This application seeks funding for continuation and expansion of the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS), which includes approximately 900 African American families. Four waves of data have already been collected. Each wave included interviews with a target child (target;age 10/11 at Wave 1) and the target's primary caregiver (PC);plus a secondary caregiver (SC) and an older sibling (sib;age 13/14 at Wave 1), when they were available. Waves 5 and 6 will take the targets and sibs into a developmental period emerging adulthood (EA) that has been shown to be critical in terms of the development of problems associated with substance use and abuse, and also risky sexual behavior, including HIV risk. Analyses based on the first four waves have provided valuable information regarding the manner in which family interaction, community context, racial discrimination, and disposition (e.g., temperament, self-control) combine to influence the adolescents'health behaviors, including their substance use and sexual behavior. Using the prototype / willingness model as a theoretical base, we have focused on factors that moderate these influences (as buffers and risk factors), and the cognitions and dispositions that mediate them. Some previous studies have examined changes in risk behavior during EA, but few of them have the advantage of also including a significant array of measures dating back to preadolescence, in this case, 2-3 years prior to the typical age of risk behavior onset. Very few existing studies in this area include African American families;none of them also includes significant contextual measures (e.g., neighborhood risk, GIS data) and extensive data from other family members, including their substance use, risk cognitions, parenting styles, and dispositional characteristics. In short, in many ways, the existing FACHS project and the FACHS sample are unique. This proposal is designed to expand the FACHS project in three ways: (a) Follow the targets and sibs as they transition into EA, focusing on factors that influence their substance use and abuse habits and their risky sexual behavior;(b) Collect genetic data from the targets in order to examine the influence of genes in terms of main effects and gene x environment (GxE) interactions and correlations on their health risk behaviors, thereby allowing us to examine the extent to which findings established primarily with Caucasian samples can be used to inform the discussion of substance use and the development of substance use disorders (SUDs) in African Americans;and (c) Collect data from the targets'best friend and romantic partner, if they have one, regarding the same risk cognitions and health behaviors (their own and the target's). These two additional sources will provide useful information about the risk behaviors of young African Americans and the social factors that influence those behaviors.7. PROJECT NARRATIVE This project will provide information about the environmental, psychosocial, and genetic factors that influence the substance use and risky sexual behavior of African American adolescents as they move into early adulthood. This information will be of use in terms of furthering understanding of the etiology of HIV risk and substance abuse, and informing the development of interventions that will reduce the risk of these negative health outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
Program Officer
Etz, Kathleen
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Dartmouth College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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