Publications by authors named "Cheryl T Grills"

6 Publications

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Using Participatory Mapping to Diagnose Upstream Determinants of Health and Prescribe Downstream Policy-Based Interventions.

Prev Chronic Dis 2020 11 5;17:E138. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Loyola Marymount University, Psychology Applied Research Center, Los Angeles, California.

Participatory mapping is a powerful methodology for working with community residents to examine social and environmental determinants of public health disparities. However, this empowering methodology has only been applied sparingly in public health research and practice, with limited examples in the literature. To address this literature gap, we 1) review participatory mapping approaches that may be applied to exploring place-based factors that affect community health, and 2) present a mixed-methods participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) examination of neighborhood assets (eg, streetlights) and challenges (eg, spaces of crime and violence) related to access to public parks in South Los Angeles, California. By taking a participatory, fine-grained spatial approach to examining public park access with input from 40 South Los Angeles adolescent and adult residents, our community-engaged PGIS approach identified tobacco shops as previously unrecognized community institutions that are associated with increased neighborhood crime and violence. Our investigation revealed unique challenges in community-level public park access that would likely have been overlooked by conventional spatial epidemiology and social science methods, such as surveys and questionnaires. Furthermore, our granular community-informed approach supported resident and stakeholder advocacy efforts toward reducing the proliferation of tobacco shops through community organizing and policy change initiatives. We thus contend that it would benefit public health research and practice to further integrate empowering, grassroots-based participatory mapping approaches toward informing advocacy efforts and policies that promote health and well-being in disadvantaged communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd17.200123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665598PMC
November 2020

Does African American Women's Racial Identity Mediate Gendered Racism on Anticipated Relationship Threat?

J Interpers Violence 2019 Aug 27:886260519872300. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

3 Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

The present study examined the question of whether racial identity among African American women mediated the relationship between gendered racism and anticipated relationship threat. Using the Multicultural Assessment Intervention Process (MAIP) framework, we examined the relationship of gendered racism, racial identity, and anticipated relationship threat among a convenience sample of 411 African American women. A structural model was configured with gendered racism directly predicting anticipated relationship threat and racial identity serving as a mediator. Results indicated that greater levels of perceived gendered racism were associated with greater perceptions of anticipated relationship threat. Racial identity was found to not mediate the association with anticipated relationship threat. Individuals with less education experienced higher levels of concern regarding physical safety and controlling behaviors than those with more education. Implications for future relationship threat research with African American women are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260519872300DOI Listing
August 2019

The geography of crime and violence surrounding tobacco shops, medical marijuana dispensaries, and off-sale alcohol outlets in a large, urban low-income community of color.

Prev Med 2018 03 24;108:8-16. Epub 2017 Dec 24.

Loyola Marymount University, Psychology Applied Research Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Tobacco shops, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMD), and off-sale alcohol outlets are legal and prevalent in South Los Angeles, California-a high-crime, low-income urban community of color. This research is the first to explore the geographic associations between these three legal drug outlets with surrounding crime and violence in a large low-income urban community of color. First, spatial buffer analyses were performed using point-location and publically accessible January-December 2014 crime data to examine the geography of all felony property and violent crimes occurring within 100, 200, 500, and 1000-foot buffers of these three legal drug outlet types across South Los Angeles. Next, spatial regression analyses explored the geographic associations between density of these outlets and property and violent crimes at the census tract level. Results indicated that mean property and violent crime rates within 100-foot buffers of tobacco shops and alcohol outlets-but not MMDs-substantially exceeded community-wide mean crime rates and rates around grocery/convenience stores (i.e., comparison properties licensed to sell both alcohol and tobacco). Spatial regression analyses confirmed that tobacco shops significantly positively associated with property and violent crimes after controlling for key neighborhood factors (poverty, renters, resident mobility, ethnic/racial heterogeneity). Thus, study findings provide the first empirical evidence that tobacco shops may constitute public health threats that associate with crime and violence in U.S. low-income urban communities of color. Implementing and enforcing control policies that regulate and monitor tobacco shops in these communities may promote community health by improving public safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.12.020DOI Listing
March 2018

Empowerment Praxis: Community Organizing to Redress Systemic Health Disparities.

