The Intergenerational Transmission of Race Disparities in Health

Project: Research project

Description

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): I am seeking a K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award in Population Research to achieve the following career goals: 1) to apply my interdisciplinary biodemographic training and emphasis in the underlying biological mechanisms mediating social inequality, stress, and health to studying black-white differences in health outcomes, 2) identify race differences in the persistence and pathways of manifested health disparities, and 3) to initiate interdisciplinary dialogue and program development for training scholars in the social and biological interactions that contribute to disparate health outcomes. My prior training and research in family, mental health, and social inequality, along with my excellent quantitative methodological skills, provide a strong interdisciplinary foundation. A K01 would expand on this groundwork by integrating groundbreaking biodemographic perspectives and techniques measuring how social inequality 'gets under the skin'to make people sick. The proposed training in understanding the biology of stress integrates training with non-human primate and human models, under the supervision of my exceptional mentors and advisory committee. This novel training will place me in a unique position to contribute to an interdisciplinary community of scholars and policy makers regarding the mechanisms through which inequality contributes to health declines in vulnerable populations. My mentors, biodemographer Mark Hayward and medical sociologist Les Whitbeck, will supervise my training and scholarly development. The research plan incorporates coursework in biodemography, psychobiology, and neurobiology, endocrinology, and research methods in human biology. This integrative curricula will be applied to several complementary aspects of the project including implementing 1) a biomarker pilot study on social stressors and biological measures of stress and health in white and black mothers and their offspring, and secondary data analysis 2) examining black-white differences in the pathways of early life course illness onset using the Add-Health, PSID, and NLSY, and 3) the degree to which there are race differences in the intergenerational persistence of disparate health outcomes using the PSID and NLSY. Overall this award will allow me to 1) gain expertise in biodemographic methods and the biology of stress and illness, 2) the protected time needed to complete my research plan applying theory and methodology, 3) to present my results at conferences and publish results in peer reviewed journals and 4) to prepare an innovative R01 grant proposal to initiate my career as an independent scholar. This award will establish me as an independent investigator in biodemography with the knowledge and skills to communicate across disciplines about the etiology of race differences in health and strategies we may use to alleviate such differences. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Black-white differences in health outcomes have increased over the last 50 years in the U.S. with blacks being at higher risk of morbidity and mortality. While differences have been described, less is known about 1) the underlying biological processes that contribute to these population based health differences, 2) the contribution of early life course social factors associated with such disparities, and 3) black-white differences in the persistence of these differences across generations. By systematically addressing these issues we may identify policies and programs to alleviate health disparities.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/1/113/31/16

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $111,981.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $108,809.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $109,768.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $111,100.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $104,687.00

Fingerprint

health
social inequality
biology
persistence
illness
career
secondary analysis
neurosciences
etiology
applicant
sociologist
supervision
grant
research method
data analysis
expertise
mental health
dialogue
curriculum
methodology

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)