This Phase II study will utilize a multi-trait/multi-method research design. Our research design will include data collection tasks in 4 research sites that represent the diversity of the national Hispanic adult population: Los Angeles, Miami, El Paso, and Boston. The total research sample will consist of 2,400 Hispanics, ages 18 and older. A cross sectional, quota based sampling design will be used in 3 distinct developmentally distinct target samples, including a) college aged adults, b) parents, and c) seniors over 60. A cross-sectional survey will be implemented in the 4 research sites. This research responds to the growth in the Hispanic population along with a large market of mental health clinicians, primary health care providers and researchers as well as educators, counselors and criminal justice professionals who are demanding culturally relevant assessment tools for the screening and early diagnosing of stress in the Hispanic population. Recent trends in health reform and emphasis on prevention of health and behavioral health problems will necessitate the use of better screening and diagnostic tools, particularly for minority groups who previously have had low access to such preventive services. High stress levels put Hispanic adults at-risk for a wide range of behavioral health problems. Our research will improve the technology of stress assessment in this vulnerable population in several ways. The Hispanic Stress Inventory (Version 2) will provide evidence that will convince the mental health and other health care professional customers that the product is scientifically proven and culturally relevant and an instrument they can depend on. Our research brings an important, and under researched perspective to the development of assessment technologies that will stimulate the development of similar screening inventories in other populations characterized by high immigration and high health disparities.

Public Health Relevance

The need to reduce the mental health disparities gap in the Hispanic population through the use of accurate early detection and screening assessments has been well documented. Research on the development of Hispanic specific assessment tools has lagged far behind the general research in this area. Moreover, much of the development has been limited to translation of current existing objective assessments, inappropriate use of white non-Hispanic norm or reference groups, and lack of establishing validity for use with the Hispanic population. To the best of our knowledge, there currently are no readily available and accessible Hispanic-based assessment tools for use in screening, diagnosis or treatment planning efforts. To not take into account factors embedded within the Hispanic experience that mediate mental health (e.g., acculturation, language use, citizenship status), arguably, runs an end result risk of misdiagnosis, inappropriate treatment, and premature termination (Cervantes &Acosta, 1992;Prieto, McNeil, Walls, &Gomez, 2001). This is remarkable given the sheer size of the Hispanic population and their need for behavioral health services. This Phase II study will utilize a multi-trait/multi-method research design. Our research design will include data collection tasks in 4 research sites that represent the diversity of the national Hispanic adult population: Los Angeles, Miami, El Paso, and Boston. The total research sample will consist of 2,400 Hispanics, ages 18 and older. A cross sectional, quota based sampling design will be used in 3 distinct developmentally distinct target samples, including a) college aged adults, b) parents, and c) seniors over 60. A cross-sectional survey will be implemented in the 4 research sites The intended impact of this study is very large with regard to reducing health disparities in the largest minority group in the United States. This research responds to the growth in the Hispanic population along with a large market of mental health clinicians, primary health care providers and researchers as well as educators, counselors and criminal justice professionals who are demanding culturally relevant assessment tools for the screening and early diagnosing of stress in the Hispanic population. Recent trends in health reform and emphasis on prevention of health and behavioral health problems will necessitate the use of better screening and diagnostic tools, particularly for minority groups who previously have had low access to such preventive services. High stress levels put Hispanic adults at-risk for a wide range of behavioral health problems. Our research will improve the technology of stress assessment in this vulnerable population in several ways: 7 The Hispanic Stress Inventory (Version 2) will provide evidence that will convince the mental health and other health care professional customers that the product is scientifically proven and culturally relevant and an instrument they can depend on. 7 Our research brings an important, and under researched perspective to the development of assessment technologies that will stimulate the development of similar screening inventories in other populations characterized by high immigration and high health disparities. While applications of acculturation theory to mental health problems in Hispanic populations suggest that there are significant relationships, there is little specific research on the development of valid and reliable assessment instruments that are sensitive to the multiple domains of acculturation stress. 7 Our proposed R&D has the added value of investigating the utility of a culturally relevant stress screening instrument by developing national norms. This is an important outcome for the professional customers of screening and early diagnosis products. Updated normative information is sorely needed as the original HSI was developed nearly 20 years ago.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
Project #
5R44MD004792-03
Application #
8300810
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-T (10))
Program Officer
Rajapakse, Nishadi
Project Start
2011-07-13
Project End
2014-06-30
Budget Start
2012-07-16
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$485,125
Indirect Cost
Name
Behavioral Assessment, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
111491226
City
Beverly Hills
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90211