Ecological Momentary Assessment of Stress, Racism and Other Forms of Discrimination During Pregnancy Using Smartphone Technology
Background: In the United States, there are considerable racial inequities in adverse perinatal outcomes. Exposure to racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression may help explain these inequities.
Objective: To describe the application of real-time data collection using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and smartphone technology to assess exposure to stress, racism, sexism, microaggressions, and other forms of oppression.
Methods: The Postpartum Mothers Mobile Study (PMOMS) is an ongoing longitudinal cohort study that began recruitment in December 2017. Participants delivering at a hospital in Pittsburgh, PA are recruited by 29 weeks’ gestation. Using smartphones and smart scales, participants complete daily surveys related to psychosocial, behavioural, and contextual factors and weigh themselves weekly for approximately 15 months. We provide a preliminary descriptive analysis of EMA self-reported measures of stress, racism, sexism, and microaggressions; and non-EMA measures of stress and major discrimination.
Results: The sample (n = 230) is 63.5% White, 24.8% Black/African American, and 7% Hispanic origin. The most commonly reported item from the Major Discrimination Scale is being unfairly fired (18.1% of the sample). Of those, 31.7% and 17.1% attribute unfair firing to their gender and race, respectively. From the random EMA measures, on average, participants report experiences of racism and sexism at least once daily, in an average 12-hour day over the 4-week period. Black participants indicate about two experiences per day of racism, and White participants indicate more than 1 per day of sexism. Mean stress levels from the EMA measures were similar to the stress measures collected at baseline.
Conclusions: The methods applied in PMOMS provide real-time data regarding how participants’ daily experiences of stress and discrimination influence their lives. Future work will include understanding if and how these EMA measures may relate to already established measures of racism, sexism, and stress; and ultimately understanding associations with perinatal inequities.
Using Arnstein’s Ladder as an Evaluative Framework for the Assessment of Participatory Work in Postdisaster Haiti.
Problem, research strategy, and findings: Arnstein’s (1969) ladder of citizen participation has been prominent and influential in the planning field. By detailing a continuum of approaches for citizen involvement, the ladder provides a foundation for addressing questions of participation and power in theory and practice. However, despite its significant influence, questions regarding the practicality of the framework persist. This is particularly a concern in relation to its use in guiding different applications of participation in practice and its ability to outline specific methodologies for evaluating participatory activities. I explore the use of Arnstein’s ladder as an evaluative framework for participation through a quantitative analysis of primary survey data collected from organizations working on postdisaster recovery projects in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. My findings suggest that Arnstein’s ladder provides a useful tool for evaluating the participatory work of organizations. Through its empowerment approach toward engagement, Arnstein’s ladder encourages the assessment of community roles frequently overlooked in broad evaluations of participatory activities. My results indicate that participation measured through an Arnstein evaluative framework produces results that are significantly different from those of general participatory assessments. Ultimately, the proposed evaluation framework provides an opportunity to account for the underlying power dynamics in participatory activities that are important to address with projects in the development or postdisaster contexts.
Takeaway for practice: Planners and practitioners working on projects with participatory elements should actively prioritize and implement quality assessments of their participatory activities. The framework I present here allows practitioners to undertake evaluations in a critical but efficient manner through tools derived from theory and practice, such as those from Arnstein’s ladder. These actions can assist in improving the quality and long-term sustainability of participatory work in practice.
