Matthew Matsaganis

The following are research projects that I am currently engaged in. For more information on any of these studies, please contact me at: mmatsaganis@albany.edu.

Women's Health Project

Since 2012, I have been the Co-Principal Investigator (with Annis Golden) on the Women’s Health Project (WHP), a project funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities through a grant to the University at Albany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities. This multiyear project was designed to identify strategies for overcoming barriers to reproductive healthcare-seeking and improve African American women’s reproductive health by increasing uptake of services available in their local community. My collaboration with Annis Golden has led to several papers and presentations. For more information on the Women’s Health Project, including related publications and publications, please see the WHP’s Website: http://www.albany.edu/womenshealthproject/

Project ReBOUND: Mental Health and Urban Communities during Economic Crises

This project extends my research on communication as determinant of health in urban communities, by investigating how residents experience and cope with stress at times of crises. In this direction and in the context of the recent, global economic crisis, I have examined (with colleague Mihye Seo) how the interplay of media consumption, perceived economic threat, and community belonging—conceived as a social support mechanism—impacted stress among New York City residents. This project received initial support through a faculty development grant from the Department of Communication at the University at Albany (SUNY). In the first paper published out of Project ReBOUND in Communication Research Reports, we showed that media did not impact stress directly, but rather indirectly by influencing how threatened individuals felt by the adverse economic environment and their sense of community belonging. Community belonging played a protective role against stress. When perceived economic threat grew too severe, however, its buffering effects dissipated (Matsaganis & Seo, 2014). Two new manuscripts are currently in development based on two waves of data we have collected. We are also working on extending the study by incorporating relevant demographic and other geo-spatial data to facilitate the investigation of how changes (e.g., increases in unemployment or poverty) during periods of crisis in a person’s neighborhood (city, country, or in larger ecological units) shape communication and other social processes through which the effects of the crisis are felt by individuals.

Broadband Internet Adoption & Ethnic Media Organizations in New York City

A grant from the Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM), based at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, enabled the launch in 2014 of an in-depth, multimethod examination of how ethnic media organizations in New York City use the Internet and what factors enable and constrain the adoption by these organizations of broadband Internet-based technologies and services. The study will inform research regarding the potential of ethnic media as institutions through which Internet use can be promoted among the city’s diverse immigrant and ethnic communities, but also as social mechanisms through which communication resource inequalities and digital literacy disparities can be addressed. For additional information regarding my research on ethnic media, please see my curriculum vitae, which can be found at: http://www.albany.edu/communication/m_matsaganis.php

Updated June 2014