Recent Research Publications and Funding

  •  | December 17, 2008 6:00AM

    "Forced sex is both a public health and a social issue that affects many college women. Despite physical and mental health consequences and the multiple prevention programs on college campuses, most sexual violence goes unreported (Fisher, Daigle, Cullen, & Turner, 2003). The purpose of this research was to explore college women’s perceptions of campus resources and to determine the perceived barriers to reporting sexual violence. After IRB approval, African-American women (N = 144) who attend a private college in the south completed a researcherdeveloped survey. Findings included percentages of reporting sexual violence to campus health, student services and campus security. Significant factors that were associated with reporting sexual violence included having injuries, if they were drinking at the time, having a designated person on campus to handle sexual assault, having time to go to the authorities, and the perception of how one would be treated. Reporting of forced sex is necessary so that individuals have access to resources and support. Prevention strategies can include education that targets significant perceptions of resources and the elimination or minimization of barriers."  

  •  | December 14, 2008 6:00AM

    The relationship of childhood personality type to the timing of first sexual intercourse was investigated through survival analysis. Participants from the Child Sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth were categorized into one of the three personality types at 5 or 6 years of age: under-controlled, resilient, and over-controlled. Those categorized as under-controlled at 5 or 6 years of age were more likely than those resilient or over-controlled to have sexual intercourse before the age of 16. The extent to which three early adolescent factors--team/club membership, church attendance, and peer influence--mediate the association of childhood personality type to the timing of first sexual intercourse was also explored. The association of childhood personality to timing of first sexual intercourse was partially mediated by peer influence at 11 or 12 years of age. The findings are interpreted in light of their implications for researchers and practitioners interested in improving the health and well-being of children and adolescents. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.  

  •  | December 1, 2008 6:00AM

    It is a well established fact that age, ethnicity, weight, and lifestyle behaviors can affect blood pressure (BP). Co-morbid conditions such as HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets), pre-eclampsia, and previous hypertension diagnosis might also be risks for chronic hypertension among women who have had children. Although parity has been linked to changes in blood pressure in White women, these findings have not been replicated among African-American women. The purpose of this study was to determine if the number of pregnancies urban African-American women have effects BMI and blood pressure readings later in life. Results indicated that women with a previous diagnosis of hypertension had higher SBP and DBP, and a slightly higher BMI than women who had never been diagnosed. Additionally, women with a prior history of hypertension had more children than those without a diagnosis of hypertension. As parity increased, SBP increased. However, DBP decreased after 3 to 4 children, even with increases in BMI. This study shows that parity may increase African-American women's risk for hypertension in terms of increased SBP and BMI with increased parity. However, increased parity and BMI may also serve as protective factors in lowering DBP. Further studies, with larger samples followed throughout their pregnancies, is needed before more definitive statements may be drawn about the effects of parity on BMI and blood pressure readings among African-American women can be made.

  •  | November 30, 2008 6:00AM

    In this study a survival analysis was conducted to examine whether childhood personality was associated with the likelihood and the timing of an unintentional injury requiring hospitalization or medical attention before the age of 13. Maternal ratings of childhood personality (at 5 or 6 years of age) were used to derive resiliency, undercontrol, and overcontrol prototypical profile scores for a diverse sample of 1,013 child participants from the child sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. A significant inverse association was found between likelihood of childhood unintentional injury and the overcontrolled prototype score. The findings are interpreted in light of their implications for researchers and health care practitioners interested in improving the health and well-being of children and adolescents.  

  •  | November 30, 2008 6:00AM

    BMI represents an internal metabolic and physiological environment that plays a key role in development of high blood pressure (BP) for many Americans. African-American women have a higher prevalence of high BP and being overweight than men or other ethnic groups. This study examines the genetic-environmental interaction effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms and BMI on BP among African-American women using 1418 African-American women and men from the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy study. A total of 403 tests of single nucleotide polymorphism-BMI interaction were conducted using methods of internal replication, cross-validation, and false discovery rate. One single nucleotide polymorphism (located in the ATP6B1 gene, rs2266917) passed adjustments for multiple testing and had a significant independent main effect (P = 0.0018) on diastolic BP among African-American women. A significant sex-specific interaction effect was found between MMP3_rs679620 and BMI in African-American women (P = 0.0009). MMP3_rs679620 (A-G polymorphism) encodes a Lys-Glu nonsynonymous variant at the 45th amino acid of metallopeptidase 3 and indicates a putative functional modification of metallopeptidase 3. These findings were not identified in African-American men. MMP3_rs679620 appears to have a protective effect on diastolic BP in women with high BMI. Surprisingly, MMP3_rs679620 had the opposite effect on women with low BMI, resulting in higher diastolic BP.  

