Knowing that individuals do not make decisions about demographic, health-related and other social behaviors in isolation, DPRC scholars and researchers understand the important role of social connections and network concepts and analyses in contemporary population research.
DPRC researchers examine how social affiliations and social connections among individuals contribute to family formation, affect health and health behaviors over the life course and contribute to the diffusion of diseases. With a commitment to pushing the boundaries in this research area, DPRC also funds innovative survey sampling.
In collaboration with the Duke Networks Analysis Center (DNAC), DPRC Scholars also pursue inventive approaches to estimating models of interactions among individuals using networks as a means of organizing data collection. These new approaches have led to innovations in statistical, computational and sampling methods.
- M. Giovanna Merli together with James Moody, Lisa Keister and Ted Mouw (UNC), contribute to emerging network-based sampling methods for data collection which reduce respondent burden and claim to achieve population representation quickly and cost-effectively. Together, they are evaluating and extending network-based sampling approaches to collect samples of immigrant populations in the U.S., France and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- James Moody and Peter Mucha’s (UNC) work on the development and improvement of network diffusion simulation models explores whether individuals act similarly because of influences through network ties, or if they are tied within a network because of pre-existing similarities.
- Charles Nunn exploits a complex multi-layer network design, integrating disease and parasite human-animal flow with shared land use practices in Madagascar, to understand how the structure of village networks and exposure to domestic and wild animals spread of parasitic disease in a low-resource setting.
- Erica Field collects extensive data on village networks in Zambia to trace fertility communication networks.
- Robert Garlick leads a large-scale study of spillover effects of development and human capital interventions through economic and psychosocial networks across villages in Western Kenya
- Manoj Mohanan collects two waves of social network data to investigate how pre-existing social network structures influence child health and nutritional outcomes and the sharing of health-related information during a social accountability intervention in Uttar Pradesh, India.
- James Moody, Dana Pasquale, and Duke-wide collaborators draw upon expertise across campus to detect active, undiagnosed cases of COVID-19 infection and shed light on how the virus spreads through communities in Durham, North Carolina using respondent-driven sampling though the CDC-funded SNOWBALL Study.