Archive for the ‘University of Michigan’ Category

Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change

July 19, 2012 Comments off

Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change

Source: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

As the nation suffers through a summer of record-shattering heat, a University of Michigan report finds that Generation X is lukewarm about climate change—uninformed about the causes and unconcerned about the potential dangers.

“Most Generation Xers are surprisingly disengaged, dismissive or doubtful about whether global climate change is happening and they don’t spend much time worrying about it,” said Jon D. Miller, author of “The Generation X Report.” (Read and download the full report.)

The new report, the fourth in a continuing series, compares Gen X attitudes about climate change in 2009 and 2011, and describes the levels of concern Gen Xers have about different aspects of climate change, as well as their sources of information on the subject.

“We found a small but statistically significant decline between 2009 and 2011 in the level of attention and concern Generation X adults expressed about climate change,” Miller said. “In 2009, about 22 percent said they followed the issue of climate change very or moderately closely. In 2011, only 16 percent said they did so.”

Pay-to-play sports keeping lower-income kids out of the game

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  University of Michigan Health System
In an era of tight funding, school districts across the country are cutting their athletic budgets. Many schools are implementing athletic participation fees to cover the cost of school sports. But those fees have forced kids in lower-income families to the sidelines, according to a new poll that found nearly one in five lower-income parents report their children are participating less in school sports.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked parents of middle- and high-school-age children nationwide about participation and cost of school sports.

Overall, 61 percent of children playing middle or high school sports were charged a pay-to-play fee. The average fee was $93, according to the poll respondents, but 21% of children faced a pay-to-play fee of $150 or more.

However, pay-to-play fees are only one component of the school sports costs reported by parents. Including equipment, uniforms and additional team fees,, the average cost for a child’s sports participation was $381.

Researchers found that 12 percent of parents overall said that the cost of school sports caused a drop in participation for at least one of their children. However, that varied substantially based on income. Among lower-income families, those earning less than $60,000 per year, 19 percent said their children’s participation decreased because of costs. But among families earning more than $60,000 per year, only 5 percent reported costs had caused their children to participate less.

The Generation-X Report — Food: Shared, Prepared, Organic, and Genetically Modified

May 9, 2012 Comments off
Source:  University of Michigan (Longitudinal Study of Youth)
Food is a central part of human life. We need it to survive. We share it with our families and our friends and we often make it a central part of our celebrations. We shop for it, cook it, read about it, talk about it, and sometimes worry about it.
In this report, the third of a continuing series, we look at the ways that young adults in Generation X are involved with food. Using data from our 2010 national survey, this report will look at the level and kinds of involvement that young adults in the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) report about their own shopping, cooking, and sharing of food. We will also examine the attitudes of Generation X toward organic foods and genetically modified foods. And we will take a brief look at the places from which young adults obtain information about food-based issues such as genetically-modified foods.

Mortgage Distress and Financial Liquidity: How U.S. Families are Handling Savings, Mortgages and Other Debts

May 8, 2012 Comments off

Mortgage Distress and Financial Liquidity: How U.S. Families are Handling Savings, Mortgages and Other Debts (PDF)

Source: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the longest running longitudinal household survey in the world, interviews roughly 9,000 families from across the United States every other year. This report covers the period from 2009 to 2011, capturing the financial impact of the Great Recession. In 2009, PSID asked families new questions about mortgage distress – have you fallen behind in payments or applied for mortgage modification, and what are your expectations about mortgage payment difficulties in the coming 12 months. (See Table 1A.) When these families were re-interviewed in 2011, these same questions were asked again. The resulting changes provide a detailed look at the impact of the recent recession on home ownership, mortgage and other debt, and financial resources. In this research report, we present data from the 8,121 families who were in the study for both 2009 and 2011. We apply statistical weights to the data, allowing us to report national estimates for the entire country. 1 Our analysis provides an assessment of the changes in levels of distress and debt among the same American families, and estimates of mortgage distress and levels of non-collateralized debt –credit card debt, student loans, medical or legal bills, or loans from relatives – as well as liquid assets, including checking and savings account balances.

See: Many US families are underwater with debts (EurekAlert!)

Easy-access medicines a poisoning risk for kids at home

April 19, 2012 Comments off
Easy-access medicines a poisoning risk for kids at home

Source:  University of Michigan Division of General Pediatrics
+ Overall, 79% of parents and 85% of grandparents of young kids report having prescription medicine at home.
+ Grandparents are 4 times more likely than parents to keep prescription medicine in easy-access places.
+ About two-thirds of adults overall would support potential new laws that would require medicines to be packaged as single-dose servings.

+ Full Report(PDF)

See: Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them (EurekAlert!)

An Untold Story of Middleboxes in Cellular Networks

August 29, 2011 Comments off

An Untold Story of Middleboxes in Cellular Networks (PDF)
Source: University of Michigan and Microsoft Research

The use of cellular data networks is increasingly popular as network coverage becomes more ubiquitous and many diverse usercontributed mobile applications are available. The growing cellular traffic demand means that cellular network carriers are facing greater challenges to provide users with good network performance and energy ef?ciency, while protecting networks from potential attacks. To better utilize their limited network resources while securing the network and protecting client devices, the carriers have already deployed various network policies that influence traffic behavior. Today, these policies are mostly opaque, though they directly impact application designs and may even introduce network vulnerabilities.

We present NetPiculet, the first tool that unveils carriers’ NAT and firewall policies by conducting intelligent measurement. By running NetPiculet in the major U.S. cellular providers as well as deploying it as a smartphone application in the wild in more than 100 cellular ISPs, we identified the key NAT and firewall policies which have direct implications on performance, energy, and security. For example, NAT boxes and firewalls set timeouts for idle TCP connections, which sometimes cause significant energy waste on mobile devices. Although most carriers today deploy sophisticated firewalls, they are still vulnerable to various attacks such as battery draining and denial of service. These findings can inform developers in optimizing the interaction between mobile applications and cellular networks and also guide carriers in improving their network con?gurations.


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