Am J Community Psychol 2016 12 9;58(3-4):488-498. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Center for Healthy Communities, School of Medicine, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA.

Social and environmental determinants of childhood obesity present a public health dilemma, particularly in low-income communities of color. Case studies of two community-based organizations participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE) childhood obesity initiative demonstrate multilevel, culturally situated community organizing strategies to address the root causes of this public health disparity. Informed by a 3-lens prescription-Social Justice, Culture-Place, and Organizational Capacity-contained in the CCHE Change Model and Evaluation Frame, we present examples of individual, organizational, and community empowerment to redress systemic inequities that manifest in poor health outcomes for people of color. These case studies offer compelling evidence that public health disparities in these communities may effectively be abated through strategies that employ bottom-up, community-level approaches for (a) identifying proximal and distal determinants of public health disparities, and (b) empowering communities to directly redress these inequities. Guided by this ecological framework, application of the CCHE evaluation approach demonstrated the necessity to document the granularity of community organizing for community health, adding to the community psychology literature on empowering processes and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12101DOI Listing
December 2016

Community Organizing for Healthier Communities: Environmental and Policy Outcomes of a National Initiative.

Am J Prev Med 2016 12 3;51(6):916-925. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Environmental Studies, San Jose State University, San Jose, California.

Introduction: Childhood obesity is disproportionately prevalent in communities of color, partially because of structural inequities in the social and built environment (e.g., poverty, food insecurity, pollution) that restrict healthy eating and active living. Community organizing is an underexamined, grassroots health promotion approach that empowers and mobilizes community residents to advocate for, and achieve, environmental and policy changes to rectify these structural inequities. This paper presents outcomes of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities Creating Healthy Environments initiative: the first national program to apply community organizing to combat childhood obesity-causing structural inequities in communities of color.

Methods: Twenty-one community-based organizations and tribal nations (grantees) conducted 3-year community organizing-based interventions primarily designed to increase children's healthy food and safe recreational access. Grantees' policy wins (environmental and policy changes resulting from grantee interventions) were measured from 2009 to 2014 using semi-structured interviews conducted quarterly and 6 months post-grant, and independently coded and reviewed in 2015 by researchers and expert community organizers.

Results: The 21 grantees achieved 72 policy wins (mean=3.43, SD=1.78) across six domains: two directly addressed childhood obesity by enhancing children's healthy food (37.50%) and recreational access (33.33%), whereas four indirectly addressed obesity by promoting access to quality health care (8.33%); clean environments (9.73%); affordable housing (8.33%); and discrimination- and crime-free neighborhoods (2.78%).

Conclusions: These findings provide compelling evidence that community organizing-based interventions designed and led by community stakeholders can achieve diverse environmental and policy solutions to the structural inequities that foment childhood obesity in communities of color.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2016.06.020DOI Listing
December 2016

Communities of Color Creating Healthy Environments to Combat Childhood Obesity.

Am J Public Health 2016 Jan 12;106(1):79-86. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Andrew M. Subica is with the Center for Healthy Communities, School of Medicine, University of California, Riverside. Cheryl T. Grills, Jason A. Douglas, and Sandra Villanueva are with the Psychology Applied Research Center, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.

Ethnic and racial health disparities present an enduring challenge to community-based health promotion, which rarely targets their underlying population-level determinants (e.g., poverty, food insecurity, health care inequity). We present a novel 3-lens prescription for using community organizing to treat these determinants in communities of color based on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities Creating Healthy Environments initiative, the first national project to combat childhood obesity in communities of color using community organizing strategies. The lenses--Social Justice, Culture-Place, and Organizational Capacity-Organizing Approach--assist health professional-community partnerships in planning and evaluating community organizing-based health promotion programs. These programs activate community stakeholders to alter their community's disease-causing, population-level determinants through grassroots policy advocacy, potentially reducing health disparities affecting communities of color.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695934PMC
January 2016