New study aims to understand health effects of discrimination in Latino communities

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In order to participate in the study, one must be at least 19 years old, identify as Hispanic or Latino/a/e and have regular access to a cellphone. (Photo by Kelli McClintock/Unsplash) / Para participar en el estudio, uno debe tener al menos 19 años, identificarse como hispano o latino/a/e y tener acceso regular a un teléfono celular. (Foto de Kelli McClintock/Unsplash)
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By Kassidy Arena, Nebraska Public Media News

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln research group has launched a study to understand how stress from discrimination affects chronic health among the state’s growing Latino communities. The study is part of Iniciativa Habla—a university research program with the goal to understand and reduce health disparities in the state’s Latino populations. From the data collected, researchers said they hope to improve social support systems for Latinos and Spanish-speakers throughout Nebraska.

Trey Andrews, director of Iniciativa Habla, is leading the study. He said it goes beyond pointing out discrimination is detrimental to communities.

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“But those other pieces of sort of what do we do about it, I think, are really critical,” he said. “This helps get a better understanding of what are those social structures, and what kinds of social supports need to be in place in order to really address [discrimination].”

Andrews said he will share the data with organizations and community members alike after the two-year study wraps up, although he plans on providing a small summary of early results within the next month or two.

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Marta Boucher, a university community liaison with the Minority Health Disparities Initiative, is assisting with the study’s outreach.

“We are not just like, one community,” she said about Nebraska’s Latino population. “We’re all kinds of people from all walks of life, and we come from many different countries. So our culture is very different from one place to the other, however, we’ve been historically treated like we are just the same. And so I think that’s a wrong approach.”

“What we anticipate coming out from this are some harder-to-refute data that things like that may not be the best approach,” Andrews added.

Eligible participants can earn up to $550 over the course of two years. In order to participate, one must be at least 19 years old, identify as Hispanic or Latino/a/e and be able to answer questions via cell phone. The study will consist of a primary three-hour visit at UNL, during which childcare is provided, daily questions via cell phone and two follow-up visits in the following years at UNL.

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To find out about your eligibility or to participate in the study, call 402-472-7056 or email [email protected].

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