Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Associate Dean of Public Health Innovation
Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Ralph DiClemente was trained as a Health Psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco where he received his PhD in 1984 after completing a ScM at the Harvard School of Public Health. He earned his undergraduate degree at the City University of New York.
Dr. DiClemente’s research has four key foci:
- Developing interventions to reduce the risk of HIV/STD among vulnerable populations
- Developing interventions to enhance vaccine uptake among high-risk adolescents and women, such as HPV and influenza vaccine
- Developing implementation science interventions to enhance the uptake, adoption and sustainability of HIV/STD prevention programs in the community
- Developing diabetes screening and behavior change interventions to identify people with diabetes who are unaware of their disease status as well as reduce the risk of diabetes among vulnerable populations.
He has focused on developing intervention packages that blend community and technology-based approaches that are designed to optimize program effectiveness and enhance programmatic sustainability.
Dr. DiClemente is the author of ten CDC-defined, evidence-based interventions for adolescents and young African-American women and men. He is the author of more than 540 peer-review publications, 150 book chapters, and 21 books. He serves as a member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council.
Previously, Dr. DiClemente served as the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He was also Associate Director of the Center for AIDS Research, and was previously Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health.
Dr. DiClemente is Past President of the Georgia chapter of the Society for Adolescent Health & Medicine. He previously served as a member of the CDC Board of Scientific Counselors, and the NIMH Advisory Council.
BA, The City College of the City University of New York (CCNY), New York, NYScM, Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MAPhD, Health Psychology, University of California San Francisco Center for Behavioral Sciences, San Francisco, CAPostdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco, CA
Community InterventionsDiabetesHIV/AIDSImplementation scienceInfluenzaPsychology
Behavioral counseling associated with STI preventionDiClemente, R. J.
Journal titleJournal of Pediatrics
Correlates of depression among Black girls exposed to violenceWaller, B., Quinn, C. R., Boyd, D., DiClemente, R., & Voisin, D. R.
Journal titleJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health DisparitiesAbstractDepression rates for youth remanded to juvenile detention is double that of the general population and Black girls are especially vulnerable. A dearth of literature analyzes the factors that are correlated with depression among system-involved Black girls, ages 12–17 years old. We utilized personal agency to examine the relationship between risk factors (i.e., abuse history, and fear of condom negotiation) and protective factors (i.e., condom self-efficacy, and perceived social support) that might correlate with depression among Black girls exposed to violence. Findings indicate that fear of condom negotiation, abuse history and low condom self-efficacy are correlated with depressive symptomology while self-esteem and perceived social support are protective factors that may serve as a buffer against girls’ feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The findings of this study suggest several implications for prevention and intervention efforts to reduce the depression-related risks among justice-involved Black females, including strategies that promote healing within their social support networks.
A longitudinal examination of African American adolescent females detained for status offenseKim, B. K. E., Quinn, C. R., Logan-Greene, P., DiClemente, R., & Voisin, D.
Journal titleChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume108AbstractIntroduction: Behaviors like truancy, running away, curfew violation, and alcohol possession fall under the status offense category and can have serious consequences for adolescents. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and Prevention Act prohibited detaining status offenders. We explored the degree to which African American adolescent girls were being detained for status offenses and the connections to their behavioral health risks and re-confinement. Methods: 188 African American girls (aged 13–17), recruited from detention facilities, were surveyed at baseline and 3-month follow-ups. Logistic regression models estimated the likelihood of longitudinal re-confinement, controlling for sexual and behavioral health risk factors. Results: One third of the overall sample was detained for a status offense. Status offenders were exposed to higher peer risk profiles. At follow-up, nearly 39% of status offenders reported re-confinement. Compared to youth with other offenses, those who violated a court order (type of status offense) were 3 times more likely to be re-confined. Controlling for sexual and behavioral health risk factors, the odds of re-confinement was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Overall findings suggest that courts and detention facilities must devote specialized resources to addressing the socio-behavioral needs of African American girls with status offenses so as not to use detention as an intervention.
A system-level intervention to encourage collaboration between juvenile justice and public health agencies to promote hiv/sti testingElkington, K. S., Spaulding, A., Gardner, S., Knight, D., Belenko, S., Becan, J. E., Robertson, A. A., Oser, C., & Diclemente, R.
Journal titleAIDS Education and Prevention
Page(s)337-355AbstractJustice-involved youth are at high risk for HIV and STIs, and justice agencies are uniquely poised to offer HIV/STI testing. However, testing in these settings is not routine and represents a missed opportunity. This study describes a system-level implementation intervention designed to increase access to HIV/STI testing through juvenile justice (JJ) and public health agency collaboration across six counties in six states in the United States. Local change teams, active facilitation, and training were utilized to facilitate agency partnerships and development of HIV/STI practice change protocols. Five counties established health and JJ partnerships and four counties successfully implemented their protocols. Sites with HIV/STI education and testing protocols behaviorally screened 98.5% of youth and tested 41.2% of those youth; 0% were HIV+ and 43.2% had an STI. The intervention provides a feasible, scalable solution, through promoting partnerships between JJ and health agencies, to link youth to testing and treatment services.
An Exploratory Structural Equation Model of Stress-Related Experiences Among Justice-Involved Youth: A Gender ComparisonDembo, R., Krupa, J. M., Wareham, J., Faber, J., Cristiano, J., Diclemente, R. J., Terminello, A., & Schmeidler, J.
Journal titleCriminal Justice and Behavior
Page(s)127-144AbstractYouth involved in the juvenile justice system demonstrate greater risk of exposure to negative life experiences. The present study explores the prevalence of three stress-related experiences (sexual assault victimization, bullying/victimization, and minority sexual orientation) among newly arrested adolescents. Gender (biological sex) differences were examined as well as associations with sociodemographic characteristics, depressive symptoms, substance use, and sexually transmitted infection (STI). Factor analyses found a single factor of stress for both genders. Prevalence rates for bullying/victimization, sexual assault victimization, and sexual minority status were higher for girls than boys. Girls were also more likely than boys to test positive for STIs and experience depressive symptoms, while boys were more likely than girls to test positive for marijuana use. Depression and drug-related problems were associated with the stress construct for girls only. Bivariate comparisons with the three stress measures and sociodemographic characteristics indicated age and race effects. Implications are discussed.
Can a Multilevel STI/HIV Prevention Strategy for High Risk African American Adolescents Improve Life Satisfaction?Zullig, K. J., Valois, R. F., Hobbs, G. R., Kerr, J. C., Romer, D., Carey, M. P., Brown, L. K., DiClemente, R. J., & Vanable, P. A.
Journal titleJournal of Happiness Studies
Page(s)417-436AbstractAddressing adolescent sexual risk behaviors in the STI/HIV prevention literature is well documented; however, impacts from interventions on life satisfaction are relatively unexplored. This study examined data (n = 1658) from a randomized, multi-site, multi-level STI/HIV prevention intervention trial (Project iMPAACS) to determine whether increased protective and reduced sexual risk-taking behaviors associated with STI/HIV would also improve self-reported life satisfaction. Taking into account the nested study design and controlling for confounders, a mixed model ANOVA was performed where Total mean life satisfaction scores were analyzed at baseline and 3, 6, 12, and 18 months post-recruitment. Significance levels of 0.05 were used to determine significance and η2 was used to assess effect size. We hypothesized that as intervention participants engaged in the intentional activity associated with increasing protective behaviors and reducing sexual risk-taking behaviors associated with STI/HIV, life satisfaction reports would also improve over the course of the intervention. A significant main effect for sex was detected (F = 5.19, p =.02, η2 =.03), along with three interactions: between experimental condition and media intervention (F = 7.96, p =.005, η2=.04); experimental condition, sex, and media intervention (F = 6.51, p =.01, η2 =.04); and experimental condition, sex, assessment point, and media intervention (F = 3.23, p =.01, η2 =.02). With the exception of the control condition, female life satisfaction reports improved from baseline assessments to 18-months post-recruitment, whereas male reports decreased. Project iMPPACS was not designed with the intent on improving participants’ life satisfaction. However, study results suggest incorporating strategies to address subjective well-being into future adolescent STI/HIV risk-reduction interventions is beneficial for females and additional research is necessary for males.
Compassion Meditation Training for Hospital Chaplain Residents: A Pilot StudyAsh, M. J., Walker, E. R., DiClemente, R. J., Florian, M. P., Palmer, P. K., Wehrmeyer, K., Negi, L. T., Grant, G. H., Raison, C. L., & Mascaro, J. S.
