ICR’s work includes research and programming on a wide range of topics related to social justice, disparities, cultural representation, and community partnerships. Our research addresses health and wellbeing across the age spectrum and uses cutting edge social science and participatory research methodologies. Click on the links below for more information and examples of research and programming in each area of ICR’s work:

Youth Homelessness Simulation Model

Participatory model building with partners, policymakers, and other stakeholders to create a tool useful in identifying interventions to eliminate youth homelessness in Connecticut.

Community Research Alliance Capacity-Building

The focus of the Community Research Alliance (CRA) is to help define and create the infrastructure for equitable, good and sustainable community research partnerships and research on health and other disparities that is scientifically sound and immediately beneficial to the communities involved.

Project LEAD (Laws to Eliminate Abuse and Diversion)

This three-state collaborative project investigates the influence of state laws in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, on the transition from prescription opioids to injecting non-prescription opioids and/or heroin injection.

Enhancing Community Capacity for Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse

ICR is working with the West Hartford Substance Abuse Prevention Commission (WHSAPC) and community partners to develop a community needs assessment and strategic plan to reduce prescription drug misuse among West Hartford youth and young adults, with particular attention to minority, high-risk youth.

Youth Food Program Alliance

The Youth Food Program Alliance brings together effective systems change, agriculture, and culinary programs working with young people across CT to build their abilities and resources.

RISHTA: Reducing Alcohol consumption to improve ART adherence in PLWA in India

The number of people living with HIV in India exceeds 2 million. India faces a major challenge in providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) services in the next decades to several million people who live with or will acquire HIV/AIDS.

Youth Action Hub

The Youth Action Hub is a center of research and advocacy staffed and led by youth/young adults to contribute youth voice in current research and policy advocacy around youth homelessness in Connecticut.

Participatory System Dynamics Modeling to Simulate HIV Test-and-Treat Improvements

This study uses community participatory system dynamics (SD) group model building (GMB) and multiple data sources to build a SD computational/simulation model of the HIV care continuum in Greater Hartford, CT as a tool to reduce the epidemic.

Evaluation of a rapid re-housing program for young adults

This project evaluates the impact of a youth-centric rapid re-housing program on the lives of young people involved, tracking participants’ outcomes (housing stability, emotional and physical health) in six-month increments for up to two years during and/or after engagement in the program.

HIV Community Viral Load (CVL) Study

This study is designed to engage multiple community stakeholders, including providers and people with HIV, to develop a comprehensive system dynamics model that can be used to understand how systemic processes affect HIV community viral load (CVL).

Sexual Minority Youth Action Research Project

The Sexual Minority Youth Action Research Project of the Youth Action Research Institute trains lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth of color and their allies to use research as a tool for addressing issues of concern and importance to them, their communities and schools. Teams of Community Youth Researchers conducted research on the availability of and access to support systems for urban, primarily minority, LGBTQ youth in two urban areas of Connecticut.

Coalition Building and Youth Substance Abuse Prevention in West Hartford, CT

ICR's prevention program in West Hartford is a collaboration between the West Hartford Substance Abuse Prevention Commission, Institute for Community Research, West Hartford high school students and school administration, and community members.

Youth Action Research for Prevention

This three-year project built upon 12 years of prior intervention projects that conducted Participatory Action Research for social change and risk prevention, with both youth and adults. The project followed three previously CSAP funded YPAR interventions for substance use prevention, Teen Action Research for Prevention (TARP), Urban women against substance abuse (UWASA), a mother-daughter program and Desarollando el poder dentro de ti, a prevention program to strengthen Puerto Rican families in the context of community substance abuse activities. Youth Action Research for Prevention offered ICR the opportunity to conduct a much needed rigorous evaluation of the process and outcomes of a YPAR program for prevention filling a gap in the YPAR literature.

Youth Rxeaction

This YARI project involved West Hartford teens in investigations of prescription drug misuse in their town.

A Study of the Risks and Resilience of Unstably Housed Youth

This pilot study sought to understand the risks and resilience of unaccompanied unstably housed youth living in small urban areas in Connecticut with high HIV prevalence, and to pilot test an internet-based peer recruitment methodology (webRDS) to reach groups of youth who are not using services.

Resident Engagement Through Action Research for Community and Family Strengthening

Residents from two Hartford neighborhoods used a participatory action research framework to shape their inquiry into what their communities need to thrive.

Resilience Grows Here

Resilience Grows Here is a community-based veteran’s mental health initiative run by the Farmington Valley Health District.

The Sewing Circle Project

The Sewing Circle Project assists newcomer, refugee, and immigrant textile artists to produce and sustain their traditional art forms and share their work and cultural expressions with public audiences.

Violence-Free Zone

As a part of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) and Viole-Free Zone (VFZ) initiatives, this project aimed to map out assets in the 06210 zip code of Hartford useful in preventing violence. Young researchers worked in this summer intensive to learn basic research methods and present their findings to decision makers.

