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Ecologic Stressors, PTSD, and Drug Use in Detroit

a PSC Research Project

Investigators:   Allison Elizabeth Aiello, Jorge Delva, Larry M. Gant, Trivellore Raghunathan, Kristine Ann Siefert

Emerging evidence suggests that stressors at multiple levels are important predictors of psychopathology and behavior. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drug abuse/dependence are among the most prevalent and disabling behavioral pathologies. The purpose of this project is to determine whether ecologic stressors influence the risk of PTSD and drug abuse/dependence among residents of Detroit. Additionally we will begin to study the pathways linking ecologic stressors to long term health through assessing the interrelationship among ecologic stressors, exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTE’s), PTSD drug abuse/dependence and immune and inflammatory function. Our central hypothesis is that exposure to ecologic stressors is a fundamental determinant of population mental and behavioral health and that particularly in the urban context, ecologic factors influence (a) the risk of PTE exposure, (b) the risk of PTSD given exposure to a PTE, (c) the risk of drug abuse/dependence, (d) the interrelationship between PRSD and drug/abuse dependence, and (e) some of the consequences of psychopathology.

This project aims to disentangle the contribution of stressors at multiple levels to the etiology of PRSD and drug abuse/dependency and dhow these stressors shape the relationship between these pathologies. Secondarily we propose to consider the consequences of PTSD in the context of ecologic stressors, particularly the relation between PTSD and immune and inflammatory function, and how these consequences are shaped by exposure to ecologic stressors. Multilevel modeling principally will be used to evaluate whether ecologic stressors are associated with PTSD and drug abuse/dependence and to assess the relation among ecologic stressors, PTSD, immune functioning and inflammatory measures.

Funding Period: 09/01/2007 to 08/31/2013

Country of Focus: USA

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