The candidate for this K01 Award, a Latina nurse researcher, is requesting support for career development training and research, to become an independent investigator in mental health promotion among rural minorities. The overall career goal is to advance science at the nexus of culture, mental health, and rurality. The long-term goals of the training are to (1) build a mental health promotion research agenda among rural minority populations to enable rural communities to implement and sustain healthy socio-emotional environments and (2) serve as a role model and mentor for minority students and junior faculty. Specific short- term goals are to (1) develop and apply expertise in advanced research methods that are critical to an understanding of minority rural populations which can lead to the development of related health policy, (2) understand the role of social isolation in th cultural adaptation of rural Latino families in order to develop culturally relevant interventions, (3) develop expertise in the design and implementation of a repertoire of individual, family, and community public health interventions that reduce social isolation among rural Latinos, and (4) conduct independent investigator-initiated community-based research on mental health promotion among rural Latinos. Social isolation among rural Latino immigrants increases the risk of poor mental health outcomes and is significantly related to depression and anxiety among adults and suicidal ideation in children and adolescents. Longer time spent in the U.S. is associated with higher risk of mental health problems among Latinos, yet early promotion of mental health has not been targeted among this population.
The specific aims of the proposed research are to (1) explore the effect of Latino immigrants'perceptions of their rural social environment and social isolation on their mental well-being through ethnographic interviews, (2) evaluate protective factors and modifiable risks to mental well-being associated with social isolation and the social environment among Latino immigrants living in a rural area, and (3) design a culturally appropriate family centered intervention to strengthen significant intrafamilia and intercommunity networks and promote positive mental well-being. This exploratory study is guided by community engagement research principles and employs mixed-methods to unravel the complexities of social isolation and develop an intervention to promote mental well-being among rural Latino immigrants. In-depth ethnographic interviews (N=60) and a quantitative community assessment survey (N=100) will be conducted with Latino women and men living in the rural "new destinations" of north Florida. Findings and engagement with an established community advisory board will culminate in the development of a family centered intervention to promote mental well-being. A mentoring team of distinguished national and international scientists has been assembled to achieve the training and research goals. The K01 Award will lead to an R21 proposal to pilot the family centered intervention.
The K01 Award is an excellent fit with my overall career goal to advance science at the nexus of culture, mental health, and rurality. Immigrant Latinos living in rural areas of the U.S. are vastly underrepresented in mental health promotion. Results of this research and collaboration with community partners will be instrumental for developing a family centered intervention to promote mental health in this underserved population.
|Stacciarini, Jeanne-Marie R; Smith, Rebekah Felicia; Wiens, Brenda et al. (2015) I Didn't Ask to Come to this Country…I was a Child: The Mental Health Implications of Growing Up Undocumented. J Immigr Minor Health 17:1225-30|