GENI, the “Gene, Environment, and Neighborhood Initiative,” examined the influences of genes and neighborhood on the development of a cluster of health issues facing urban, African American youth living in poverty. These health issues – sexual risk taking, substance use, and conduct problems – each have serious consequences for adolescent health and development and may be more problematic for African American teens compared to other racial/ethnic groups.
Recruitment and data collection for GENI is complete. We enrolled 592 teens age 13-18 and their primary caregiver to participate in a cross-sectional study. The adolescents and caregivers were from predominantly African American, very low-income neighborhoods in Mobile, Alabama. Participants were recruited from a community-based, multiple cohort longitudinal study, the Mobile Youth Study (MYS). Data was analyzed so that we can better understand sexual risk taking, substance use, and conduct problems in this population, as well as identify opportunities for preventing or moderating problem behaviors.
Investigator: Brian Mustanski, PhD
Co-Investigators: John Bolland, PhD, Danielle Dick, PhD, David Henry, PhD
Faculty: Gayle Byck, PhD
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse