New Study on Racial Trauma Processing for Family Health Intervention

Dr. Emma Sterrett-Hong’s research proposal, “An Examination of the Feasibility and Acceptability of a Racial Trauma Processing for Family Health Intervention,” will be funded through the Health Equity Innovation Hub. The proposal went through a rigorous multi-step review process, including peer review by a panel of national health equity experts, review by the Hub’s Health Equity Research Committee, and final consideration by Hub leadership. 

The research proposal: 

Black American children and families face racial discrimination on a daily basis, interpersonally and systemically, such as in healthcare settings.  Collaborating with Black families to develop messages and strategies for sharing family healthcare advocacy strategies can potentially increase their healthcare utilization and overcoming of systemic racism documented in many healthcare environments. 

This study will engage in intentional practices to collaborate and co-learn with = 32 Black American children and caregivers, as well as mental health clinicians and providers  who serve them, to inform the development of a combined racial trauma and healthcare advocacy family intervention for Black children and caregivers. Culturally-responsive practices of study implementation as well as the collection of biological data to allow for examination of improvement in cellular aging, specifically through testing of telomere length, also will be explored and implemented. The developed intervention will be piloted through a randomized controlled trial with = 40 (20 intervention, 20 waitlist control) Black families. 

The feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and data collection procedures, as well as initial validity of three new measures of racial trauma treatment (completed through this study and a companion study utilizing the same measures) will be examined. The information, capabilities, and data produced by this study will provide insights into culturally-sensitive racial trauma and healthcare intervention development and examination, as well as serve as a foundation for a larger randomized control trial to examine the effectiveness of the intervention in promoting racial trauma coping, mental health, and health care family advocacy and utilization.