Project Categories

Genomics, Medicine and Race: Political Valences and Health Policy Implications

Award Year: 2009 Investigator: Jennifer Hochschild
The use of genomics in medicine has the potential to transform concepts of racial identity, making it immaterial, highly salient, or possibly both in different circumstances. Treatment for genetic diseases may eventually be tailored to fit an individual's genome, in which case the patient's self-defined race will not matter.

Race Differences in Physical and Mental Health Disparities: Biological Mechanisms and Behavioral Change

Award Year: 2009 Investigator: James Jackson
Despite well-known physical health disparities between blacks and whites, a puzzling research paradox shows no major differences in mental health disorders between the racial groups. James S. Jackson, Ph.D., Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, will explore the reasons behind these seemingly conflicting findings.

Analyzing the Relationship Among Early Childhood Conditions, Reproduction of Socioeconomic Inequalities and Adult Health Disparities

Award Year: 2008 Investigator: Alberto Palloni, Carolina Milesi
Despite increased attention to the disturbing problem of disparities, certain groups of Americans remain healthier than others, due largely to differences in race and ethnicity, income, education, residential segregation, and other social factors. Co-PIs Alberto Palloni, Ph.D. and Carolina Milesi, Ph.D. seek to better understand the mechanisms that lead to health gaps by probing the connections between child and adult health.

On the Content of our Character: The Myth of Meritocracy and African American Health

Award Year: 2008 Investigator: Naa Oyo Kwate, Ilan Meyer
Many people believe that, with the right mix of talent, ability, hard work, and opportunity, anyone can achieve the wealth and success that the American Dream has come to represent. Yet the rise to the top in America is limited, especially for those who live in segregated neighborhoods and those who have few educational and economic opportunities. Co-PIs Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Ph.D. and Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D.

What's Fair in Health Care? Thinking with Americans about Health and Health Care Inequalities

Award Year: 2006 Investigator: Julia Lynch
Many inequalities are evident in the health of Americans and in the U.S. health care system. Whites live longer than African Americans. People who earn lower incomes and work for small businesses are less likely to have health insurance coverage through their employer. Some people receive high-quality medical care while others don't. Yet little is known about how Americans view these inequalities and the policies that might reduce them. Julia F. Lynch, Ph.D.

Explaining Elevated Health Risks of the Black Middle Class

Award Year: 2005 Investigator: Pamela Braboy Jackson
Although life expectancy and overall health have improved in recent years for many Americans, African-Americans continue to experience higher morbidity and mortality rates than whites from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and other medical conditions. Many of these disparities exist even when comparing middle-income African-Americans to lower-income whites. Pamela B. Jackson, Ph.D. examines this perplexing divide in her project, Explaining the Health Risks of the Black Middle Class.

The Health of Mexican Immigrants in the United States: Acculturation or Cohort Effects?

Award Year: 2004 Investigator: José Escarce, Leo Morales
Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. Nearly 60 percent are of Mexican origin, many of them recent immigrants. Despite the size and continued growth of this population, large gaps remain in our understanding of the factors that affect the health and health behaviors of Mexican immigrants. Co-investigators José J. Escarce, M.D., Ph.D. and Leo S.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health: A National Study of Unmet Need

Award Year: 2003 Investigator: Harold Neighbors
Despite improved treatments for many mental disorders, profound racial and ethnic disparities continue in access to and use of mental health services in the United States. Social psychologist Harold W. Neighbors, Ph.D. has spent more than 20 years conducting research on mental health disparities. For his Investigator Award project, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health: A National Study of Unmet Need, Dr.

Race and Health across the Twentieth Century

Award Year: 2002 Investigator: Dora Costa
In her Investigator Award project, Race and Health across the Twentieth Century, Dr. Dora Costa looks to the past to help us understand the factors that led to health differences between whites and African Americans. Dr. Costa will use various datasets that span the entire twentieth century and, for the early twentieth century, include selected populations, such as children born at Johns Hopkins Hospital and African American Civil War veterans.

Pain as Policy: The Social Negotiation of Pain in Medicine, Culture, and Public Policy in Post WWII America

Award Year: 2001 Investigator: Keith Wailoo
There are wide disparities in the treatment of pain, and options for managing it have long been entangled with ideological debates over addiction and dependence. Dr. Wailoo will analyze and describe the complex evolution of pain policy and management practices as well as the principles underlying pain management in America since World War II.