The overall research purpose of the proposed George Washington University School of Public Health and HeaKh Services (GWU SPHHS) P-20 Exploratory Center is to build on our existing collaboration with Latino immigrant community partners to address a complex of contributing factors for substance abuse and cooccurring health issues, including family/partner violence, sexual risk, and youth violence. The Latino immigrant community in particular has experienced disproportionate rates of these co-occurring conditions -with some studies showing Latino middle school students and youth reporting the highest substance use rates of any racial/ethnic group, and a co-occurrence of substance abuse and other risk. Contributing factors are rooted in a complex of social determinants unique among the numerous immigrant groups in the DC metro area, stemming in part from the historical legacy of civil war and difficult migration experienced by the majority Central American Latino population in this area, resulting in long-term marginalization and the concomitant creation of a social ecology of risk. Moreover, the presence of this cluster of disparity conditions has impacts on the ability of the population to address other disparities such as obesity/diabetes (because, for example, engaging in physical activity is more difficult in communities when the above conditions are prevalent).
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