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Concept: Household


Human-associated microbial communities vary across individuals: possible contributing factors include (genetic) relatedness, diet, and age. However, our surroundings, including individuals with whom we interact, also likely shape our microbial communities. To quantify this microbial exchange, we surveyed fecal, oral, and skin microbiota from 60 families (spousal units with children, dogs, both, or neither). Household members, particularly couples, shared more of their microbiota than individuals from different households, with stronger effects of co-habitation on skin than oral or fecal microbiota. Dog ownership significantly increased the shared skin microbiota in cohabiting adults, and dog-owning adults shared more ‘skin’ microbiota with their own dogs than with other dogs. Although the degree to which these shared microbes have a true niche on the human body, vs transient detection after direct contact, is unknown, these results suggest that direct and frequent contact with our cohabitants may significantly shape the composition of our microbial communities. DOI:

Concepts: Family, Archaea, Bacteria, Microbiology, Human body, Household, Cohabitation, Common-law marriage


Children in households of lower socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to be overweight/obese. We aimed to determine if home physical activity (PA) environments differed by SES and to explore home environment mediators of the relation of family SES to children’s PA and sedentary behavior.

Concepts: Environment, Socioeconomic status, Household


Malignant mesothelioma is closely associated to asbestos exposure. One such exposure may occur through contact with occupationally exposed household members and their belongings. This study examines the features of pleural mesothelioma attributable only to asbestos brought home by another family member.

Concepts: Cancer, Household, Mesothelioma, Asbestos, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Asbestos and the law, Trieste, Wittenoom, Western Australia


We estimate models of consumer food waste awareness and attitudes using responses from a national survey of U.S. residents. Our models are interpreted through the lens of several theories that describe how pro-social behaviors relate to awareness, attitudes and opinions. Our analysis of patterns among respondents' food waste attitudes yields a model with three principal components: one that represents perceived practical benefits households may lose if food waste were reduced, one that represents the guilt associated with food waste, and one that represents whether households feel they could be doing more to reduce food waste. We find our respondents express significant agreement that some perceived practical benefits are ascribed to throwing away uneaten food, e.g., nearly 70% of respondents agree that throwing away food after the package date has passed reduces the odds of foodborne illness, while nearly 60% agree that some food waste is necessary to ensure meals taste fresh. We identify that these attitudinal responses significantly load onto a single principal component that may represent a key attitudinal construct useful for policy guidance. Further, multivariate regression analysis reveals a significant positive association between the strength of this component and household income, suggesting that higher income households most strongly agree with statements that link throwing away uneaten food to perceived private benefits.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Statistics, Multivariate statistics, Household, Linear discriminant analysis, Household income in the United States, Food safety, Income quintiles


Whether an individual becomes infected in an infectious disease outbreak depends on many interconnected risk factors, which may relate to characteristics of the individual (e.g., age, sex), his or her close relatives (e.g., household members), or the wider community. Studies monitoring individuals in households or schools have helped elucidate the determinants of transmission in small social structures due to advances in statistical modeling; but such an approach has so far largely failed to consider individuals in the wider context they live in. Here, we used an outbreak of chikungunya in a rural community in Bangladesh as a case study to obtain a more comprehensive characterization of risk factors in disease spread. We developed Bayesian data augmentation approaches to account for uncertainty in the source of infection, recall uncertainty, and unobserved infection dates. We found that the probability of chikungunya transmission was 12% [95% credible interval (CI): 8-17%] between household members but dropped to 0.3% for those living 50 m away (95% CI: 0.2-0.5%). Overall, the mean transmission distance was 95 m (95% CI: 77-113 m). Females were 1.5 times more likely to become infected than males (95% CI: 1.2-1.8), which was virtually identical to the relative risk of being at home estimated from an independent human movement study in the country. Reported daily use of antimosquito coils had no detectable impact on transmission. This study shows how the complex interplay between the characteristics of an individual and his or her close and wider environment contributes to the shaping of infectious disease epidemics.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Infection, Risk, Infectious diseases, Household, Epidemic


Using the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health data set, we compared spouse/partner relationships and parent-child relationships (family relationships), parenting stress, and children’s general health, emotional difficulties, coping behavior, and learning behavior (child outcomes) in households of same-sex (female) versus different-sex continuously coupled parents with biological offspring. We assessed whether associations among family relationships, parenting stress, and child outcomes were different in the 2 household types.

Concepts: Family, Personality psychology, Parent, Childhood, Developmental psychology, Household, Mother, Offspring


Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma. Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents' sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents. Lack of opportunity for same-gender couples to marry adds to families' stress, which affects the health and welfare of all household members. Because marriage strengthens families and, in so doing, benefits children’s development, children should not be deprived of the opportunity for their parents to be married. Paths to parenthood that include assisted reproductive techniques, adoption, and foster parenting should focus on competency of the parents rather than their sexual orientation.

Concepts: Family, LGBT, Marriage, Sexual intercourse, Same-sex marriage, Household, Sexual orientation, Homosexuality


It is commonly assumed that cats actively avoid eliminated materials (especially in multi-cat homes), suggesting regular litter box cleaning as the best defense against out-of-box elimination. The relationship between previous use and litter box appeal to familiar subsequent users is currently unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between previous litter box use and the identity of the previous user, type of elimination, odor, and presence of physical/visual obstructions in a multi-cat household scenario. Cats preferred a clean litter box to a dirty one, but the identity of the previous user had no impact on preferences. While the presence of odor from urine and/or feces did not impact litter box preferences, the presence of odorless faux-urine and/or feces did - with the presence of faux-feces being preferred over faux-urine. Results suggest neither malodor nor chemical communication play a role in litter box preferences, and instead emphasize the importance of regular removal of physical/visual obstructions as the key factor in promoting proper litter box use.

Concepts: The Key, Household, Cat, Preference, Income quintiles, Home, Cleanliness


The objectives of this study were: (i) to analyse the relationship between health status and paid working hours and household composition in the EU-27, and (ii) to examine whether patterns of association differ as a function of family policy typologies and gender.

Concepts: Family, Sociology, Policy, Household, Object-oriented programming


-Whole exome sequencing (WES) is a powerful technique for Mendelian disease gene discovery. However, variant prioritization remains a challenge. We applied WES to identify the causal variant in a large family with familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DMC) of unknown etiology.

Concepts: Family, Genetics, Evolution, Household, Mendelian inheritance, Nuclear family, Dilated cardiomyopathy