In JAMA Pediatrics Editorial, Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos Presents Strategies for Effective Parent-Based Interventions to Impact Adolescent Sexual Behavior

July 29, 2019

In an editorial published today in the peer-reviewed medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, NYU Silver Professor and Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) Director Vincent Guilamo-Ramos presents strategies for developing "effective, efficient, and scalable" parent-based interventions to improve adolescent and young adult (AYA) sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

Dr. Guilamo-Ramos co-authored the editorial, entitled "Parent-Based Interventions to Affect Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: Reconsidering the Best Evidence vs All Evidence," with CLAFH colleagues Adam Benzekri and Marco Thimm-Kaiser.

The editorial appears in the same issue of JAMA Pediatrics as a paper entitled "Assessment of Parent-Based Interventions for Adolescent Sexual Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis," by Dr. Laura Widman and colleagues. That paper, which to Dr. Guilamo-Ramos and colleagues' knowledge is the first comprehensive meta-analysis of published literature on such interventions, found "a significant positive association of parent-based interventions with condom use and sexual communication."

While Dr. Widman and colleagues' significant contribution to the literature evaluates the published evidence on parent-based interventions to affect AYA SRH, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos and colleagues write that "Future research should build on these findings and strengthen the effect sizes of parent-based interventions through implementation of conceptual, methodological and applied strategies designed to result in the 'best and strongest evidence.'" Their editorial provides recommendations for doing just that with intervention development strategies detailed in the categories of "Theories of Parental Influence and Adolescent Behavior," "Methodological Considerations," and "Intervention Delivery, Context, Sample, and Implementation."

The need for effective, efficient, and scalable interventions to improve AYA SRH is underscored by the statistics that Dr. Guilamo-Ramos and colleagues cite at the top of their editorial. They write, "Each year since 2010, AYAs ages 13 to 24 years have been estimated to account for more than one in five new individuals who contract HIV. Similarly, AYA's ages 15 to 24 years consistently account for more than 50% of individuals who contract an STI annually…Despite significant progress in preventing unplanned pregnancies, approximately 200,000 are born to adolescence ages 15 to 19 years annually."

Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is a leading expert in the role of families in promoting adolescent health. He has been the principal investigator of numerous federally funded research grants for his work on adolescent risk behavior. At present, he and his colleagues are working on the development of a father-based SRH intervention, Fathers Raising Responsible Men (FRRM) designed to improve male AYA SRH. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Adolescent Health has identified FRRM as a successful strategy for addressing adolescent males SRH needs (see: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/grant-programs/teen-pregnancy-prevention-program-tpp/successful-strategies/new-york-university/index.html). In addition, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is the principal developer of the Families Talking Together Intervention (FTT). FTT has been identified as an efficacious parent-based intervention by HHS (see: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/grant-programs/teen-pregnancy-prevention-program-tpp/evidence-based-programs/families-talking-together/index.html). Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is trained as both a licensed clinical social worker and nurse practitioner specializing in the cate of HIV+ and at risk AYA.

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