Research Projects

Hispanic Community Health Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

The Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multi-center epidemiologic study in Hispanic/Latino populations to determine the role of acculturation in the prevalence and development of disease, and to identify risk factors playing a protective or harmful role in Hispanics/Latinos. The study is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and six other institutes, centers, and offices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Hispanic Community Health Study of Latino Youth (SOL-Youth)

The Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latino Youth (SOL-Youth) is a multi-center epidemiologic study of children ages 8-16 with at least one parent/guardian enrolled in the HCHS. The study aims to determine the role of acculturation, parenting, and psychosocial functioning on youth’s lifestyle behaviors and cardio-metabolic risk factors.  The study is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).


Implementing Health Care Reform in North Carolina

Focusing on immigrants’ health coverage, the study aimed to identify the challenges faced by state and federal policymakers in enrolling low-income families and their children into health insurance options available through the ACA, and evaluate promising practices that CBOs, private employers, and public agencies have utilized or can develop to increase enrollment into health care insurance programs, especially among immigrants and their children. This study was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and contributed to its program on Health Care Coverage by extending its resesarch on the implmentation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services

Immigrant eligibility for health and human service benefits is complicated by a confusing patchwork quilt of federal statutory provisions, state and local benefit program choices and decisions, the mixed citizenship/immigration status of members in many immigrant families (e.g., immigrant parents who may be ineligible, with citizen children who are eligible), and the varying immigration enforcement efforts and initiatives not only at the federal level, but more recently at the state and local levels as well. The enactment of health care reform provisions in 2013 further complicated the policy environment and resulted in additional challenges and opportunities affecting immigrant families’ access to health and human services and the wellbeing of these families. This project described the broad policy context that can affect immigrant access to health and human services, and can affect the wellbeing of immigrants and their children, the majority of whom are U.S. citizens. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Latino Adolescent Migration, Health, and Adaptation (LAMHA)

The Latino Adolescent Migration, Health, and Adaptation Project (LAMHA) was a mixed-method, descriptive study of the mental health status and needs of immigrant youth and their families. Researchers examined mental health symptomatology in recent Latino immigrant youth and their primary caretakers in North Carolina, where there has been a tremendous increase in first-generation immigrants. The study contextualized mental health symptoms by examining migration stories and experiences as well as current community and school variables. The study was supported by the William T. Grant Foundation.


Salud Infantil: Latino Infant Nutrition Project

This pilot study with Latina mothers and their children aimed to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a longitudinal, observational study of infant care feeding practices, and the risk of obesity among Latino families.


Southern Immigrant Academic Adaptation Study (SIAA)

The 1990s were marked by greater dispersion of immigrant, specially Latino immigrants, to new areas in the United States. Among these, North Carolina ranked first in the growth of new immigrant and Latino families. The influx of Hispanic children to North Carolina and other new receiving communities had a profound impact on their educational systems and is of enormous public policy significance. This study was a mixed-methods, population-based study of the daily acculturation experiences and academic adaptation of Latino youth in a new receiving community. As a companion study to the Los Angeles Study of Social Identification and Academic Adaptation directed by Dr. Andrew Fuligni, this study allowed researchers to compare and contrast the experiences of immigrant youth in a new receiving community (i.e., North Carolina) with the experiences of immigrant youth in a traditional receiving community (i.e., Los Angeles, California). Additional extensions of the project includde qualitative interviews and survey data on the civic engagement of immigrant youth as they transition into adulthood. The Study was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.