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Health Disparities Research at SIRC: Cultural Processes in Risk and Resiliency

5P20MD002316-03, 2007-2012, funded by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)

This application proposes the establishment of an Exploratory NCMHD Research Center of Excellence to explore the complex factors influencing minority health and health disparities, and to contribute to the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) initiatives for improving minority health and reducing health disparities among the racial and ethnic minorities of the U.S.-Mexico border region. The Center will conduct interdisciplinary, community-based minority health and health disparities research by studying the pathways to disparities in health outcomes with an emphasis on familial factors, acculturation, and gender. The Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center's (SIRC) provides the foundation upon which the new center on health disparities will be established. Founding the Exploratory Center will strengthen Arizona State University's (ASU) capacity as a national leader in the U.S.-Mexico border region to advance health disparities research and make a significant contribution to advancing DHHS' initiatives for eliminating health disparities in the Southwest. The proposed center's mission is to produce and apply scientific findings leading to the improvement of minority health and the reduction of health disparities by advocating the unfettered access to culturally competent health/behavioral health prevention, services, and treatment for minority populations. The Exploratory Center expands health disparities research from proximal causes of morbidity and mortality to fundamental causes of disease and related cultural processes which act as protective or risk factors. This will be achieved by identifying and ameliorating the pernicious constraints that emerge from the interaction of poverty, language barriers, race, ethnicity, gender, and cultural norms within unresponsive systems of care. The center's research projects and its administrative, research, training and community engagement/outreach cores aim to prevent, reduce and eliminate health disparities within the following DHHS identified special emphasis areas and determinants: HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse. The three focus areas will be studied throughout the prevention-to-services continuum with a special emphasis on understanding their comorbidity and their effect on the health outcomes of the historical ethnic communities of the Southwest (Mexican Americans & American Indians) and two fast growing racial minority populations in the region, African Americans and Asian Americans.

CePoD Involvement: Flavio Marsiglia (Principal Investigator), Stephen Kulis (co-Investigator), Steven Haas (co-Investigator), Cecilia Menjívar (co-Investigator ), Jennie Kronenfeld (co-Investigator ), Scott Yabiku (co-Investigator)

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T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
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