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$1.9M grant helps address needs of urban American Indians

October 05, 2010

Researchers at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Institute (SIRC) have received a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance the partnership with urban American Indian communities in Arizona.

SIRC, in collaboration with its community partners, developed the competitive application to decrease and eventually eliminate health disparities associated with substance use and risky sexual behavior among urban American Indian youth of Arizona. Currently, few evidence-based prevention approaches exist to reduce and eliminate disparities among this rapidly growing population.

Using the social and cultural determinants of health perspective, SIRC is launching a research program that aims to develop and test the efficacy of a parenting intervention designed to prevent behaviors that put youth at risk. 

“Most American Indian families live in cities," said Flavio Marsiglia, director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center and Distinguished Foundation Professor of Cultural Diversity and Health in the School of Social Work. "This new award is a very strong step forward in our ongoing research partnership with the urban American Indian communities of Arizona. Until recently, our efforts were limited to the metropolitan Phoenix area.

"This award will allow us to solidify our intervention research program at a statewide level. The award is also important because it validates the research needs identified by our community partners while significantly advancing the mission of SIRC.”

The program will be developed and tested in partnership with urban American Indian communities in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson.

“This grant addresses the critical needs of Arizona’s urban American Indian communities, which include the second largest population of urban Indians in the United States," said Stephen Kulis, principal investigator of the grant, director of research at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, and Cowden Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the School of Social and Family Dynamics.

"This collaborative effort deepens the partnership that our ASU research team has developed with Arizona’s three urban Indian centers – Phoenix Indian Center, Tucson Indian Center, and Native Americans for Community Action (NACA) in Flagstaff – and expands their capacity for sustaining the development and delivery of effective parenting interventions."

Dana Berchman,
ASU College of Public Programs