Amy Adamczyk

In Funded Scholars
Amy Adamczyk




City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center

Professional Bio

Dr. Amy Adamczyk is Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Programs of Doctoral Study in Sociology and Criminal Justice at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. In 2005 she received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University. She holds MA degrees from the University of Chicago and the Graduate Center/ Queens College, and she completed her BA degree at Hunter College. Her research focuses on how different contexts (e.g. nations, counties, friendship groups), and personal religious beliefs shape people’s deviant, criminal, and health-related attitudes and behaviors. She is the author of thirty-eight peer-reviewed journal articles, and she recently published a book with University of California Press that focuses on the factors that shape cross-national public opinion about homosexuality. With her colleagues she received the 2008 Donald MacNamara Award for outstanding article of the year. In 2009 John Jay College awarded her the Donald MacNamara Award for Junior Faculty, in 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2016 she was the recipient of John Jay College’s Research Excellence Award, and in 2011 she received the John Jay College’s Midcareer Award. Her research has been supported with grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.

Project Description

Young African-American and Latino males disproportionately have poorer health outcomes, in part, because they tend to have more unsupervised time when health compromising behaviors are more likely to occur, and they have less access to resources that would help them make better health-related decisions. A variety of organizations involve disadvantaged youth in activities outside of school. This study examines whether programs supported by religious groups and organizations, in contrast to other programs, are more likely to bring about better health-related behaviors for young African-American and Latino men. The health-related behaviors of interest are sex-related decisions, substance use and physical and mental health. The specific aims are: 1) determine whether programs sponsored by religious groups differ from other programs in their influence on the health-related behaviors of young Latino, African-American and White males; 2) identify which health-related behaviors are most influenced by religion sponsored programs for young Latino and African-American men; and 3) identify the processes through which programs supported by religious groups influence young Latino and African-American men’s health-related behaviors.

The analysis will be conducted using two waves of data from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), which is a national telephone survey of American youth and contains a rich array of religion and health-related measures. The analytical sample will be limited to young White, Latino, and African-American men who completed both waves of the survey. Multivariate regression models with lagged dependent variables will be used to assess the influence of program involvement for young men’s health-related behaviors. Findings from this study will assist policy-makers and program leaders in developing and allocating resources for after-school, weekend and evening programs that are most likely to bring about better health outcomes for young Latino and African-American males.

My New Connections Experience

I applied for the New Connections program because of the support they were willing to provide to help me carry out my research project to assess the role of religion-supported programs for young Latino and African-American males health-related behaviors. In addition to release-time and other financial resources, the New Connections program has provided me with high-quality mentoring, advice, seminars, colleagues and so forth to help me succeed as an academician and researcher. This is not your average funding opportunity. The New Connections program is there to mentor their grant recipients every step of the way. While the foundation is certainly interested in the results of my study, it also wants to help me grow as an academician and researcher.

With New Connections funding, I have been able to get the release time from my position as an assistant professor to carry out my project. Hence, the New Connections program is contributing directly to my productively by allowing me the time needed to conduct analysis and write papers. Additionally, they are including me in several of their seminars and meetings where I am learning about research and analysis issues that are directly relevant to the projects on which I am currently working. Moreover, at these seminars and clinics, I am meeting people who are doing similar research on health disparities, which is expanding my social networks and increasing my social capital. I am also learning at these meetings how to strategize to obtain goals, like tenure. Finally, I am regularly talking with a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation mentor about additional funding opportunities and how to leverage the research I am doing to limit health disparities in the United States. All of these things will help make me a better professor, researcher and mentor.

Research Interests

Health; Religion; Crime and Delinquency; Deviance; Social Theory
The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2009
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Vulnerable Populations
  • Project Name: Does It Make a Health Difference? The Role of Programs Sponsored by Religious Groups for Improving Latino and African American Men’s Health-Related Behaviors.

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