  •  | November 14, 2008 6:00AM

    BACKGROUND: Sexual risk taking during adolescence such as failure to use contraception or condoms is associated with premature parenthood and high rates of sexually transmitted infection. The relation of childhood personality to sexual risk taking during adolescence has been largely unexplored. METHODS: Using data collected from participants in the Child Sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (CS-NLSY) when they were 5 or 6 years of age (time 1) and 17 or 18 years of age (time 2), the relation of childhood personality to sexual risk taking during adolescence was investigated. Maternal ratings of childhood personality were used to derive resiliency, undercontrol, and overcontrol prototypical profile scores for a diverse sample of 1219 child participants from the CS-NLSY. At time 2, participants reported whether they failed to use oral contraception or condoms during their last sexual intercourse. Logistic regression models were used to investigate the association of personality to sexual risk taking. RESULTS: Proximity to the overcontrolled personality prototype at time 1 was associated with a decreased likelihood of sexual risk taking. Age, male gender, and childhood cognitive achievement were also significant predictors of sexual risk taking. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that children with personality profiles in which internalizing traits are more prominent are less likely than their peers to engage in sexual risk taking during late adolescence. The findings of this study augment previous studies that indicate that personality is an important predictor of development and underscore the importance of conducting research into the processes by which personality influences health behavior.  

  •  | October 31, 2008 4:00AM

    The interest of managed care organizations (MCOs) in decreasing care and outcome variance and lowering costs has created many concerns including those pertaining to the complex and costly nature of cancer care. In this study, we used a hermeneutic phenomenological approach involving semistructured interviews of 14 women with breast cancer to examine MCO enrollees' experiences related to their cancer treatment. Results comprise two themes: managed care tasks and managing or mediating between the MCO and the cancer. These themes, and their accompanying categories, depict the increased burden encountered by women experiencing breast cancer in a managed care system who perceived that they were solely responsible for mediating between their care providers and MCO. Though enrolled in less-restrictive MCOs, participants expressed many difficulties in managing dissimilar and disconnected demands posed by the cancer and the MCO. These findings might serve as a basis for policy and practice changes to decrease this real patient burden.  

  •  | October 31, 2008 4:00AM

    Women affected by breast cancer experience an array of quality-of-life issues that affect their daily living in both short-term and long-term survivorship. Because African American women experience disparities in breast cancer survival, their quality-of-life concerns may paint a different picture from those of other racial and ethnic groups. To gain a better understanding of quality of life in African American women breast cancer survivors, we conducted a review, using an adaptation of Brenner's quality-of-life proximal-distal continuum, of studies that have investigated these women's experiences and associated variables. Twenty-six studies, qualitative and quantitative, were reviewed that identified both deficits and positive outcomes of breast cancer treatment and sequelae, including physical, emotional, social, and patient-provider problems as well as heightened spirituality and positive growth. Although overall global quality of life was favorable in both African American and white survivors, differences existed in the nature and extent of deficits between these 2 survivor groups. Nursing implications of this review point to the need for further rigorous research and wide dissemination of results. Recommendations for practice include tailoring assessments and interventions within the context of the lives of African American women breast cancer survivors.  

  •  | October 31, 2008 4:00AM

    This article describes stress and coping by decider status. Participants were 154 women aged 34 to 54 years who were recently divorced from their first marriage and were married 3 years prior to divorce. Participants self-selected into decider statuses as initiators, noninitiators, or mutual deciders. Noninitiators indicated not knowing the divorce experience was going to occur, not having enough time to get ready for it, saw it as something someone else did, and perceived it as a threat. Initiators and mutual deciders viewed the divorce as a challenge. Noninitiators were less positive about the divorce experience than were initiators and mutual deciders. Acceptance or resignation differed significantly for noninitiators and mutual deciders but not between noninitiators and initiators. Characterizing midlife divorce transition experiences provides a foundation for developing primary intervention to support personal growth, healing, and a healthy lifestyle.  

  •  | October 1, 2008 4:00AM

    The purpose of this article is to describe the elements of culture brokerage as applied in a recent educational pilot study among rural African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Culture Brokerage is a nursing intervention consisting of mediation between the traditional health beliefs and practices of a patient's culture and the health care system. The intervention of Culture Brokerage holds particular relevance for clinicians who work with chronically ill patients, including those with diabetes. Diabetes prevalence rates continue to rise with alarming swiftness, affecting people of all age groups and ethnicities. The burden of disease, however, disproportionately falls on ethnic minority groups, including African Americans. Notable health disparities in the prevalence and long-term complications of diabetes warrant the attention of health care professionals. One way in which public health nurses can address these disparities is to apply strategies of culture brokerage