Dr. Michelle Stock




GWIPP Research: Michelle Stock

This page features research funded through GWIPP and performed by Michelle Stock.


Title: Discrimination, Drug Use, & Risky Sex Cognitions Among Young African Americans

Funding: HHS/National Institutes of Health - LOC

Researcher(s): Michelle Stock

Start Date: August 2012

Status: Current


Summary: Although Blacks make up only 13% of the U.S. population, they account for 50% of all new HIV infections. The main transmission routes for HIV in this population are injection drug use, and high-risk sexual behaviors, which are exacerbated by substance use.  The effects of discrimination on health behaviors like these have been suggested by many researchers as a primary reason for Black-White health disparities, including disparities in HIV infection, in the U.S. This project will involve two laboratory (experimental) studies examining the relation between discrimination and cognitions associated with HIV-risk (substance use and risky sex). We will examine risk and protective factors that may help explain this relation, and that may reduce it—i.e., buffer against the negative effects of discrimination. The proposed studies will use a new, but effective manipulation of racial discrimination (Cyberball) to examine the emotional and cognitive impact of perceived discrimination immediately following a discriminatory experience. This research will address the strong need for experimental studies that examine the impact of these two closely linked behaviors and will examine the similarities and differences between the discrimination à substance use response pathway, and the discrimination à risky sex response pathway, as well as how these pathways are related to one another. This project is consistent with NIH/NIDA’s focus on: examining the interrelated nature of substance use and risky sex as risk factors for HIV, exploring the impact of racial discrimination on the psychological and physical health of vulnerable minority populations, and reducing HIV-related disparities.