Completed Research Projects


Is my Healthcare Making Me Sick? Microaggressions in American Indian Healthcare

The long-term objective of this project is to understand the role that racial discrimination as a chronic stressor, in the form of microaggressions, has on American Indian health and health disparities. A substantial body of research demonstrates that chronic psychosocial stress significantly undermines physical, mental, and behavioral health. Recently, perceived racial discrimination as a stressor has been linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and hypertension. Given this documented impact of racial discrimination stressors, to what extent are racial discrimination stressors experienced by AI’s in health care services delivery, and what are their impacts upon AI health care utilization, as part of explaining health disparities in this population? This proposed pilot study seeks to incubate a program of research addressing these important questions. The proposed research focuses on the microaggression stressors AI’s experience in a regional healthcare setting where AI’s make-up 20% of the population. The specific aims for this project are 1) Develop an interview protocol for assessing American Indian microaggression stressors in the healthcare system and 2) Identify and examine the most salient microaggressions stressors in relation to health care access and utilization, and general health and wellbeing.  

Funder: Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health Pilot Grants Program, NIMHD COE

PI: John Gonzalez. PhD, Visiting Associate Professor


Understanding the Medical and Cultural Contexts of Diabetes Self-Management in a Latino Population in Rural Minnesota

This qualitative research project involved collaboration with the Open Door Health Center in Mankato, MN to work with patients to identify culturally relevant diabetes management issues for a planned future intervention.

Substance Use and Abuse

Project 1: Evaluating New Nicotine Standards for Cigarettes-Supplement

The major goals of this project were to determine how marked reduction in the nicotine content of cigarettes impacts the use and effects of tobacco in current smokers.

Khat Research Program: Neurobehavioral Impact of Long Term Use

The major goals of this project were to establish a multidisciplinary research and training program focusing on the neurobehavioral effects of khat and the concurrent use of tobacco.