Pioneering Research

Innovative Research that Transforms Lives

NYU Silver faculty and students conduct an extraordinary range of innovative, high-impact research, with a focus on proactive services and preventive interventions that transform lives. Current faculty projects funded by the National Institutes of Health include studies that are seeking to optimize an intervention for vulnerable populations living with HIV; investigating the role that ethnic identity plays in marginalized young adults’ mental health service use, identifying modifiable determinants of child neglect, and testing a novel intervention to keep Black adolescents engaged in depression treatment. These are just a few of the ways NYU Silver is harnessing science for public impact.

Mother guiding a young child on a bike with training wheels while the father follows behind

Showing the Power of Families Talking Together to Reduce Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior

Health care providers and parents have been valuable partners in managing adolescent sexual and reproductive health. But research has been limited on the efficacy of “triadic” interventions, or those implemented with parents and providers with the goal of reducing adolescent sexual risk behavior. Now, an NIH-funded randomized clinical trial conducted by Professor and CLAFH Director Vincent Guilamo-Ramos and colleagues shows the efficacy of Families Talking Together, a triadic intervention to postpone adolescent sexual debut and to promote condom use among adolescents aged 11 to 14.

Cover of the Families Talking Together intervention manuals

Looking Upstream to Prevent Problems

Assistant Professor Kathrine Sullivan and Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow/Assistant Professor Carolina Vélez-Grau have been awarded grants from our Dean’s Upstream Research Seed Fund to support their early research projects that offer high promise of yielding new evidence-based prevention strategies. Dr. Sullivan's study is exploring factors influencing the mental health of military spouses, described as the foundation of resilience processes in their families, to identify avenues for preventing adverse outcomes among service members and their families. Dr. Vélez-Grau is studying interpersonal factors associated with suicidal thoughts among Black and Latinx adolescents in order to inform suicide preventive approaches for this high-risk population. 

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Robust Support for Impactful Scientific Research

NYU Silver’s Office for Research facilitates the conduct of research, fosters relevant skill development, and helps disseminate findings. 

Using an Engineering-Inspired Framework to Optimize an HIV Intervention

Professor and Associate Dean of Research Marya Gwadz and her Heart to Heart 2 study team (pictured here) are using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) framework, developed by Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Linda M. Collins, to design an optimized intervention to foster engagement along the HIV care continuum for Black and Latinx people living with HIV who are neither taking antiretroviral therapy nor well engaged in HIV primary care. The National Institute of Drug Abuse funded study is the first application of the MOST framework in the field of HIV treatment and prevention. 

Dr. Gwadz standing amongst the Heart to Heart team

Exploring the Role of Ethnic Identity in Young Adults’ Mental Health Service Use

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) awarded Assistant Professor Kiara L. Moore a Diversity Research Supplement to Professor Michelle R. Munson’s NIMH-funded randomized controlled trial of a brief intervention aimed at helping young adults develop a positive mental health narrative, feel less discrimination, experience more hope, and ultimately decide to continue a mental health treatment plan that works for them. With the funding and mentorship from Dr. Munson, Dr. Moore is investigating the role that identity and identity development play in minority young adults’ decision to maintain their mental health treatment.

Assistant Professor Kiara Moore presenting in front of a projected screen

Countering the Narrative that Street Homeless are “Service Resistant”

A team of NYU Silver researchers led by Professor Deborah Padgett found that bureaucratic barriers rather than personal intransigence lead many street homeless people in New York City to refuse outreach workers’ offers of shelter. The qualitative study was based on interviews with a random sample of homeless men and women living on the streets in Manhattan neighborhoods with high concentrations of street homelessness. According Dr. Padgett, co-lead of the Grand Challenges for Social Work's End Homelessness Challenge, “Our research indicates if people were really being offered permanent housing, they would take it without hesitation. The allure of living on the streets is a myth.”

Graphic of city scape with human figure cutouts walking toward the word housing

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