National data indicate that both substance use and psychological problems become more pronounced for African Americans in midlife, but few studies have examined the development of risk for these problems in African American communities, particularly into mid adulthood. Moreover, high rates of co-occurrence demand an approach that explores both unique and shared risk factors;however, these problems rarely have been studied together. Applying a developmental perspective, we aim to examine specific risk, protective, mediating, and moderating factors that influence later substance use and psychological problems among a community- based African American population followed longitudinally. In addition, there is a great need to determine how substance use and psychological problems contribute to physical health decline in mid adulthood. Spanning more than 35 years of life, the Woodlawn Study, an epidemiological, prospective study of an African American community cohort, provides extensive data for understanding risk and protective factors and the short- and long-term consequences of substance use and psychological problems outside the context of treatment. With data extending into midlife - a neglected dimension of the life course - early risk factors and key mediating and moderating influences can be identified in an understudied population. This cohort was assessed initially as first graders in 1966-67 (N=1242), and followed up in adolescence (age 15-16), early adulthood (age 32-33), and mid-adulthood (age 42-43), creating an unprecedented chronicle of individual, family, and environmental characteristics, diverse life-course experiences, and their ultimate consequences. Guided by the Life Course Social Field Theory, the study focuses on: the developmental epidemiology of substance use and disorders and psychological problems through midlife, identifying onset, persistence, remission, co-occurrence, and reciprocal effects;childhood and adolescent risk factors for adult substance use and disorders and psychological problems;mediating and moderating influences on early risk factors;and physical health consequences in adulthood. Analytic methods include structural equation modeling, propensity score matching, general growth mixture modeling, and latent class, survival, and cluster analyses. Improved understanding of the timing and mechanisms for development of risk for substance use and psychological problems will provide essential guidance in designing effective prevention and intervention programs.

Public Health Relevance

PROJECT NARRATIVE/PUBLIC HEALTH SIGNIFICANCE The public health relevance of this project is to inform the design of prevention and intervention programs for substance use and psychological problems among African Americans into midlife. The project will also provide critical insight into physical health problems of urban African Americans during mid-adulthood, identifying the contribution of psychopathology to specific health problems.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA026863-03
Application #
8212251
Study Section
Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology Study Section (BGES)
Program Officer
Sirocco, Karen
Project Start
2009-08-01
Project End
2013-11-30
Budget Start
2011-12-01
Budget End
2013-11-30
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$339,773
Indirect Cost
$31,764
Name
University of Maryland College Park
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
790934285
City
College Park
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
20742
Juon, Hee-Soon; Evans-Polce, Rebecca J; Ensminger, Margaret (2014) Early life conditions of overall and cause-specific mortality among inner-city African Americans. Am J Public Health 104:548-54
Green, Kerry M; Stuart, Elizabeth A (2014) Examining moderation analyses in propensity score methods: application to depression and substance use. J Consult Clin Psychol 82:773-83
Green, Kerry M; Fothergill, Kate E; Robertson, Judith A et al. (2013) Early life predictors of adult depression in a community cohort of urban African Americans. J Urban Health 90:101-15
Green, Kerry M; Zebrak, Katarzyna A; Robertson, Judith A et al. (2012) Interrelationship of substance use and psychological distress over the life course among a cohort of urban African Americans. Drug Alcohol Depend 123:239-48
Green, Kerry M; Doherty, Elaine E; Zebrak, Katarzyna A et al. (2011) Association between adolescent drinking and adult violence: evidence from a longitudinal study of urban African Americans. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 72:701-10
Green, Kerry M; Doherty, Elaine E; Stuart, Elizabeth A et al. (2010) Does heavy adolescent marijuana use lead to criminal involvement in adulthood? Evidence from a multiwave longitudinal study of urban African Americans. Drug Alcohol Depend 112:117-25