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Arline T. Geronimus photo

Pilot Feasibility Study for R01 submission to test Jedi Public Health approach

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Arline T. Geronimus

The impact of stereotype threat on specific performance (such as on tests, in sports, in specific work activities) is well-documented. Acute experience of stereotype threat has also been shown to trigger physiological stress responses in individuals. At the population level, groups with marginalized social identities – such as blacks in our race-conscious society--are likely to face social identity threat chronically and in many circumstances. For individuals who face social identity threat consistently, this stress could become significant to their physical health. In the context of unrelenting US racial disparities in health outcomes, wear-and-tear from chronic stress, or "weathering," may accumulate to produce observed health disparities in hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, disability and excess mortality. Diminishing the frequency or duration of identity threat could have long‐term health effects. However, identity threat's cumulative impact on
population health outcomes has yet to be well-understood or leveraged toward eliminating social inequalities in health. We seek pilot funding to gather preliminary results for, and gauge the feasibility of features of, an R01 proposal we are developing to submit to NIH to investigate the possibility that threatening contingencies of social identity are important and chronic triggers of physiological stress processes in US Black populations.

Funding Period: 03/01/2014 to 02/28/2015

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