Supplement to Pathways to High-Risk Drug Abuse Among Urban Youth: Club Drugs

This supplement grant to the study, "Pathways to High-Risk Drug Abuse Among Urban Youth" sought to understand and document the social and cultural contexts of "club" or "designer" drug use, and sex risks associated with the influx of these new drugs among urban youth in Hartford, CT.

VIP: Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention

The purpose of this intervention study V.I.P.: Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention was to improve influenza vaccination rates among older, low-income, and minority adults who live independently in senior housing facilities in Hartford, CT. Nationally, this group has the highest risk for influenza, yet the lowest vaccination rates. The study utilized an empowerment model to build a residential public health committee that was trained in the benefits of flu vaccine. Facilitated by project staff, the committee received interactive flu education, conducted a two-month long flu campaign, and organized flu vaccination clinics. A pre-post evaluation in one intervention and one matched comparison building compared changes in knowledge, attitudes and rates of vaccine uptake among building residents.

Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention (VIP) Pilot Study

The purpose of Project V.I.P. was to develop materials and approaches for an intervention study designed to increase flu vaccination rates among low-income, ethnically diverse older adults living independently in senior housing in Hartford, CT. The study assessed a theory-driven, peer-led intervention to identify and remove barriers to influenza vaccination and evaluated the utility of a pre-post survey.

International Initiatives to Prevent HIV/STD

This study addressed the difficulty encountered in trying to engage males in reproductive health education, sexual risk and early HIV/STD treatment in three urban communities in Mumbai, India. The project tested an intervention approach that addresses culturally- based perceptions of masculinity, vitality, sexual performance and fertility as HIV/STD risk indicators.

AIDS Risk in Older Adult Senior Housing Residents

The goal of this study was to explore the drug and sexual risks that contributed to the spread of HIV among minority, lower income adults living in senior housing and shelters in Hartford, CT and Chicago, IL. The study considered whether older adult buildings in neighborhoods where injection drug use is common can be central locations for high-risk activities and associated HIV transmission. Research results were used as a foundation for individual and group-based intervention strategies appropriate for this population.

Comprehensive Elementary School AIDS Education

The Comprehensive Elementary School AIDS Education project tested the effectiveness of a comprehensive AIDS education curriculum in public elementary and middle schools in New Haven, CT. Based upon theories of social cognition and influence, the curriculum includes problem-solving and communication skills development, and peer-education. The project was centered at the Yale University School of Medicine; ICR staff coordinated the process evaluation.

A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Perceived Risk for HIV

This developmental study investigated the underlying dimensions and meanings of perceived HIV risk/susceptibility among young, urban men who have sex with men (MSM) of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Qualitative research was used to assess meanings underlying traditional measures of perceived risk. Results from qualitative analysis were used to develop a psychometrically sound scale of Perceived Risk for AIDS. This project provided the groundwork for larger longitudinal studies on the topic.

Diffusing Youth-Based Participatory Action Research for Prevention Model

The Diffusing Youth-Based Participatory Action Research for Prevention project piloted and created an abbreviated curriculum and implementation manual designed for youth-serving organizations. This project explored how ICR's theory-driven substance abuse prevention model, which uses a participatory action research (PAR) training process as the basis for youth risk-prevention and education through skill-building, empowerment and problem-solving, can be shortened and adapted for use by youth workers in different settings and with different urban populations.

Building Youth Leadership Capacity in Food Justice Campaigns

ICR is working with food justice organizations across Connecticut to develop the next generation of leaders in the local food justice movement.

Youth Participatory Action Research to Reduce Teen Substance Use in Meriden

This youth participatory action research (YPAR) program is a year round youth employment opportunity for economically disadvantaged youth in Meriden, Connecticut, funded by the Workforce Alliance, Inc.

CHAP: Serving Connecticut’s traditional artists and their communities

A longstanding program of the Institute for Community Research, the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CHAP) serves as the state’s official folk and traditional arts initiative.

RDS Network and Peer Recruitment Dynamics

Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) has gained its popularity internationally for its cost effectiveness in reaching hidden populations and claimed ability to make unbiased population estimates.

Assessing Perceived Risk of Dental Treatments for Pregnant Women on Medicaid

This exploratory study was designed to examine barriers to the provision of allowable dental care to pregnant patients on Medicaid in Connecticut, despite the known benefits and safety of prenatal dental care.

Building the Capacity of Facilitators to Implement YPAR in Oregon

OHA and ICR partnered to develop and evaluate a set of training resources to accompany ICR's YPAR Curriculum Adapted for Oregon.

Good Oral Health Project

This project was designed to build infrastructure for clinical and community-based training and research on geriatric oral health and to build a statewide oral health research alliance to promote geriatric oral health projects.

