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Gene Interacts with Stress and Leads to Heart Disease in Some People

Gene Interacts with Stress and Leads to Heart Disease in Some People

Research Duke Medicine

  DURHAM, N.C. – A new genetic finding from Duke Medicine suggests that some people who are prone to hostility, anxiety and depression might also be hard-wired to gain weight when exposed to chronic stress.

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Voter Suppression:  One More Round The Ground Game - Getting Out the Vote

Voter Suppression: One More Round The Ground Game - Getting Out the Vote

By Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- Around 30 days and counting, this election season is in the home stretch.  The highest profile race is for US Senate between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis.  

Voter Suppression: JUDGES MATTER Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!

Voter Suppression: JUDGES MATTER Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!

by Peter Grear

As we draw nearer to D-day, November 4, 2014, the political parties, candidates and pressure groups are identifying their issues, slates and strategies to win.  My title to this week’s commentary makes a gross understatement, judges matter. 

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Study Looks at Discrimination African-American Adolescents Face in Schools

Written by Featured Organization on 17 June 2013.

Nearly 60 years after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools, African-American adolescents of all socioeconomic backgrounds continue to face instances of racial discrimination in the classroom. A new study sheds light on that and points to the need for students of color to rely on personal and cultural assets to succeed academically.

The study “African American Adolescents’ Academic Persistence: A Strengths-Based Approach,” was published online May 24 in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

“This study is unique in that it is a socioeconomically diverse sample of African-American adolescents — from poverty and low-income environments all the way to those with a high socioeconomic status,” said Sheretta T. Butler-Barnes, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and lead author.

“School-based racial discrimination experiences are still occurring across the board for these adolescents, and it’s having a negative impact on academic persistence,” she said.

Butler-Barnes said that’s not so much surprising as it is distressing. “It’s 2013 and it’s still an issue,” she said.

The study began when Butler-Barnes was a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. While not letting schools and institutions off the hook, the research also focuses on ways that an individual’s strengths — racial pride, self-efficacy and self-acceptance — can buffer the negative experiences.

“The study keys in to teachers and parents the need to recognize that these things are still happening,” Butler-Barnes said, noting that schools could hold workshops speaking about race and ethnic differences to raise awareness of what people of color tend to experience in school settings.

Butler-Barnes led the first phase of this research, which is ongoing at the University of Michigan. To view the study, visit here.

Co-authors are Tabbye M. Chavous, PhD, professor and associate dean for academic programs and initiatives at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan; Noelle Hurd, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Virginia; and Fatima Varner, PhD, assistant professor at Fordham University.

Butler-Barnes joined the faculty of the Brown School in July. Her research explores positive youth development, specifically African-American adolescents and achievement outcomes, and seeks to identify strengths regardless of socioeconomic status. •

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