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Doctoral Faculty Research

At the Silver School of Social Work, doctoral students are given the opportunity to collaborate on faculty projects spanning a variety of topic areas, thereby gaining first-hand experience in conducting social work research. Below is a representative sample of the current research projects directed by NYU Silver’s esteemed faculty.

  • Affective Influences on Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior: Couple & Family Contexts
    PI: Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos
    National Institute of Child Health and Development
    Grant No. 1R01HD064734-01
    Duration of Study: 9/2010 - 6/2015
The project seeks to study Latino and African American adolescents, their parents, and their romantic partners in order to gain a better understanding of the relevant dynamics surrounding adolescent sexual risk behavior. The aim of the research is to gain insight into the bases of adolescent sexual risk behavior by taking into account both the family contexts and the couple contexts that affect sexual risk behavior. This knowledge can then be used to inform the design of parent-based prevention interventions to address risk behavior, as well as other forms of intervention, such as school-based programs.
  • Reducing Sexual Risk Behavior: A Clinic Based Approach
    PI: Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos
    National Institute of Child Health and Development
    Grant No. 1R01HD066159-01
    Duration of Study: 7/2010 - 6/2015

This study seeks to test and refine a parent-based intervention designed to prevent adolescent sexual risk behavior in Latino and African American inner city populations. The intervention uses a novel outreach approach relative to extant parent-based interventions. Specifically, the intervention takes place in a primary healthcare clinic and will be coordinated through allied health professionals when physicians see adolescents for their annual physical examinations. The overall goal of the research program is to further develop and evaluate a practical, effective, and cost-efficient parent intervention that can be used in healthcare settings that will reach large numbers of parents and prevent and/or reduce future adolescent sexual risk behavior.

  • Families Talking Together: Preventing HIV/AIDS among At-Risk Dominican and Haitian Youth 
    PI: Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos
    MAC AIDS Fund
    Duration of Study: 2013-2014

This project seeks to deliver an effective family HIV prevention program designed to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in Sosua, Dominican Republic through the implementation of the Families Talking Together (FTT) program, which has been shown to significantly reduce rates of transitioning to sexual activity among Latino youth in high prevelance communities in the United States. To best reach families in the Dominican Republic, FTT is administered through a community health worker, home-delivery approach while incorporating specialized content to address the unique health needs of youth in tourism areas. 

  • Underage Drinking in Latino Youth
    PI: Dr. James Jaccard
    National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse
    Grant No. 5R01AA016212-03
    Duration of Study: 7/2009 - 7/2014

The present research is a longitudinal study of young Latinos and their mothers. The primary aim of the proposed research is to examine how individual, cultural, and parental/familial factors contribute to drinking behavior among Latino youth. Specifically, we seek to understand the emergence of drinking activity during two crucial transitional periods (from grades 7 to 8 and then from grades 8 to 9).

  • Improving Contraceptive Counseling in the United States
    PI: Dr. James Jaccard
    Grant No. FPRPA006057
    Duration of Study: 2012-2015

The primary aims of the research are to develop a scientifically grounded evidence-based contraceptive counseling protocol, and empirically evaluate its effectiveness in affecting those behaviors as focused on women between the ages of 18 - 30.

  • Community Partnerships to Prevent Urban Youth Health Risks
    PI: Dr. Mary McKay
    National Institute of Mental Health
    Grant No. 5R01MH069934-07
    Duration of Study: 7/2003 - 11/2012

This study seeks to advance scientific knowledge about research/community partnerships to prevent urban health risks that can serve as the foundation for local adaptation, delivery, and testing of evidence-based HIV prevention programs for inner-city African American and Latino adolescents. The response of collaboratively trained community parent HIV educators in the experimental condition of CHAMPions will be examined to assess the delivery of two additional HIV prevention programs, Reducing the Risk and Becoming a Responsible Teen (BART).

  • VUKA Family Program: Supporting Perinatally HIV-infected Youth in South Africa
    PI: Dr. Mary McKay
    National Institute of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Development
    Grant No. 1R01HD074052-01
    Duration of Study: 9/2012 - 9/2017

The primary aim of this study is to meet the urgent need for theory-driven, empirically-informed, effective, and sustainable HIV prevention and care approaches for the unprecedented numbers of perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) youth in some of the most impoverished communities in South Africa (SA). This study aims 1) to increase our understanding of behavioral and health risk in this emerging population, and 2) to examine the impact of a family/household-level intervention, the VUKA Family Program, to promote overall youth health and mental health, and to reduce behavioral risk.

  • Qualitative Study of Mental Health Recovery in Dual Diagnosed Homeless
    PI: Dr. Deborah Padgett
    National Institute of Mental Health
    Grant No. 5R01MH084903-02
    Duration of Study: 9/2010 - 3/2015

This multi-phase longitudinal study aims to identify the common contexts of recovery among dual diagnosed homeless adults served by "housing first" and "treatment first" programs by conducting qualitative research to document barriers and incentives for recovery and real time sequences and contexts. The study aims to recommend changes that will facilitate implementation of recovery-oriented practices in working with the dual diagnosed homeless population from both the consumer's perspective and the collaterals/case managers/organizations’ perspective. Observational data will be incorporated to maximize analytic power and the potential for dissemination to improve the "real world" services offered to this population.