Stress, resilience and racial health disparities

Wilson Figueroa is discovering the link between stress and poor health outcomes in sexual and gender minorities (SGM), particularly the Black SGM community.

Wilson Figueroa, Bucky Foster and Courtney Taylor pose for a photo

(Left to right) Wilson Figueroa, senior consulting research statistician in the College of Public Health, Bucky Foster, a master's student in the College of Public Health and Courtney Taylor, a graduate research assistant (photo by Jodi Miller).

When Wilson Figueroa learned Columbus had received a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s equality index, he was intrigued.  

Is Columbus, or anywhere, truly considered a perfect place to live? 

With this in mind, Figueroa decided to build on his past research on sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) to focus specifically on the Black SGM community. 

“Sexual and gender minorities are at an increased risk for poor mental and physical health outcomes, especially those who are racial minorities,” says Figueroa, a research scientist in the College of Public Health. “Stress may be a risk factor for those disparities.” 

With years of experience in social science and research design, Figueroa created the RISE (Examining Race, gender Identity, and Sexual orientation for health Equity) study to examine the effects of daily stressors in queer persons of color residing in Franklin County.   

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About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College's divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 22nd among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 8-ranked MHA degree program.  The college’s epidemiology specialty was ranked 19th. The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Evaluation Studies (HOPES) and Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP).