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b-BSSR Definition

Defining b-BSSR

When Congress created the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR) in July, 1995, it gave the task to create definitions relevant to its mission. The definition of basic behavioral and social science research (b-BSSR) was developed in 1996 in consultation through a public process involving behavioral and social scientists and professional societies. The intent is that the definition will evolve as OppNet's initiatives move forward. Until that time, the working definition is “b-BSSR furthers our understanding of fundamental mechanisms and patterns of behavioral and social functioning, relevant to the Nation’s health and well-being, and as they interact with each other, with biology and the environment.”

Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research at NIH

Basic behavioral and social science research includes research on behavioral and social processes; interactions between biology, behavior and social processes; and/or methodology and measurement. For purposes of this definition, the term "behavioral" refers to overt actions; to underlying psychological processes such as cognition, emotion, temperament and motivation; and to biobehavioral interactions. The term "social" encompasses sociocultural, socioeconomic and sociodemographic status; biosocial interactions; and the various levels of social context, from small groups to complex cultural systems and societal influences.

Basic behavioral and social science research at the NIH is divided into three categories: (A) research on behavioral and social processes, (B) biopsychosocial research, and (C) research on methodology and measurement in the behavioral and social sciences.

Complete b-BSSR Definition

The complete definition of basic behavioral and social science research utilized by the NIH is available on the website of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR):

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Fogarty International Center (FIC) National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) National Eye Institute (NEI) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) National Institute on Aging (NIA) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) National Library of Medicine (NLM) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research  (OBSSR) Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)