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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Florida International Faculty Examining Long-Term Effects of Ethnic Discrimination Among Hispanic Adolescents

Dr. Miguel Ángel Cano, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, was awarded $541,881 for five years of funding from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Using secondary data analyses and community-based participatory research (CBPR), his work will examine routes to understanding and reducing alcohol use disparities among Latino teenagers (ages 14 – 17).

[Dr. Miguel Ángel Cano]

“I feel very fortunate to begin this project and have an opportunity to work with community partners to collectively tackle this pressing social and public health issue that is affecting so many Latino communities,” said Dr. Cano.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that 81 percent of Hispanics believed that ethnic discrimination was a significant social problem in the U.S.

From a developmental perspective, exposure to ethnic discrimination can be extremely stressful and disruptive for minority youth.

“It may be the first time many of the individuals within this minority community are confronted with interpersonal tensions or social intolerances based on their background,” said Dr. Cano, the study’s principal investigator. “This may lead to harmful effects on their well-being.”

To address the pervasive issues facing these teens, Dr. Cano will study the longitudinal effects of ethnic discrimination on mental health and alcohol risk behaviors among Hispanic teens over the course of five years. He will develop and pilot-test an intervention in Miami-Dade County through a partnership with ConnectFamilias.

Historically, few studies have examined potential mediators and moderators of these issues using longitudinal data. This has made it challenging to design evidence-based interventions to mitigate negative effects. Dr. Cano’s work will be one of the first targeted prevention interventions for the adverse effects of ethnic discrimination.

NIH award number K01AA025992 funds this study through 2022.