The Ohio State University Joins Ohio Business Competes Coalition

Ohio Business Competes is a nonpartisan coalition of businesses committed to achieving nondiscrimination policies at the state level in order to attract the best talent, to increase business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships, and to grow Ohio’s economy.

In 21 U.S. states, consumers and employees are protected from being denied jobs, housing and services based upon perceived sexual orientation/gender identity. Ohio is not one of these states.

President Michael V. Drake said the university is dedicated to building and maintaining an inclusive community to reflect human diversity and improve opportunities for all.

The university does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status in its programs, activities, employment and admission.

Ohio State joins more than 200 businesses, universities and organizations that are part of the coalition.

OSU Researchers Study Divorce Rates Among Coal-Families

Rural coal-mining families show resilience against divorce when faced with the economic downturns common in the industry, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that rural counties with higher levels of coal jobs had lower divorce rates compared with similar counties with fewer coal jobs during the 1990s, when the coal industry was losing jobs.

The results suggest that rural coal families may do better than others in dealing with the stress of an economic downturn in the coal industry.

Their results appear in the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Rural Studies.

The researchers compared data from 1990 to 2000, when the coal industry was losing jobs, to 2000 to 2010, when employment in the industry was growing. They used public data from the U.S. Census Bureau and proprietary data purchased from Economic Modeling Specialists International.

They examined how the proportion of a county’s jobs in the coal industry was related to marriage and divorce during the two decades studied. They also compared rural counties with those that were within a metropolitan area.

Results showed that there were significant differences in marriage and divorce in metro coal communities compared to those in rural areas.

The study found that while people in rural coal counties are more likely to marry in boom periods compared to bust periods, the rate of increase was not as large as it was in metro counties. The study also found that divorce rates in metro coal counties were higher than in the rural areas during the 1990s coal bust.

OSU Design Teams Create New Olentangy River Corridor Vision

Last month, the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture hosted professional designers, students and community leaders for the Olentangy River Charrette. Thursday night, the designs for the corridor sparked by those sessions will be revealed.

A dozen current Knowlton School architecture, landscape architecture and city and regional planning students worked over a two-day period with representatives from architecture and design firms NBBJ, West 8, REALM, TLS Landscape Architecture and MKSK.

Ohio State, the Columbus Downtown Development Corp., the Columbus Partnership, Nationwide Realty Investors, MORPC and the City of Columbus sponsored the design challenge. The results could have a long-term impact on the perception of the city.

Each of the team leaders recognized incorporating the river was central to this design challenge.

The river as an amenity is a change in the way the city was designed. The two-mile corridor featured a mix of retail, roads and residential. Connecting it all in a holistic fashion requires a new kind of thinking.

Some of the teams were challenging the way we get around the corridor, including the reliance on cars and buses.

Having a bold vision is critical to help re-imagine the corridor.

OSU Researchers Find Restriction of “Aggressive” Punishment Helps ADHD Children

Cutting back on yelling, criticism and other harsh parenting approaches, including physical punishment, has the power to calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study.

Researchers from The Ohio State University evaluated physiological markers of emotional regulation in preschool children with ADHD before and after a parent and child intervention aimed at improving family relations. Changes in parenting – including less yelling and physical discipline – led to improvements in children’s biological regulation.

Reductions in negative parenting were found to drive improved biological function in children. Increases in positive parenting had no effect.

The researchers also observed each parent and child during a 30-minute play session in the family home and video-recorded positive and negative parenting approaches. Positive parenting included praise, encouragement and problem-solving. Negative parenting included critical statements, physical discipline and commands that gave children no opportunity to comply.

Less-harsh parenting also was linked to improved behavior in children, a finding that bolsters previous research in this area.

OSU Research Offers Insight into Opioid Crisis

One effective way to combat Ohio’s growing opioid crisis is to prioritize treatment in underserved areas across the state because those are among the areas struggling most with opioid abuse, says an analyst with the C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy at The Ohio State University.

According to a report released by researchers with the Swank program, medication-assisted treatment is the most clinically effective and cost-efficient method for reducing opioid addiction, abuse and overdose death.

But in Ohio, which now leads the nation in opioid-related overdose deaths with a record 4,050 drug overdose deaths reported in 2016, a 33 percent increase from 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Health, some 60 percent of those abusing or dependent on opioids lack access to such treatment, Partridge said.

The report says medication-assisted treatment has shown to be a clinically effective and cost-efficient approach to treating opioid addiction, with three common medications used in the treatment of opioid addition: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.

Yet, Ohio has only 26 certified methadone treatment centers and 377 doctors who are certified to prescribe buprenorphine.

Opioid drugs, including prescription painkillers and heroin, killed more than 33,000 people nationwide in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 3,050 overdose deaths in Ohio in 2015, with 58.2 percent of the deaths blamed on the use of fentanyl and its derivatives, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin, officials said.

The annual cost of opiate abuse, addiction and overdoses to Ohio is estimated to be between $6.6 billion to $8.8 billion, the report said. The total social and economic costs of the opioid crisis are similar to what the state spends on K-12 education.

Another key finding from the report is that there is a robust and direct correlation between unemployment rates and opiate overdoses and deaths. Individuals living in high-employment regions of the state tend to also have high levels of opioid abuse.