Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have initiated a research collaboration with the Federation of Indian Associations New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New England (FIA NY-NJ-CT-NE) to investigate the unique challenges faced by second-generation Indian American youth. Led by psychology researcher Ritika Rastogi, the Developmental Risk and Cultural Resilience Program aims to explore the social, cultural, and health experiences of Indian American adolescents.

The primary objective of the proposed research study, for which funding is being requested from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to generate recommendations for schools and community organizations to better support the mental health and positive development of Indian American youth. The research team intends to engage Indian American teens in medical research focused on culture and mental health through collaboration with FIA NY-NJ-CT-NE, providing them with opportunities for involvement and empowerment.

The relevance of this collaboration with FIA NY-NJ-CT-NE lies in the organization's commitment to preserving Indian culture in America and nurturing the growth of Indian American youth as community members and leaders. The research team aims to obtain the perspectives and experiences of Indian American teens and their families to ensure that the study is informed by their views.

Past research endeavors with Chinese Americans in Greater Boston have shown that community workshops, college and career panels, and educational sessions for parents on teen mental health have the potential to be effective. A similar collaboration with FIA NY-NJ-CT-NE could produce equally beneficial results, promoting dialogue, awareness, and support within the Indian American community.

As Rastogi emphasizes the importance of community support for the research project, she urges FIA NY-NJ-CT-NE and other Indian American community leaders to contribute letters of support to demonstrate the study's significance to the community. Through collective efforts, this collaboration has the potential to make meaningful strides in understanding and addressing the needs of Indian American teens, ultimately promoting their well-being and resilience.

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