Institute for Special Populations Research


Director: Eloise Dunlap

The Institute for Special Population Research (ISPR) investigates the epidemiology and consequences of drug use and abuse among diverse, at-risk populations including poor and low-income minority adults and their families, military veterans and adolescents. ISPR specializes in qualitative research and has a well-trained ethnographic staff in New York as well as in other cities. The Institute uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand patterns of drug use and sales, drug market trends, racial disparities in HIV/AIDS and the role of drugs and alcohol in HIV risk behavior.


Recent and current research focuses on: the processes by which drug markets are reformulated after natural disasters (which enhances broader understanding of drug-market dynamics); the underlying dynamics and context of sexual behavior among low-income heterosexual Black adults with multiple partners; substance use and HIV risk among non-gay identified Black men who have sex with men and women; mental health, substance use and reintegration among OIF/OEF veterans in New York City; the contributions of cohabiting partners to adolescent development in low-income African American households; and subcultural and behavioral domains in which particular video game use habits predict greater substance-related health risks and resiliencies.