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Intercultural Institute on Human Development and Aging


The Intercultural Institute on Human Development and Aging is an active research laboratory, continually conducting both experimental and community survey projects. Below is a list of previous and ongoing research projects and links to associated research participation and training/employment opportunities. (Please click on citation to see full abstract.)

1. Stress and Coping in Older African Americans

Our research team has neared completion of the write up of this National Institutes of Health grant to Carol Magai, Carl Cohen, and Norweeta Milburn examining stress, coping and health among older minority groups. Covering a wide range of psychological and social variables and their relations to health, this project represents one of the first large-scale community sampling studies to clearly differentiate among subpopulations of African and European Americans. The data and theory from this project have been published in numerous international journals, including the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, and Research on Aging, and presented at numerous national conferences. Request a Dataset

2. Psychosocial Deterrents to Breast Cancer Screening in Older African American Women.

Made possible through joint funding from the National Institute on General Medical Science program and the National Institute on Aging to Carol Magai and Al Neugut, this just-completed project employed an area-probability sampling approach to examine the psychosocial variables associated with the levels of breast cancer screening among Caucasians, U.S.-born African American and Caribbean-American women. These large (N=300) samples were later supplemented by the addition of a large Dominican sample (Funded by the National Cancer Institute).Our dataset suggests large differences both in levels of screening and the variables associated with breast screening behavior (or its absence) among women from these diverse groups. Several recently funded pilot projects (described below) have continued to follow-up on these preliminary data.

Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., Krivoshekova, Y., Ryzewicz, L., & Neugut, A. I. (2004). Fear, anxiety, worry, and breast cancer screening behavior: A critical review. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention, 13 (4), 501-510.

Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., Conway, F., & Neugut, A. (2004). Obesity and awareness of obesity as risk factors for breast cancer in six ethnic groups. Obesity Research, 12 (10), 1680 - 1689.

Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., Horton, D, Neugut, A., & Gillespie, M. (2005). Health Belief Model factors in mammography screening: Testing for interactions among subpopulations of Caribbean women. Ethnicity & Disease, 15 (3), 444 - 452

Magai, C., Consedine, N. S., & Kudadjie-Gyamfi, E. (in revision). Emotion inhibition as a deterrent to breast cancer screening in older women. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Magai, C., Consedine, N. S., Conway, F., Neugut, A., & Culver, C. (2004). Diversity matters: Unique populations of older women and breast cancer screening. CANCER, 100 (11), 2300 – 2307.

Brown, W. M., Consedine, N. S., & Magai, C. (in press). Acculturation and breast cancer screening in a sample of ethnically diverse immigrant women. Journal of Immigrant Health.

Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., & Horton, D. (2005). Ethnic variation in the impact of emotion and emotion regulation on health: A replication and extension. Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences, 60B (4), P165 - P173.

Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., & Horton, D. E. (under review). Regulating emotion expression and regulating emotion experience: Divergent associations with dimensions of attachment among older women.

Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., Horton, D. E., & Brown, W. M. (under review). The affective paradox: Ethnic differences in self-reported anger and curiosity viewed from an emotion regulatory perspective.

Kudadjie-Gyamfi, E, Consedine, N. S., Magai, C., Gillespie, M., & Pierre-Louis, J. (2005). Breast self-exam practices among women from six ethnic groups. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, 92 (1), 35 - 45 .

Magai, C., Consedine, N. S., & Neugut, A. I. (under review). Common p sychosocial factors underlying breast cancer screening and breast cancer treatment adherence. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Magai, C., Consedine, N. S., Neugut, A. I., & Herschman, D. (under review). Psychosocial influences on sub-optimal adjuvant breast cancer treatment adherence among African American women: A proposition and prospect for research. Manuscript submitted for publication.

3. Message Framing and the Effectiveness of Breast Cancer Screening in Minority Populations: Differences Among Sub-Populations of African American Women.

Despite a lower incidence of breast cancer among both African and Caribbean American women, the five-year relative survival rate is considerably lower, at least among African Americans. Both African American and Caribbean women, including those with a family history of breast cancer, are less likely to be screened and delay seeking care in the presence of symptoms. According to the ACS, later diagnosis is likely the cause of survival rate differences. Currently in the beginning stages of recruitment, this NCI-funded pilot grant to Sinfree Makoni , Nathan Consedine, and Rita Kukafka (under a P20 Planning Grant to Carol Magai and Al Neugut) looks to extend work documenting the effects of presenting factually identical health-relevant information within different ‘frames’. Discovering how different frames work within different groups of minority women will enable more carefully targeting health promotion campaing..


4. Emotion Regulatory Processes and Cancer Knowledge Among Minority Women.

A second NCI-funded pilot grant to Francine Conway , Nathan Consedine , and George Bonanno, (under a P20 Planning Grant to Carol Magai and Al Neugut) looks to extend correlational findings regarding the relations between emotion regulation and cancer knowledge to an experimental paradigm and continue to develop the fruitful research collaboration between Long Island University and Columbia.

