Projects

Students are encouraged to explore this page for ideas for master’s projects and other research opportunities. Faculty members are encouraged to use this information to inspire future research collaborations. Educational coordinators may use this to connect students with master’s projects, internships, and field experiences.

Disparities in Minnesota Health Care Programs

This study represents survey data collected in 2003 and 2008 from ethnically diverse samples of public health care program enrollees (e.g., Medicaid, MinnesotaCare and GAMC). In addition to including European Americans, the survey oversampled members from the following ethnic communities: American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Hmong, and Somali. Both adults and children (collected via parent proxy) are represented in these data with data for over 4,000 enrollees each year. The survey focused on experiences accessing health care. There is a comprehensive list of potential barriers faced in receiving services, perceptions of unfair treatment (or discrimination due to race, ethnicity, nationality; ability to pay; enrollment in a MHCP), confidence and trust in providers, use of interpreter services and quality of services received.  The data were collected through a community based participatory research partnership. We encourage use of these data for student projects.

Project Contacts

Kathleen Call, PhD UMN School of Public Health, callx001@umn.edu

Source of Funding: The Minnesota Department of Human Services

Stress-Related Health Disparities among African American Youth: A Systemic Focus on Risk and Resilience

The objective of this community-University research partnership is to examine vulnerability and resilience to stress among African American families, with the goal of informing programs and policies developed by health professionals, schools, and the juvenile justice system to address risk behavior among youth. Forty-six African American children aged 8-12 years and their caregivers completed structured interviews. Assessed constructs included life experiences, coping styles and resources for support, well-being, academic investment, and children’s behavior. In addition, parents provided permission for researchers to obtain indices of children’s academic performance from school records. A complete dataset should be available by late fall, 2012. Parent, child, or combined data may be analyzed. Contact Dr. Brady to learn more about this study and opportunities for secondary data analysis. Work that can be summarized and disseminated to our school partners and interested families is particularly encouraged.

Project Contacts
Sonya S. Brady, PhD, School of Public Health: ssbrady@umn.edu
Willie Winston, III, PhD, Minnesota Association of Black Psychologists: wins0010@umn.edu

Source of Funding: University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research

Intersection of State and Local Alcohol Policy: The Case of Malt Liquor

Malt liquor is a troublesome product for communities.  According to HealthGuidance malt liquor is a lager beer with a higher alcohol content than regular beer (6-8% vs. 4.5%), and is associated with frequent daily drinking, heavy drinking and with problem behaviors such as drug use, theft, disorderly conduct, assaults, and panhandling.  About one-third of the largest U.S. cities have adopted policies to restrict malt liquor often overcoming significant hurdles to do so. To date, there have been no studies in the published literature that have evaluated the effectiveness of these policies. Especially needed are evaluation studies that take into account the state alcohol policy, environment (i.e., what state alcohol policies exist when local policies are adopted) and other aspects of the local alcohol policy environment (e.g., other alcohol policiesenforcement and compliance).  The specific objectives of our 4-year study are to 1) Develop new measures of the restrictiveness of malt liquor policies and other local alcohol policies2) Evaluate the effectiveness of malt liquor policies in reducing crime associated with malt liquor consumption in 19 U.S. cities using an interrupted time-series design with control group (ITS-CG);  3) Assess whether the effects of malt liquor policies on crime vary by the state alcohol policy environment using panel regression models or pooled time-series. Contact Dr. Jones-Webb about opportunities to do secondary data analyses and manuscript writing.

Project Contacts

Rhonda Jones-Webb, PhD UMN School of Public Health: jones010@umn.edu

Funding Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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