CHJ Student Research

2013-14 CHJ Lab Members


Psychology at Wheaton College
(L to R) Isaac, Paul, Angela, Ezer, Hazel, Nancy, Stacy, & Chandler

Multi-level determinants of retention to adult HIV medical services in an urban faith-based community health center
Lawndale Christian Community Health Center (LCCHC) HIV Mental Health Program 
Project Team:
Angela Banks*, Ron Chacko, Sonji Miller, Bethany Dayton

Based on Anderson’s Behavioral Model of Health Service Use (1995, 2000), this retrospective cohort study examines factors that are potentially associated with retention in medical care among adults living with HIV who were treated at Lawndale Christian Community Health Center (LCCHC) in Chicago. This is particularly important to examine for several reasons. First, the prominence of faith-based institutions in African American and Latino communities in the US uniquely position church-based health programs geographically located in higher HIV prevalence communities to address challenges of medical care access and utilization. Second, HIV medical care utilization patterns continually change reflecting new treatment and diagnostic benchmarks.

Zealous legal representation and advocacy for court-involved youth in Chicago: A program evaluation
Lawndale Christian Legal Center (LCLC)  
Project Team:
Hazel Rosete*, Cliff Nellis, & Danae Kovac

Children and adolescents of color living in economically disadvantaged communities encounter persistent systemic barriers to accessing “zealous” legal representation that is fully integrated with supportive services/ advocacy aimed to reduce recidivism/ delinquency. This project evaluates the process and outcomes of a community-based program that provides legal representation that is integrated with supportive services/ advocacy for court-involved adolescents and young adults < 25 years old living in North and South Lawndale.

The relationship between racial microaggression and mental health outcomes among African American college students: A moderation model exploring the roles of racial identity and spirituality
Project Team:
Nancy Nealious*

Racial microaggressions are subtle verbal, behavioral, and environmental racial slights that occur in the everyday lives of minorities. These innocuous forms of racism have been found to cause psychological injury (e.g. depression, anxiety) to the victims. At institutions of higher learning these forms of racism may also cause problems with academic performance, retention, and general adjustment to college life among racial minority students. This study will examine the relationship between racial microaggressions and two mental health outcomes - psychological well-being and coping. More specifically, this study will explore the buffering effects of Black racial identity and spirituality on the mental health outcomes of African American college students who experience this kind of race related stress at 2-year and 4-year colleges/universities in the Chicagoland area.


Awareness of white privilege among evangelical college students: The influences of evangelical culture and the merit principle
Project Team:
Paul Moore*

Privileges experienced by dominant groups are often unrecognized by those who possess them. They also potentially perpetuate a belief that individuals can advance and earn rewards in proportion to their individual abilities and efforts. This cross-sectional study of Evangelical Christian college students in the US examines the relationship between awareness of white privilege and belief in meritocracy, and consider the mediating roles of three principles held by White evangelical Christians – (1) accountable free-will individualism, (2) relational understanding of sin, and (3) antistructuralism (Emerson & Smith, 2000).

You don’t know what you don’t know:  Illness narratives, and utilization of behavioral health and substance abuse services care among Native American Indians at an urban community clinic in Chicago
American Indian Health Services of Chicago, Inc.
Project Team:
Isaac Weaver*, Bobbie Bellinger

Despite the undeniable presence American Indians and Alaska Natives AI/ AN in US cities, few studies have examined utilization rates of mental health and substance abuse patterns in urban settings. However, without first considering how urban AI/AN experience, explain, and act upon psychiatric and substance related symptoms, designing treatments that are culturally-appropriate, relevant, and effective remain a formidable challenge. As such, this study examines the perspectives of 30 AI/AN receiving behavioral health and substance abuse (BH/SA) services at an urban clinic in the mid-Western US through a qualitative analysis of their illness narratives regarding psychiatric and substance related problems.


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