COSSPP Research Team Awarded Grant by Social Security Administration (SSA)

A Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP) and Florida A&M University (FAMU) research team was awarded a grant from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) for the project Race Disparities and Consequences of Cancer Diagnosis on Pre-Retirement Work Disruption.  

This grant is funded by the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium through the University of Michigan. The award aims to promote and fund a broad range of research and policy analysis related to Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), Disability Insurance (DI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.  

The team has received $225,000 for their year-long project beginning in March 2024. The project seeks to evaluate racial disparities related to job disruptions due to cancer diagnosis, as Black adults are at a higher risk than their White counterparts. 

COSSPP Research Team Awarded Grant by Social Security Administration
From left: Dawn Carr, Ph.D., Askal Ali, Ph.D., Rebekah Carpenter, Shekhar Chauhan, Ph.D.

Dawn Carr, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Director of the Claude Pepper Center at FSU, serves as the project’s Principal Investigator (PI). She will partner with Co-PI Askal Ali, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Economic, Social, and Administrative Pharmacy (ESAP) program at FAMU. 

A primary researcher for the project is Rebekah Carpenter, a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at FSU, who has helped develop the data infrastructure and data products that will be used to carry out this complex, multi-stage study. Shekhar Chauhan, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Fellow who recently joined the Claude Pepper Center will also be a key member of the research team. 

The researchers will use data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study (HRS) that is linked with the Occupational Information Network Data (O*NET), a U.S. Department of Labor program that produces detailed data about occupational characteristics and worker requirements in the United States. 

For this project, the researchers have developed their own dataset, linking O*NET-HRS longitudinal data, cancer diagnosis histories, and respondent job histories in the last 15 years leading up to full retirement age.  

The project will be completed in three phases: 

  1.  Evaluate racial difference in the association between occupational exposures and cancer diagnoses during pre-retirement working years.  
  2. Evaluate racial differences in the association between a) self and b) spousal cancer diagnosis and pre-retirement job disruptions.  
  3. Evaluate the effect of racial differences in occupational exposures on the association between race and pre-retirement cancer-related job disruptions. 

“Cancer diagnoses play an important role in so many people’s lives and the consequences of this extend in ways that often have long-term impacts on their financial security in later life,” Carpenter said. “We are hoping to identify not just the extent of that problem, but also learn whether there are specific work environment factors that increase risks of cancer and if there are work environment factors that might alleviate the consequences of cancer diagnosis on later life financial wellbeing.” 

Click for more information about FSU’s Department of Sociology, FSU’s Claude Pepper Center, and FAMU’s Economic, Social, and Administrative Pharmacy program