Until the Lord Come Get Me, It Burn Down, Or the Next Storm Blow It Away
Angel David Nieves and Leslie M. Alexander’s We Shall Independent Be (2008), which contemplated the relationship between American ideals such as freedom and black space creation, advanced the validity of vernacular African American placemaking and architecture as a by-product of protest, cultural expression, and intentional design. Despite this, few scholars have focused on related rural African American building and preservation practices as expressions of a continuous freedom struggle and diasporic search for home. Through observation of African American grassroots preservationists, this essay argues for increased attention to rural grassroots homestead preservation. From 1865 to 1920, former slaves founded more than 557 “freedom colonies” across Texas. Ethnographic and archival research conducted within Newton County freedom colonies demonstrates that descendants, regardless of residency status, have sustained place attachments and nurtured stewardship of homesteads through heritage conservation, rehabilitation, and family property retention. Rehabilitation activities in two settlements, Shankleville and Pleasant Hill, show the relationship between intangible heritage and descendants’ landscape stewardship practices. The concept, called here the homeplace aesthetic, illuminates descendants’ preservation methods, resilience strategies, and stylistic preferences as unrecognized dimensions of significance and integrity. The concept of a homeplace aesthetic also explains descendants’ concurrent negotiation—through subversion and assimilation—of the racialized landscape and regulatory environment, with important implications for preservation documentation and legal regulations.
Detroit: Race and Uneven Development
Hub of the American auto industry and site of the celebrated Riverfront Renaissance, Detroit is also a city of extraordinary poverty, unemployment, and racial segregation. This duality in one of the mightiest industrial metropolises of twentieth-century North America is the focus of this study. Viewing the Motor City in light of sociology, geography, history, and planning, the authors examine the genesis of modern Detroit. They argue that the current situation of metropolitan Detroit—economic decentralization, chronic racial and class segregation, regional political fragmentation—is a logical result of trends that have gradually escalated throughout the post-World War II era. Examining its recent redevelopment policies and the ensuing political conflicts, Darden, Hill, Thomas, and Thomas, discuss where Detroit has been and where it is going.
Twerk sumn!: theorizing Black girl epistemology in the body
In conversations about appropriation and appreciation, twerking is illustrated as a medium that non-Black people are celebrated for (with awards and global tours), while Black people – especially Black girls – are not afforded just celebrations. Using the ‘Dunham method’ and the current critical discourses surrounding twerking, this essay explores the possibilities for self-expression and sexuality for Black girls. Using Beyoncé’s music video for ‘Sorry’ and Louisiana rapper Tokyo Vanity’s music video for ‘That’s My Best Friend’ (2015), in this essay I consider the possibilities for visible sexual self-expression for Black girls in a digital world. I argue that Black girls’ use of twerking videos to celebrate and challenge each other’s self-expression provides an opportunity to enjoy their bodies and reclaim the possibilities of pleasure in blackness and girlhood/womanhood. I extend contemporary Black feminist scholarship on Black women’s sexuality to consider Black girls as an epistemological imperative in the future of Black feminist scholarship.
Integrative Transcriptome Analyses of the Human Fallopian Tube: Fimbria and Ampulla-Site of Origin of Serous Carcinoma of the Ovary
Epithelial ovarian cancer represents a group of heterogeneous diseases with high grade serous cancer (HGSC) representing the most common histotype. Molecular profiles of precancerous lesions found in the fallopian tube have implicated this tissue as the presumptive site of origin of HGSC. Precancerous lesions are primarily found in the distal fallopian tube (fimbria), near the ovary relative to the proximal tissue (ampulla), nearer to the uterus. The proximity of the fimbria to the ovary and the link between ovulation, through follicular fluid release, and ovarian cancer risk led us to examine transcriptional responses of fallopian tube epithelia (FTE) at the different anatomical sites of the human fallopian tube. Gene expression profiles of matched FTE from the fimbria and from premenopausal women resulted in differentially expressed genes (DEGs): CYYR1, SALL1, FOXP2, TAAR1, AKR1C2/C3/C4, NMBR, ME1 and GSTA2. These genes are part of the antioxidant, stem and inflammation pathways. Comparisons between the luteal phase (post-ovulation) to the follicular phase (pre-ovulation) demonstrated greater differences in DEGs than a comparison between fimbria and fallopian tube anatomical differences alone. This data suggests that cyclical transcriptional changes experienced in pre-menopause are inherent physiological triggers that expose the FTE in the fimbria to cytotoxic stressors. These cyclical exposures induce transcriptional changes reflective of genotoxic and cytotoxic damage to the FTE in the fimbria which are closely related to transcriptional and genomic alterations observed in ovarian cancer.
