Health Disparities & Culture Research

Adolescent Health Evidence Synthesis
Mental Health
Aging & Gerontology Global Health
Maternal & Child Health
Cancer Health Disparities & Culture
Physical Activity & Obesity
Drugs & Alcohol Healthcare Policy
Environmental Health  HIV/AIDS

Social Norms and Support Influence Fruit and Vegetable Consumption













Fruit and vegetable intake among adults in the US is low. On average, only 18% of adults consume the daily recommended intake of fruits and only 14% consume the daily recommended intake of vegetables. Low fruit and vegetable intake is further exacerbated by factors related to low neighborhood socioeconomic position, such as neighborhood-level income, poverty, education, and unemployment. This study, published in BMC Public Healthand conducted by lead author, Akilah Dulin, Manning Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, examined whether neighborhood-, friend-, and family- norms and social support for consumption and purchase of fruit and vegetables were associated with fruit and vegetable intake among low-income residents in subsidized housing communities. READ MORE

A Closer Look at Filipina Women Immigrants’ Role as State Welfare Replacements

The U.S. government has a long tradition of providing direct care services to many of its most vulnerable citizens through market-based solutions and subsidized private entities. The public-private welfare state has led to the continued displacement of some of our most disenfranchised groups in need of long-term care. Situated after the U.S. deinstitutionalization era, this study, published in The International Journal of Health Services, is the first to examine how immigrant Filipino women emerged as owners of de facto mental health care facilities that cater to the displaced, impoverished, severely mentally ill population. Jennifer Nazareno, Brown University Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Health and the Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, sought to explain the onset of these businesses and the challenges that one immigrant group faces as owners, the meanings of care associated with their de facto mental health care enterprises, and the conditions under which they have operated for more than 40 years. READ MORE

Parent-adolescent Relationship Factors Have a Larger Influence on Age of Alcohol and Marijuana Onset for Hispanics than for Caucasians

This study, published in Addictive Behaviors, was funded by NIAA grants for which Kristina Jackson, professor of behavioral and social sciences (research), served as principal investigator. It examined whether ethnicity moderated the effect of parental relationships on the onset of alcohol and marijuana use. Study authors hypothesized that protective effects of positive parental relationship factors (for both paternal and maternal figures) would be stronger for Hispanics as compared to Caucasians. They also hypothesized that negative effects of parental relationship factors (for both paternal and maternal figures) would be reduced for Hispanics as compared to Caucasians. READ MORE

Review of Neighborhood Environments and Sexual Risk Behaviors for HIV Infection in U.S. Women

The associations between neighborhood environments and HIV sexual risk behaviors among U.S. women are mixed, according to a new review led by Chanelle Howe, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, and published in AIDS and BehaviorREAD MORE

The Role of Discrimination in Alcohol-Related Problems in Heavy Drinking Men Who Have Sex with Men 

This study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependenceby Tyler Wray, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences, and colleagues, used path modeling to explore associations between perceived discrimination experiences, drinking motives, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems in samples of heavy drinking MSM with and without HIV. read more

Epigenetic Mediators between Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Mid-Life Body Mass Index

The purpose of this study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine and led by Eric Loucks, assistant professor of epidemiology, was to evaluate whether associations of childhood socioeconomic disadvantage and adult body mass index are mediated by DNA methylation, an epigenetic mechanism. Participants for this study were 141 men and women from the New England Family Study, who were prospectively followed prenatally though a mean age of 47 years. read more

Examining Residents’ Perceived Implications of a HOPE VI Development for the Community, Health, and Physical Activity

HOPE VI (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere), launched by Congress in 1992, aims to reduce the effects of concentrated poverty by creating mixed-income housing developments in low-income communities with minimal displacement of surrounding residents. This study, published in Journal of Community Practice, and led by Akilah Dulin Keita, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences, examined surrounding community residents’ perceived implications of a HOPE VI development for the community, health, and physical activity in their Birmingham, AL neighborhood. read more