: Stereotypes in classrooms create racially hostile STEM learning environments

Developmental Science  Juan Del Toroand Ming-Te Wang

Minnesota Population Center member Juan Del Toro’s research examined the consequences of classroom racial stereotype endorsement during adolescence. Specifically, the researchers looked at views around pro-White/anti-Black achievement scores in science and math. The study looked at if stereotype endorsement in the fall predicted students’ achievement scores at the end of the academic year.

  • Study used a longitudinal sample of 1722 adolescents enrolled in 86 classrooms
  • White American students showed favorable achievement scores in science and math when their classmates endorsed traditional, or pro-White/anti-Black, stereotypes
  • Black American students showed worse achievement scores in science and math when their classmates endorsed pro-White/anti-Black stereotypes
  • Classroom engagement did mediate the relationship for both Black and White students

These results suggest classrooms may be important conduits for communicating racial stereotypes that create racially hostile STEM learning environments. Initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields will need to go beyond increasing representation of minoritized individuals and tackle explicit beliefs about racial groups’ abilities in classrooms.

: Elizabeth Heger Boyle Honored at PAA Awards Ceremony

Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Minnesota Population Center member and Professor of Sociology, received the Harriet B. Presser Award at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The biennial award honors her record of sustained research contributions to the study of gender and demography.

Dr. Boyle is dedicated to explaining and promoting women’s rights to health and freedom from violence. Her work introduced gender into the Sociology of Globalization and shaped current understandings of how institutional conflicts influence policies and their impacts. The data infrastructure she pioneered, IPUMS Global Health—with thousands of users and over $15 million in funding—democratizes access to women and children’s health data, unleashing innovative new streams of cross-national comparative research. Boyle has also shaped a new generation of gender and population scholars and policymakers around the world through her award-winning mentorship of graduate students. The Presser Award recognizes Dr. Boyle’s contributions to understanding, and improving, women’s health.

: Find us at PAA 2023!

We are excited to have a fantastic group of people presenting research at the annual Population Association of America (PAA) annual meeting this year. 

Check out our schedule!

We will also have a booth in the Exhibit Hall. If you are attending, stop by and see us! 

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: Research Spotlights

Migration as a Vector of Economic Losses From Disaster-Affected Areas in the United States


MPC Members: Jack DeWaard and Kobie Price

  • Found areas impacted by a disaster suffer additional economic losses due to out-migration from the affected area 
  • Migration of people out of the impacted areas temporarily reduces spatial inequality 

Using Prevention Research to Reduce Racial Disparities in Health Through Innovative Funding Strategies: The Case of Doula Care

Prevention Science

MPC Member: Judy Temple

  • Presents innovative ways that cost-benefit analysis can help direct private and public funding to support doula care for Black women and others at risk of poor birth outcomes

Are Supervision Violations Filling Prisons? The Role of Probation, Parole, and New Offenses in Driving Mass Incarceration

Socious: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World

MPC Members: Michelle Phelps and De Andre’ Beadle 

This project benefited from our short-term RA service

  • Most incarcerated persons are behind bars for new sentences. Just 1 in 8 on any given day is locked up for a technical violation of community supervision alone. 
  • Strategies to reduce prison populations must look to new criminal offenses and sentence length.

: Steven Ruggles Named MacArthur Fellow

Dr. Steven Ruggles, Regents Professor of History and Population Studies and Director of IPUMS at the University of Minnesota, has been honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as one of this year’s MacArthur Fellows. Commonly known as the “genius grant”, the fellowship is regarded as one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for intellectual and artistic achievement. 

As a historical demographer, Dr. Ruggles is renowned for building the world’s largest publicly available database of population statistics—IPUMS—an invaluable tool for comparative research across time and space. 

“I first met Professor Ruggles when I was working at the National Science Foundation. We have since served on working groups together, and I have been repeatedly impressed by the intellectual rigor and human caring he brings to any problem,” said U of M Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T.A. Croson. “His dedicated work on IPUMS has significantly advanced our scientific understanding of the human experience, and has provided data for untold numbers of scholars. This recognition is well-deserved and I am proud that Professor Ruggles is a member of our academic community."

Ruggles’s scholarship on changes in family composition and living arrangements in the United States has analyzed the decline of multigenerational households and the rise of single parenthood and divorce. To investigate these and other changing characteristics of the population over decades and centuries, Ruggles required massive quantities of individual and household-level census data from manuscript collections dating back to the mid-19th century. 

“In the early 1990s, the available historical data had limited coverage and what did exist was difficult to use because of incompatibility across time, nonstandard documentation and inaccessibility” Ruggles explained. 

To provide researchers with free and easy access to harmonized data, Ruggles launched IPUMS at the University of Minnesota in 1991. Today, IPUMS includes U.S. census data from 1790 to 2021, as well as international census and survey data from 157 countries spanning from 1703 to the present. The data provide detailed information on a wide range of demographic and economic characteristics of more than two billion people, including fertility, family composition, migration, education, employment and housing. 

By creating a framework for locating, analyzing, and visualizing the world's population in time and space, IPUMS enables researchers worldwide to investigate the drivers of change, assess their implications for human society and the environment and develop policies to meet future challenges. 

The MacArthur Fellowship is a recognition of Ruggles’ outstanding career and is intended to continue to encourage his creative, intellectual and professional inclinations. The award carries a $800,000 stipend, paid in quarterly installments over five years with no strings attached on how recipients can spend the money. The MacArthur Foundation typically selects 20 to 30 fellows annually, prioritizing creative individuals with a track record of unique accomplishments.