Prevention Research In Substance Use & Minority Health


Research Made Relevant. 

Dr. Tamika Zapolski’s PRISM (Prevention Research In Substance Use and Minority Health) Lab within The Department of Psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) focuses on risk for substance use and other health behaviors among African Americans.

PRISM’s goal is to conduct research illuminating culturally relevant risk/resilience models for substance use and other risk behavior among racial/ethnic minorities to ultimately reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes. Specifically, PRISM examines the interactive effect of cultural variables (e.g., discrimination, racial socialization, racial identity) on physiological, individual level (e.g., personality, expectancies, perceptions of risk), interpersonal (e.g., parental/peer factors, drug norms), and environmental (e.g., access to drugs, school support, neighborhood disorganization) factors to better understand drug choice, course of use and consequences among diverse youth and young adult populations, particularly African Americans.

PRISM also aims to examine the effectiveness of school-based interventions to reduce substance abuse and related emotional and psychological problems among adolescents. PRISM provides a space for students at graduate and undergraduate levels to conduct translational research and receive mentorship in interdisciplinary topics, including minority health disparities, substance use, and psychosocial development.


(317) 278-5880

What We Do


The PRISM lab conducts research on a variety of topics including: 

- Substance Use & Addiction Risk
- African American Substance Use
- Adolescent Risky Behavior
- Health Disparities in Risky Behavior
- Sociocultural Risk/Protective Factors
- Preventive Interventions


The PRISM lab provides an arena for graduate and undergraduate students to get involved in research and receive mentorship in interdisciplinary topics. Students are given the opportunity to get involved at every stage of the research process, including data collection and entry, data analysis, literature review, and manuscript writing. Advanced students also have opportunities to participate in intervention research and realize their own research questions.


PRISM brings empirically-based clinical practice and research to the understanding and prevention of substance use among racial/ethnic minorities. To that end, we maintain relationships with leaders and educators in our local community. These connections allow us to conduct etiological and intervention research in diverse community and school settings in order to best understand social, cultural, and environmental influences on mental health.


Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are
— Martin Luther King, Jr.