HIV Status Disclosure, Depressive Symptoms, and Sexual Risk Behavior Among HIV-Positive Young Men who Have Sex with Men
The rate of HIV infection among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) is increasing in the United States, and targeted research is needed to inform interventions aimed at reducing HIV transmission in this population. This study aims to understand the association between HIV status disclosure and sexual risk behavior among HIV-positive YMSM. A particular focus is given to depressive symptoms and their potential role in explaining the association between HIV disclosure and sexual risk behavior. In a sample of 991 YMSM receiving care at 20 clinics across the United States, Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to explore these associations. Approximately one-half (52.4 %) of participants reported disclosing to their current sexual/romantic partner. Disclosure to family members was negatively associated with sexual risk behavior. Also, depressive symptoms were positively associated with sexual risk behavior. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research and intervention.
Sexual Identity and HIV Status Influence the Relationship Between Internalized Stigma and Psychological Distress in Black Gay and Bisexual Men
Experiences of internalized homophobia and HIV stigma in young Black gay and bisexual men (GBM) may lead to psychological distress, but levels of distress may be dependent upon their sexual identity or HIV status. In this study, we set out to explore the associations between psychological distress, sexual identity, and HIV status in young Black GBM. Participants were 228 young Black GBM who reported on their psychological distress, their HIV status, and their sexual identity. Results indicated that internalized homophobia was significantly related to psychological distress for gay men, but not for bisexual men. HIV stigma was related to psychological stress for HIV-positive men, but not for HIV-negative men. Results indicate a need for more nuanced examinations of the role of identity in the health and well-being of men who have sex with men.
Exploring the Relationship Between Gender Nonconformity and Mental Health Among Black South African Gay and Bisexual Men
Studies in Western countries have consistently demonstrated that, as a consequence of more frequent discrimination, gender nonconforming gay and bisexual men experience more mental distress than gender conforming gay and bisexual men (D’Augelli, Grossman, & Starks, 2006; Grossman, D’Augelli, Salter, & Hubbard, 2005; Henning-Stout, James, & Macintosh, 2000; Landolt, Bartholomew, Saffrey, Oram, & Perlman, 2004; Plöderl & Fartacek, 2009; Sandfort, Melendez, & Diaz, 2007; Skidmore, Linsenmeier, & Bailey, 2006). These relationships have never been studied in low-and middle-income countries, even though gender nonconformity (GNC) is evident in expressions of same-sex sexuality in such countries. We explored whether GNC among gay Black South African men was associated with depression and if this association was mediated or moderated by discrimination.
Profiles of Resilience and Psychosocial Outcomes Among Young Black Gay and Bisexual Men
Young Black gay/bisexual men (YBGBM ) are affected by contextual stressors—namely syndemic conditions and minority stress—that threaten their health and well‐being. Resilience is a process through which YBGBM achieve positive psychosocial outcomes in the face of adverse conditions. Self‐efficacy, hardiness and adaptive coping, and social support may be important resilience factors for YBGBM . This study explores different profiles of these resilience factors in 228 YBGBM in New York City and compares profiles on psychological distress, mental health, and other psychosocial factors. Four profiles of resilience were identified: (a) Low self‐efficacy and hardiness/adaptive coping (23.5%); (b) Low peer and parental support (21.2%); (c) High peer support, low father support (34.5%); and (d) High father and mother support, self‐efficacy, and hardiness/adaptive coping (20.8%). YBGBM in profile 1 scored markedly higher on distress (d = .74) and lower on mental health functioning (d = .93) compared to men in the other profiles. Results suggest that self‐efficacy and hardiness/adaptive coping may play a more important role in protecting YBGBM from risks compared to social support and should be targeted in interventions. The findings show that resilience is a multidimensional construct and support the notion that there are different patterns of resilience among YBGBM .