AAPI PAR Study I. Experience of Stress and Substance Use among AAPI Students

This study is a supplemental study of NIDA funded R01 research named IDU Peer Recruitment Dynamics and Network Structure in Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS).

Translation of the Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) for Drug Treatment Clinic Implementation

The goal of this 3-year study was to translate the Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) project for implementation in outpatient drug treatment clinics and to pilot test the modified intervention in two methadone clinics.

Multilevel Female Condom Intervention

This 4-year study sought to enhance HIV prevention by increasing community-wide availability, accessibility, and support for use of the female condom to reduce transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy.

China/U.S. Women’s Health Project

This was a 5-year study of HIV risk and social dynamics in sex-work establishments conducted in two rural and two mid-sized urban towns in Hainan and Guanxi Provinces, China.

Food Fight!

This innovative project continues ICR’s work with youth participatory action research, leadership development and promotion of social change in the area of food justice.

Smokeless Tobacco Project

This 3-year study of a "slum" community in Mumbai identified outlets and available forms of smokeless tobacco and examined women’s smokeless tobacco practices in relation to their reproductive health.

Drug Use, Housing Access, Stability and HIV Risk among Low-Income Urban Residents

This 4-year study explored the relationship between structural factors of housing (access to housing subsidies and programs, status and stability) and HIV risk among low-income drug users compared to non-drug users.

MDMA Project

The purpose of this study was to discover whether and in what ways MDMA contributes to sexual behavior and decision making, and when its use is associated with lack of protection.

Xperience Project

This unique study piloted a performance-based intervention in partnership with Hartford youth, who developed drug-prevention messages to incorporate into performances of local artists at live shows, then disseminated them via a CD and other media.

Alcohol, Sexual Risk and HIV Prevention in Mumbai, India

This three-year study investigated how alcohol may contribute to  risky sexual activities that lead to HIV transmission among married and unmarried men and their sexual partners in three low income slums in the Mumbai metropolitan area.

Female Condom Study

This four-year study explored factors that enhance or impede initial and long-term use of female condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections.

Rollin’ and Dustin’: Pathways to Urban Life Styles

This traveling exhibit, a collaboration of ICR and the Hartford Animation Institute, was designed to present almost 10 years of research findings on the lifestyles and drug use of young people in Hartford, CT. 

Urban Lifestyles: Club Drugs, Resource Inequities and Health Risks in Urban Youth

This cutting-edge study examined the mechanisms through which potentially dangerous new club, dance-related and prescription drugs (often referred to as "designer drugs") were diffusing into the urban environment in Hartford.

Microbicides Acceptability Among Sex Workers in Southern China

This 3-year study examined readiness among female sex workers in Hainan and Guangxi Provinces, China, for vaginal microbicides and the female condom to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Urban Artists’ Initiative (UAI): Urban Artists’ Initiative (formerly Inner City Cultural Development (ICCD) Project)

The Urban Artists Initiative provided culturally and ethnically diverse artists and arts organizations in Connecticut with training, grants, mentors, technical assistance, and staff support needed to thrive and enrich the cultural health of their communities.

Recipes for Life

"Recipes for Life" explored the ways in which older adults successfully cope with the aging process. Through an arts-based intervention, older adults shared life experiences and thoughts on successful aging.

NIDA New Haven

This intervention study is developing, conducting and evaluating a new approach to drug and sex-risk prevention in urban middle schools.

Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Older Hartford Residents

This three-year study identified the predictors and prevalence of depression and anxiety in a residential community of older, primarily minority, adults living in public and private senior housing in Hartford, CT.

Project Protect

This three-year study conducted in Hartford, CT explored readiness for use of vaginal microbicides as HIV prevention among women involved in high-risk activities, such as drug use and risky sex.

Pathways to High-Risk Drug Abuse Among Urban Youth

This 4-year study identified critical factors responsible for the transition from "soft" or "gateway" drug use to "hard" drug use, including injection drug use, among multiethnic inner city young adults in Hartford, CT.

Study of High-Risk Drug Use Settings (HRS) for HIV Prevention

Research on the dynamics and characteristics of high-risk drug use sites and site user social networks to document HIV-related risks and to assess potential of developing AIDS prevention interventions to be implemented in situ. This is Project 3 of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA).

HIV Prevention in High Risk Drug Use Sites: Project RAP

This study investigated the efficacy and diffusion of a peer-led HIV prevention intervention, implemented by trained, active substance users in partnership with project staff. It was conducted in high-risk substance use settings. The subsequent longitudinal study investigated long-term behavioral effects of the peer-implemented HIV prevention program on trained active substance users and the substance-using contacts to whom they provided the intervention, diffusion of the intervention and its effects through substance-user social networks, and into substance-use sites in Hartford, CT. It also investigated the sustainability of the peer-led HIV prevention intervention.