African Americans'experiences with racial discrimination have been implicated in several types of mental and physical health pathology during the adolescent period, including substance use, psychological symptoms, and externalizing behaviors. These problems not only disrupt normative developmental processes during adolescence, but also contribute to race-based health disparities in adulthood for African Americans. However, methodological problems related to measurement of the timing, context, and content of racial discrimination experiences substantially limit the ability to understand the role of racial discrimination in the daily lives and overall health of African American youth. In order to improve measurement and to promote synergy between theory and psychometric instrumentation, this grant will develop and validate a quantitative measure of experienced racial discrimination for use in longitudinal substance use and public health research with African American adolescents. This measure will improve the current state of racial discrimination research with African American adolescents by: 1) utilizing daily diary measurement to minimize retrospective bias;2) including an array of contexts common in the lives of African American adolescents (e.g., school, internet, athletics);and 3) incorporating a mixed-method approach to validating the content of the measure. In this way, the proposed research project will take an innovative multidimensional, comprehensive, and mixed-method approach to developing a daily measure of experienced racial discrimination for use with African American adolescents. The ultimate goal of the current research and training fellowship application is to prepare the applicant to become an independent researcher with expertise in the field of experienced racial discrimination and health disparities for African American youth. The specific goals of this fellowship are: 1) to expand the applicant's knowledge of the experience of racial discrimination for African American adolescents;2) to increase the applicant's skills in psychometric measure development;and 3) to educate the applicant in advanced quantitative analysis. The applicant will achieve these goals by engaging in multidisciplinary coursework, professional collaboration and mentorship, and research conferences and publications. These activities will enable the applicant to execute his fellowship and dissertation research aims of developing, validating, and disseminating a measure of experienced racial discrimination for use in daily, longitudinal substance use and public health research with African American adolescents.

Public Health Relevance

African American adolescents'experience of racial discrimination is linked to substance use, depression, and a myriad of other health problems that persist into adulthood. However, weaknesses in current measurement limit the understanding of the frequency, types, and health consequences of racial discrimination for these youth, making it difficult to design and evaluate culturally-relevant and developmentally-appropriate interventions. The goal of this fellowship is to prepare the applicant to become an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in the measurement of experienced racial discrimination who can contribute to the reduction of African American adolescent mental and physical health disparities linked to racial discrimination. !

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F16-L (20))
Program Officer
Etz, Kathleen
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George Washington University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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English, Devin; Bowleg, Lisa; Del Río-González, Ana Maria et al. (2017) Measuring Black men's police-based discrimination experiences: Development and validation of the Police and Law Enforcement (PLE) Scale. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 23:185-199
Douglass, Sara; Mirpuri, Sheena; English, Devin et al. (2016) ""They were just making jokes"": Ethnic/racial teasing and discrimination among adolescents. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 22:69-82
Saleem, Farzana T; English, Devin; Busby, Danielle R et al. (2016) The Impact of African American Parents' Racial Discrimination Experiences and Perceived Neighborhood Cohesion on their Racial Socialization Practices. J Youth Adolesc 45:1338-49
English, Devin; Lambert, Sharon F; Ialongo, Nicholas S (2016) Adding to the Education Debt: Depressive Symptoms Mediate the Association between Racial Discrimination and Academic Performance in African Americans. J Sch Psychol 57:29-40
Bowleg, Lisa; English, Devin; Del Rio-Gonzalez, Ana Maria et al. (2016) Measuring the Pros and Cons of What It Means to Be a Black Man: Development and Validation of the Black Men's Experiences Scale (BMES). Psychol Men Masc 17:177-188
Smith-Bynum, Mia A; Lambert, Sharon F; English, Devin et al. (2014) Associations between trajectories of perceived racial discrimination and psychological symptoms among African American adolescents. Dev Psychopathol 26:1049-65
English, Devin; Lambert, Sharon F; Evans, Michele K et al. (2014) Neighborhood racial composition, racial discrimination, and depressive symptoms in African Americans. Am J Community Psychol 54:219-28
Sutin, Angelina R; English, Devin; Evans, Michele K et al. (2014) Perceived sex discrimination amplifies the effect of antagonism on cigarette smoking. Nicotine Tob Res 16:794-9
English, Devin; Lambert, Sharon F; Ialongo, Nicholas S (2014) Longitudinal associations between experienced racial discrimination and depressive symptoms in African American adolescents. Dev Psychol 50:1190-6