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The purpose of this paper is to describe the process of developing and implementing a transdisciplinary community-based research center, the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) Chicago, to offer a model for designing and implementing research centers that aim to address structural causes of health inequality.
Scholars from diverse backgrounds and disciplines formed a multidisciplinary team for the Center, and adopted the structural violence framework as the organizing conceptual model. All Center activities were based on community partnership. The Center activities were organized within three cores: administrative, investigator development, and community engagement and dissemination cores. The key activities during the first year were to develop a pilot grant program for early stage investigators (ESIs) and to establish community partnership mechanisms.
CHER provided more than 60 consultations for ESIs, which resulted in 31 pilot applications over the three application cycles. Over 200 academic and community partners attended the community symposium and discussed community priority. Some challenges encountered were: to improve communication among investigators, to clarify roles and responsibilities of the three cores, and to build consensus on the definition and operationalization of the concept of structural violence.
There is an increasing need for local hubs to facilitate transdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement to effectively address health inequity. Building consensus around a shared vision among partners is a difficult and yet important step toward achieving equity.
The surface residual stress state induced by grinding and polishing an alumina/silicon carbide nanocomposite and monolithic alumina has been investigated using Hertzian indentation and fluorescence spectroscopy. Specimens were ground and then polished with diamond slurry with grit sizes ranging between 8 μm and 1 μm. The results show that the surface residual stress state in the nanocomposites is more sensitive to surface treatment than that in the monolithic alumina. Surfaces of both ceramics were examined in cross-section by TEM and direct observations were made of the plastic deformation induced by different surface treatments. There is a change in the predominant deformation micromechanism from twinning in the alumina to dislocation generation in the nanocomposites.
The role of peer relations in childhood
and behavioral and family characteristics in early adolescence as risk factors for adolescent
childbearing was investigated. Sociometric surveys across third, fourth, and fifth grade and
parent and child measures of behavioral and family functioning at sixth and eighth grade were
collected in a lower income, urban sample of 308 African American females. Results replicated
earlier findings on the role of childhood aggression as a predictor of teen motherhood. In
addition, girls who displayed stable patterns of childhood aggression were at significantly higher
risk not only to have children as teenagers but to have more children and to have children at
younger ages. Results also indicated that females who were depressed in midadolescence were at
greater risk to become parents between age 15 and 19 years. These findings demonstrate the need
to take a differentiated approach to understanding teen childbearing and varying developmental
pathways in the prediction of teen motherhood.
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