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Male Research and Evaluation Initiatives

Project Theme(s): Vulnerable Populations & Communities, Substance Use and Mental Health, Training, Consultation and Capacity Building, Community Engaged Research & Evaluation

Area Description: The Research, Policy, and Program on Male Development broadly focuses on the factors that support and undermine the “healthy” involvement of men and boys in relationship, family, and community life. This work has a special emphasis on men and communities of color, who disproportionately experience negative health outcomes. Research and evaluation activities are focused in the areas of men’s preventive health; father involvement and paternal contributions to positive maternal, child, and family outcomes; supporting successful community reintegration following incarceration; and community mental health and its impact on academic and social outcomes.

Within our area, evaluation and research activities use a community informed approach. In these contexts, questions posed, programs implemented and activities evaluated are developed in consultation with relevant community members, service providers and State representatives. Research and evaluation activities use a mixed methods approach that complement and add meaningful insights into the phenomenon of interest.

Men's Health

Dr. Gordon’s preventive health research on men focuses on identifying sociocultural factors associated with adverse health and well-being outcomes in disenfranchised communities disproportionately impacted by structural inequalities. Current research activities supported by NIH research focuses on factors that facilitate or preclude young men from engaging in preventive health behaviors. The goal of this line of research is to identify strategies to increase the participation of men in preventive health activities and inform policy and practice activities that encourage men’s engagement in healthy behaviors.

Father Involvement and Paternal Contributions to Maternal, Child & Community Health

In this study Dr. Gordon utilizes data from several research and evaluation projects in the area of men’s preventive health that focus on father involvement. The first is a statewide program evaluation research project developed to support low-income, non-custodial fathers. The second is a NIH funded research project that examines paternal contribution to maternal sexual health risks. The third study seeks to identify paternal factors that support and or undermine positive maternal and child outcomes in a population of women at risk for bearing premature and or under weight babies.

Supporting Successful Community Reintegration Following Incarceration

Every community across the United States faces the challenge of reintegrating community members removed because of incarceration. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in urban communities and communities of color. This challenge is compounded by situational and structural factors that impact those communities to effectively manage and facilitate the successful return of their residents. In this study, Dr. Gordon seeks to isolate factors that are essential the development of effective reintegration activities.