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Current, ongoing research projects at MARTI include the following topics:

  • Developing and Assessing Family Based Interventions for Young Veterans' Readjustment to Civilian Life
    Dr. Christian Vaccaro is leading an interdisciplinary project approved by the President’s Research Cluster Initiative called the Veterans’ Reintegration Research Cluster. Members of the Research Cluster are also MARTI research associates: Dr. Demond Mullins, Dr. Michelle Papakie, Dr. Michele Sandhoff, Dr. Brandon Vick and Dr. Susan Boser. Other members include MARTI Associate Director Dr. Alex Heckert and MARTI Director Dr. Victor Garcia.The goals of the research cluster are to provide innovative research insights for therapeutic and preventive interventions that will lead to a reduction in a variety of reintegration issues for veterans such as college dropout, unemployment, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce, and mental health problems. The cluster is currently discussing the development of different projects which will be used to develop reliable and valid instruments for larger quantitative and qualitative external grant funded studies. Veterans' Reintegration Research Cluster Faculty
  • “Use of Mutual Help Recovery Houses by Latino Migrant Laborers with Substance Use Disorders”
    Dr. Garcia, with Dr. Anna Pagano at the Prevention Research Center at Berkeley, California, submitted a National Institute of Health R21 Grant Application—titled “Mutual-Help Recovery Houses for Mexican and Central American Migrant Laborers with Substance Use Disorders”—which has been submitted through the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse and is currently under review. The qualitative grant work will focus on exploring the structure and practices of transnational recovery programs—specifically anexos (annexes), a mutual-help substance abuse recovery model that originated in Mexico—as well as how and why Latino migrant laborers access these programs. To accomplish their research goals, Dr. Garcia and his colleagues will employ ethnographic research methods to gather qualitative exploratory data at three California anexos.
  • "A Community-Based Approach to Reduce Alcohol Use in Women of Mexican Origin (Submitted to NIH; funding pending)The two-year proposed project, “A Community-Based Approach to Reduce Alcohol Use in Women of Mexican Origin” will be conducted by a team of experienced researchers and clinicians at IUP, University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, and Delaware University. The overarching purpose of the project is to obtain knowledge on the drinking of women of Mexican heritage (Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans) and to support the cultural redesign and implementation of a community based intervention to prevent or reduce harmful alcohol use among the women in US agricultural areas. Increased levels of health literacy have resulted in a reduction of health risks in other underserved communities by applying novel methods; however, information on the transferring of these intervention technologies to women in agricultural areas is sparse. For women, according to the American Cancer Society, unhealthy drinking is defined as more than one drink per day. Epidemiological studies have unequivocally identified unhealthy drinking over time as a major risk factor for the development of various types of cancers and other health problems. To provide health education on alcohol use, proposed intervention programs need to depart from conventional approaches, such as impersonal health workshops led by health professionals in public places, and begin to include safe and familiar venues. It must also be culturally sensitive; that is, it must include traditional values, beliefs, and gendered immigrant experiences; in addition to being conveyed in the Spanish language. Towards this end, the research team will modify a novel health education model designed for African American women that is effective in increasing health awareness and reducing health risk behaviors. They will redesign the model to be culturally appropriate for women of Mexican heritage, adopt it, and assess its use in raising alcohol awareness. The intervention included in the novel model, centered on salon stylists administering health education on breast cancer and other health problems as the women were having their hair done. The hairstylists are trained to be lay health providers, who in turn educate women about health problems during their appointments, and are then recruited for additional health sessions. The hairstylists proved to be effective lay health advisors, and hair salons appropriate venues contributed to the promotion of positive health behaviors.
  • Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute
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