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Pilot Project Awardees

Year 2 Pilot Project Awardees

Aaron Gottlieb, PhD and Robert Wilson, PhD
The Effect of Police Contact on Hopelessness and Educational Outcomes of Urban Youth

Project Description: Because police departments have increasingly relied on “proactive policing” and schools have increasingly employed uniformed school resource officers, police contact has become a form of structural violence that is quite common in the lives of urban boys of color. We propose to address 1) Examining whether arrests, police stops not resulting in arrest, and vicarious police contact are associated with chronic school absenteeism and college expectations among urban adolescents; 2) Examining several factors that may mediate the association between police stops and our two educational outcomes of interest; and 3) Examining whether the effects of police contact on school absenteeism and college expectations are particularly pronounced for boys of color and whether the mediating pathways are the same or different for this group.


Sarah Abboud, PhD
Toward the development of a community-based and youth-focused sexual violence prevention intervention for Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) in underserved Arab Communities in Chicago

Project Description: Using a community-based participatory action approach guided by the socio-ecological and structural violence frameworks,our main objective is to evaluate the cultural adaptation of an existing youth-focused evidence-based violence prevention intervention, Safe Dates. We will also identify the unique characteristics that define and prevent intimate partner sexual violence within the Arab youth community in Chicago and that can be targeted at early ages.


Amber Hathcock, MD, MPH
Reaching Out of the System: HIV Care Where You Are

Project Description: This study aims to evaluate and further characterize barriers to care and to assess needs for PLWH who are lost to care in Chicago. We will use a combination of spatial analysis to identify neighborhoods with the most PLWH out of care and qualitative analysis to identify greatest barriers to care and feasible care options for PLWH. Using this data, we will develop an innovative care model known as Reaching Out of The System: HIV care where you are (ROOTS) to reach patients who would otherwise be unable to access treatment.


Year 1 Pilot Project Awardees

Dr. Uchechi Mitchell
“Holding on to Hope: An Analysis of Structural Risk Factors and Resilience Facilitators among a Racial Diverse Population of Older Adults” 

Project Description: Despite its association with poor physical and mental health and with an increased risk for death, research on the social and structural determinants of hopelessness among older adults is virtually nonexistent. Experiences of discrimination may contribute to feelings of hopelessness in old age, particularly among older African Americans who have been disproportionately exposed to this stressor over the life course. This project examines the relationship between discrimination and hopelessness among a racially-diverse and nationally representative population of older adults, and seeks to identify modifiable, social factors that protect against the adverse effects of discrimination and hopelessness.


Dr. Mary Dawn Koenig
“Mitigating the effects of structural violence on maternal iron status: a randomized controlled pilot study of probiotic supplementation in at-risk pregnant Black women.” 

Project Description: Interventions that can mitigate the physiologic effects of chronic stress from structural violence have the potential to improve maternal-infant iron status that translates to positive maternal-infant health outcomes in at-risk women. This study will pilot test the feasibility and tolerability of the probiotic LP299v and explore effects on maternal stress and maternal-infant iron status in at-risk Black women. This project will also build a sustainable university-community partnership to promote lifestyle and dietary approaches to mitigate the effects of chronic stress from structural violence for at-risk pregnant Black women in Chicago.


Dr. Anne Elizabeth Glassgow
“The Effect of Neighborhood Disorganization on Engagement in Health Care, Mental Health, and School Attendance of Children with Chronic Health Conditions”

Project Description: The proposed pilot study aims to examine structural violence among a large cohort of urban children with chronic conditions who are living in poverty. Research from this study will advance our understanding of the impact of structural violence on health, mental health, and social outcomes in a large group vulnerable children with known health disparities.

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