CHIP health disparities research includes mentoring scholars from under-represented racial and ethnic backgrounds in community-based HIV research; studying the cultural contexts of health disparities among adolescent girls, with a specific focus on reproductive health and weight/obesity; and addressing childhood obesity in African American and Latino preschoolers in Hartford. New research in this area during FY13 involves a grant to study disparities in HPV vaccine completion.
Additionally, 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, with a special focus on the adolescents who were age 10 at Wave 1 (age 26 at Wave 6) 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 outcomes including substance use, obesity, and disease, as well as safe sex, nutrition, and exercise habits.