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McNair Scholar 2010Sarah M. Osman

Sarah M. Osman is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in sociology. Her research interests revolve around maternal and child health, health disparities and community health education. Ms. Osman plans to pursue degrees in public health and nursing.

Sarah M. Osman photo
Change will not be made by those who focus their energy solely on authoring policies. Rather, it will be made by those who take on the challenge of integrating themselves into the communities they serve. I plan to be one of those people. My goal is to develop and manage programs and organizations that help women, children, and families improve and preserve their health. I aim to accomplish this goal through provision of preventative care, community health education, and outreach activities.

Research project

African American Children’s Mental Health Issues: Are They Being Properly Addressed?

Abstract: Adults’ treatment of African American children’s mental health issues was examined utilizing peer-reviewed literature and focus group data. Data was collected by Dr. Sonya S. Brady and Dr. Willie Winston III as part of their project, “Stress-Related Health Disparities among African American Youth: A Systemic Focus on Risk and Resiliency.” Both peer-reviewed literature and focus group data show that parents believe African American children’s mental health issues are not being properly addressed. Statements by parents during focus groups suggest that children’s behavior is being misdiagnosed, which may result in overmedication and erroneous placement in special education programs. This process may be attributed to inappropriate and/or inadequate responses from teachers, health professionals, and perhaps at times, the parents themselves. Further, peer-reviewed literature and focus group data suggest that adults may treat symptoms differently based on children’s ethnicity, which may exacerbate mental health and academic problems experienced by African American youth. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Sonya S. Brady is assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Dr. Brady received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and biological/health psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research specializes in health risk behavior during adolescence and young adulthood; developmental influences on risk-taking; socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in consequences of risk-taking; mechanisms linking stressful life circumstances to health risk behavior and factors promoting resiliency; promotion of health protective behavior; and public policies affecting adolescent health. Dr. Brady has been a McNair faculty mentor for the past two years.