Nurse researching on laptop.

Research Roundup: July 2021

Racism and Health Among Black Mothers of Young Children

Most Black mothers report at least one experience of racial discrimination, and exposure to racism increases parenting stress, according to new findings from Professor Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, PhD, and Assistant Professor Veronica Barcelona, PhD, published June 17 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The study analyzed data from the Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure (InterGEN) study, which investigated the effects of genetic and psychological factors on blood pressure over time in 250 Black mothers and their preschool-aged children.

In another new analysis of InterGEN data, Taylor, Barcelona, and their colleagues found Black mothers living in the most socially vulnerable neighborhoods had triple the risk of hypertension compared to their peers living in less vulnerable areas. The study, published June 1 in Nursing Research, also linked higher levels of structural racism to high blood pressure and obesity. Psychological stress moderated the neighborhood vulnerability/cardiovascular risk connection, suggesting that interventions to reduce stress might help reduce these heart risks.

An editorial in response to the paper, written by Obianuju Berry, MD, describes the importance of the findings for understanding vicarious racism, mental health, and impacts on young children. 

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Repeat Abuse Linked to Worse Cardiovascular Risk in Sexual Minority Women

Experiencing abuse in adulthood as well as during childhood is associated with substantially increased risks of obesity and hypertension among sexual minority women, according to new findings from the long-running Chicago Health and Women’s Life Experiences of Women study by Professor Tonda L. Hughes, PhD, Assistant Professor Billy A. Caceres, PhD, and their colleagues published July 1 in Women’s Health Issues. Among 615 SMW, 13.5% reported being revictimized sexually and 16.4% were revictimized physically.

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