5. The Relation Between Negative Emotion and Stress, and Bio-Markers for Prostate Cancer in African American and Latino Men

This project is the third NCI-funded pilot cancer grant funded under a planning grant to Carol Magai and Al Neugut. Administered by Carol Magai, Arlene King, James McKiernan and Al Neugut , the goal of the study is to clarify the relations among stress, emotion, and personality variables along with biomarkers of prostate cancer (prostate specific antigen). Again, this pilot project continues to develop the research collaboration between Long Island University and Columbia

6. Ethnicity and Socioemotional Functioning in Later Life

This recently funded NIA-grant to Carol Magai, will enable us to follow-up the cohort of ethnically-diverse older adults that participated in our earlier study of Stress and Coping. The project has four major aims:

  1. To predict survival as a function of T1 socioemotional variables including negative emotion, emotion inhibition, attachment, and social networks
  2. To continue to develop ethnically-specific models regarding mortality and morbidity in subgroups of African and European Americans
  3. To assess the eight-year stability of discrete emotions, emotion regulatory styles, attachment styles and social networks, and
  4. To test theoretical models relevant to discrete emotions theory, attachment theory and socioemotional selectivity theory

7. Personality, Emotion and Health Project

The Intercultural Institute is currently conducting a longitudinal study intended to contribute to the development of scientific knowledge regarding the relationships between emotion expression, cognitive change, and healt Matched samples of Black and White, male and female participants, aged 45 and above, participated in two 2-hour experimental sessions, spaced one month apart. At each laboratory session, participants provided two narratives about either sadness, happiness, or a neutral event while physiological, expressive, and experiential measures were taken. During the intervening month, participants were asked to keep a daily health and mood diary.

8. Emotions and Behavior Study

Following earlier cross-cultural work conducted by Nathan Consedine while at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and recently accepted for publication, researchers at the Intercultural Institute on Human Development and Aging are conducting a series of questionnaire-based investigations of the relationships between emotion and behavior. `

9. Experimentally ascertained psychological responses to cancer threat and prostate screening behavior among African American, Jamaican, and European American men

Following a number of insights into the relation between emotion, emotion regulation and health behavior through our large MBRS study, a pilot grant secured by Nathan Consedine and Paul Ramirez at Long Island University in collaboration with Luisa Borrell and Andrew Joe at Columbia 's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center has begun experimentally examining one possible causal pathway. Although there are many contributions to the major ethnic differences in prostate screening, one overarching factor that may be amenable to intervention appears to be fears regarding cancer and cancer screening in populations of African American men. What is less clear is exactly how anxiety predicts screening behavior, whether fears regarding prostate cancer and prostate cancer screening are the same thing, and how valid the assessment of cancer threat in minority men has actually been. The current study examines these issues by experimentally investigating cancer threat responses in two groups of men of African-descent (African Americans and Caribbean Americans) and a contrast group of European American men.

10. Facilitators and Barriers to Prostate Cancer Screening in Older African American and African Caribbean Men

A full project funded under the recently secured U54 cancer grant to Carol Magai and Al Neugut, this study by Long Island University researchers Paul Ramirez, Nathan Consedine and Carol Magai, together with James McKiernan at Columbia, looks to examine the relative contribution of sociodemographic, sociocognitive, and socioemotional variables to study of prostate cancer screening behavior among minority men. The study is a community-based interviewing project that specifically focuses on differences in the determinants of screening behavior among subpopulations of African American men, recruiting samples of both Jamaicans and Trinidadians.

11. Ethnicity, Coping, and Cancer Screening Outcomes in Ethnic Subpopulations

As a result of our earlier survey work's suggesting the that level of specificity at which ethnic group membership was measured had important consequences for both the psychological understanding of immigrant groups and their health behavior, we initiated a pilot project examining emotion and personality characteristics, patterns of coping, and health screening outcomes. Data were collected from 308 men and 308 women from 7 ethnic groups (U.S.-born African Americans, U.S.-born European Americans, Haitians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Immigrant Eastern Europeans, and people from the English-speaking Caribbean), to our knowledge, one of the most specific screening studies ever conducted. .

12. Medical Embarrassment: A Preliminary Scale Development Project

During a long conversation at the International Society for Research on Emotions (ISRE) Conference 2004, Nathan Consedine and Dr. Christine Harris of University of California San Diego 's Department of Psychology discovered shared interests in the influence of embarrassment on preventive behavior and medical decision making. Based in functionalist theories of emotion and the notion that medical embarrassment is unlikely to prove uni-dimensional, this initial project is gathering samples of Asian-, African, and European American students to develop an instrument to measure the different aspects of embarrassment as they relate to preventive behavior and medical decision making. Data collection began in the Fall of 2004 and concluded early in the Spring of 2005.

Consedine, N. S., Krivoshekova, Y. K., & Harris, C. R. (under review). Affective and cognitive factors in the measurement of medical embarrassment: Psychometric development and links to treatment seeking outcomes. Manuscript submitted for publication.

13. Ethnic and Gender Differences in Patterns of, and Beliefs About, Self-Disclosure

Following on from some of our earlier work documenting ethnic variation in the links between psychological characteristics and physical and mental health outcomes, we have recently initiated a project examining ethnic and gender differences in patterns of self-disclosure and the associated or underlying beliefs about self-disclosure. More fully, although a growing number of studies have documented ethnic and gender differences in patterns of self-disclosure, the motivations and belief structures that guide behavior have remained comparatively unexplored. This initial project gathered samples of African, and European American students to develop an instrument to comprehensively measure patterns of self-disclosure (who discloses what and to whom?) as well as assess beliefs about the personal and interpersonal consequences of self-disclosure and link the two to well-validated personality instruments.

Consedine, N. S., Sabag, S., & Krivoshekova, Y. S. (under review). Ethnic differences in patterns of self-disclosure: Who discloses what and to whom? Manuscript in preparation.

Consedine, N. S., Soeiro, R., & Krivoshekova, Y. S. (in prep). Preliminary psychometric development of a scale to measure beliefs about the consequences of self-disclosure. Manuscript in preparation.


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