The Intercultural Institute on Human Development and Aging was inaugurated in 1996, with funding from the Long Island University Administration. The mission of the Institute, which has a multi-ethnic and multi-disciplinary advisory board, is to promote and enable research, training, and consultation on the role of culture and ethnic factors in human development and aging. Its basic goals are to:
- Identify socioeconomic, psychological, health, and educational factors that affect the course of growth and development within cultural groups, including impediments and facilitators.
- Serve as a resource to community leaders in designing intervention programs to foster goals that promote positive growth and development.
- Advise policy makers at the Federal, State, and local level on issues of human development in ethnic groups - especially with respect to children and the elderly - and generate data-based, informed recommendations that accurately reflect the conditions of the lives and circumstances of families and communities.
- Provide intensive and rigorous training in research methods in the social and biological sciences for undergraduate biomedical and social science majors, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.
The Institute has grown rapidly in its research and training capacity since its inception. Over the past few years it has received funding from National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institute of Aging, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the New York State Department of Health, the State Justice Department, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the New York City Board of Education. Four years ago the Institute acquired a psychophysiology laboratory which permits the recording of EEG, EKG, SCR, and various other physiological responses. The Institute has trained over 15 pre-doctoral and Masters level students, and sponsored 5 post-doctoral fellows. Several have been recipients of local and national awards for minority research, while others have gone on to tenure-track positions. The Institute's faulty and staff and fellows are a multi-ethnic mix of individuals, with people who trace their ethnic heritage to Africa, Barbados, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Israel, Jamaica, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Slovenia, St. Vincent's, and Ukraine.