Robert Motley, an NIMH doctoral student at the Brown School, has been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.The title of his newly funded project is “Racism-Based Trauma, Emerging Adults and Substance Abuse.”
Community violence exposure (CVE) remains a critical public health issue facing Black emerging adults ages 18-29 in America, given its prevalence and association with substance use. However, researchers have not been able to quantify CVE when the perpetrator(s) of the violence has an entrusted professional role to serve, enhance, or safe guard the welfare of the citizens they serve (e.g., police officers) and the violence (e.g., homicide and other types of serious physical harm) is experienced as a racism-based traumatic event. This study will advance our methodology for quantifying exposure to racism-based police use of force events and understanding of the relationship between exposure to racism-based police use of force, racism-based trauma symptoms, and substance use in a sample of Black emerging adults attending a community college in the Midwest. Findings will contribute to our knowledge of the prevalence and population level disparities in exposure to racism-based police use of force and identify risk factors that can be targeted by substance use prevention and intervention programs for this at-risk population.