Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of South Carolina at Columbia
  • Sharon DeWitte
  • (803) 777-6940
  • Allison C Ham
Award Date:08/02/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 25,194
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 25,194
  • FY 2021=$25,194
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 R&RA ARP Act DEFC V
Award Title or Description:Doctoral Dissertation Research: Demographic Patterns of Human Frailty
Federal Award ID Number:2120102
DUNS ID:041387846
Parent DUNS ID:041387846
Program:Bio Anthro DDRI
Program Officer:
  • Rebecca Ferrell
  • (703) 292-7850

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Awards Management
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of South Carolina at Columbia
Street:Sponsored Awards Management
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2). Differences in morbidity and mortality are influenced by genetic, hormonal, behavioral, and environmental mechanisms. In nearly all living human populations, females experience longer lifespans and lower mortality risks, but perhaps unexpectedly, greater morbidities at some ages compared to males. This doctoral dissertation research explores sex differentials in mortality risk (i.e., frailty) to advance knowledge about the advent and nature of the culturally-dependent female mortality advantage. Analyses of skeletal collections from past populations are used to examine temporal and contextual information on past biological and social factors that increased mortality risks and affected demographic trends. Anthropological work on the production of health disparities in the past can aid in the management of modern public health challenges, including the production of current differential health outcomes. Additionally, the research highlights the connection between context-specific gender formations and physiological well-being. The project also supports student scientific training and public science education and outreach activities. The project examines the relationship between gendered experiences and physiological outcomes by examining skeletal markers of morbidity, mortality, developmental stress, and pubertal timing, using estimated sex as a proxy for gender. The researchers investigate the antiquity of the modern female mortality advantage (i.e., did females live longer, but have poorer overall health?) by elucidating the biocultural and environmental factors involved in the production of sex-based survival advantages. The project uses demographic data (age and sex) and markers of skeletal stress to examine sex differentials in mortality risk across time periods and regions and assess pubertal timing to better understand sex disparities in standards of living. The project utilizes statistical models (hazards analysis) suited to paleodemographic data, in conjunction with skeletal and contextual evidence. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.