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History of Nia

The research program was founded by Nadine J. Kaslow, Ph.D. in the early 1990s. Since that time six projects, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the National Institute of Mental Health, have been undertaken.

Our first research project investigates both risk factors (including intimate partner violence) and protective factors for suicide attempts in African American women.

Our second study examines risk and protective factors for suicide attempts in abused, African American women.

Third, we are assessing a culturally-relevant group empowerment intervention program for abused, suicidal African American women to see if it was more helpful in improving adjustment than standard care.

The fourth project focuses on evaluating a culturally-informed group intervention program for suicidal women, some of whom had experienced intimate partner violence.

Fifth, we have become interested in prevention. As a result, we are focusing our efforts on studying a group intervention designed to prevent suicidal behavior in a group of abused African American women who had never previously attempted suicide.

Sixth, we are expanding our efforts to examine culturally-informed, empowerment-based, psychoeducational interventions for abused and suicidal African American women to see if it is more beneficial than standard care in reducing suicidal thoughts, depression, and domestic violence.

The research project was named “Nia” in 1999. “Nia” is a principle of Kwanzaa, and means “Purpose.” It is our hope that through involvement in our program, women will find a new sense of purpose and make a new commitment to living.

The Grady Nia Project collaborates with many other agencies in the community to provide a wide range of services and resources to women in the Atlanta area.