia deserve care themselves. 



New Course on Genomics and Big Data

Biologists should not be afraid of big data, says Bérénice Benayoun, who teaches GERO 516, Introduction to Genomic Science for Biologists.

In the News

“Health messaging, despite being one of the few effective ways to slow down the spread of the virus in the absence of a vaccine, is doomed to fail if the media prioritize political interests over population health. ... In a highly partisan environment, false information can be easily disseminated.”
- Erfei Zhao and Qiao Wu, USC Leonard Davis PhD in Gerontology students, who authored a study about how trust in left- or right-leaning media is correlated with COVID-19 prevention behaviors. The study was featured in CNNU.S. News & World Report and Insider.
  • CNNU.S. News & World Report and Insider featured a study by PhD in Gerontology students Erfei Zhao and Qiao Wu that found viewers who trust Fox News coverage more than CNN’s are slightly less likely to take preventative measures against the novel coronavirus and a little more likely to put themselves at risk.
  • The Washington Post featured an opinion piece written by alumna Lauren Luchi, MSG, on how we should challenge ageist biases and understand the multigenerational reality that exists in the United States in the midst of the presidential elections.
  • LA Weekly featured a column written by Instructional Associate Professor of Gerontology George Shannon about recent challenges faced by family caregivers and the support required to overcome them.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune cited research from the USC Leonard Davis School on how playing a musical instrument can protect against dementia.
  • PBS’ “Next Avenue” quoted Paul Irving, distinguished scholar in residence at the USC Leonard Davis School and chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, on how COVID-19 has negatively impacted older Americans. “COVID has elevated our understanding of the inequities and disparities in society,” says Irving.
  • ASCO Daily News quoted Reginald Tucker-Seeley on a study that found financial hardship was associated with greater mortality risk in adults both with and without a history of cancer. “One of those questions is if financial hardship is a patient level construct or a household level construct and why is this important,” Dr. Tucker-Seeley said. “The other [question] is determining the feasibility of assessing financial hardship.”
  • tctMD included in its COVID-19 news roundup a new study from PhD students Erfei Zhao and Qiao Wu on how trusting right- or left-leaning TV news outlets are strongly correlated with either risky or preventive behaviors regarding the pandemic.
Connect with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
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