CHIP Health Disparities research currently focuses on the cultural contexts of health disparities among adolescent girls, with a specific focus on reproductive health and overweight/obesity in Latina and African American girls known to be at greatest risk with regard to these two health outcomes.
Additionally, CHIP’s recently-hired, renowned health psychologists Rick Gibbons and Meg Gerrard have been conducting The Family and Community Health Study (FACHS), a longitudinal study of psychosocial factors related to the physical and mental health of African American families, for more than 15 years. The largest such study conducted to date in the US, FACHS began with 900 families and has followed them across 6 waves, focusing on the adolescents, who were 10 at Wave 1 (26 at W6), and their parents. An ongoing study, FACHS examines the impact of stressors, such as racial discrimination, environmental risk, and (low) socioeconomic status (SES), as well as buffers, such as racial socialization and racial identity, on various health outcomes including substance use, obesity, and disease, as well as safe sex, nutrition, and exercise habits.
Other CHIP work addressing health disparities includes a grant to target childhood obesity in African American and Latino preschoolers in Hartford.