Journal titleJournal of Health Care ChaplaincyAbstractThis study examines the effectiveness of incorporating compassion meditation training into a clinical pastoral education (CPE) curriculum to enhance compassion satisfaction and reduce burnout among hospital chaplain residents. Specifically, a longitudinal, quasi-experimental design was used to examine the impact of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), a group-delivered compassion meditation intervention. Hospital chaplain residents (n = 15) were assigned to participate in a CBCT intervention or a waitlist comparison group. Chaplains assigned to CBCT reported significant decreases in burnout and anxiety compared to the waitlist group; effects were not maintained at 4-month follow-up. Other outcomes, including compassion satisfaction, did not differ significantly but were trending in the expected direction. Findings suggest that compassion meditation training incorporated into CPE promotes chaplain wellbeing, although it may be necessary to extend CBCT throughout residency to sustain effects.
Developmental Changes in Sexual Risk and Substance Use Among African American Females: an Integrated Data Analysis Approach Using Time-varying Effect ModelsSwartzendruber, A., Brown, J. L., Sales, J. M., DiClemente, R. J., Windle, M., & Haardörfer, R.
Journal titlePrevention Science
Page(s)182-193AbstractThe aim of this study was to describe age-related changes in sexual risk and substance use using existing data from three HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention trials conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, that enrolled young African American women. We used two novel analysis methods: integrative data analysis (IDA) and time-varying effect models (TVEM). Each trial collected self-reported behavioral data and vaginal swab specimens assayed for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas. Baseline data from all participants and follow-up data from participants not randomized to an active intervention arm were integrated in a pooled dataset using an IDA approach. The pooled dataset included observations for 1974 individuals, aged 14–25 years for behavioral outcomes and 16–25 years for STI outcomes. We used TVEM to model age-related changes in sexual risk and substance use behaviors and STI acquisition, adjusting for trial as a fixed effect. Coital frequency and condomless sex increased through the early 20s while multiple partnerships remained fairly steady. Alcohol use and cigarette smoking increased through about age 24 years before declining. Marijuana use peaked at age 16–17 years and thereafter generally declined. STI acquisition was highest at age 16 years. This study demonstrates the feasibility and utility of innovative methodological techniques to address novel questions related to adolescent development using existing data from multiple trials. The results suggest that mid-adolescence and the early 20s may be periods of particular risk. The findings may be useful for timing culturally and developmentally relevant prevention interventions for young African American women.
Does Initiating Vaginal Sexual Intercourse During a Safer Sex Media Campaign Influence Life Satisfaction Among African American Adolescents?Zullig, K. J., Valois, R. F., Hobbs, G. R., Romer, D., Brown, L. K., DiClemente, R. J., & Vanable, P. A.
Journal titleJournal of Adolescent Health
Page(s)40-45AbstractPurpose: Addressing adolescent sexual risk behaviors in the STI/HIV prevention literature is well documented; however, intervention impacts on life satisfaction are relatively unexplored. This study is a secondary analysis of data (N = 1,658) from a randomized, multisite, multilevel safer sex media campaign (Project iMPPACS) analyzing life satisfaction across baseline and follow-up data collected from 2006 to 2008 among participants (mean age 15.08 years) who reported never having had vaginal sex at baseline (n = 787). Methods: Participants were separated into groups based on whether they reported having vaginal sex (yes/no) at baseline. Then taking into account the nested study design and controlling for confounders, a mixed model repeated measures analysis of variance assessed whether differences in mean total life satisfaction (LS) were associated across time in the media and nonmedia study conditions separately by gender. Results: A significant interaction between time and media condition was detected (p = .039) where mean total LS increased +.065 units from baseline (M = 5.364) to last contact in media cities and decreased −.084 units from baseline (M = 5.557) to last contact in nonmedia cities when controlling for the effect of initiating vaginal sex. No significant differences in LS at baseline were observed between media and nonmedia intervention cities. Results by gender suggest most positive change in LS was observed for females with mixed findings for males. Conclusions: Although Project iMPPACS was not designed with the intent on improving participants’ life satisfaction, results advance the LS literature by demonstrating a temporal sequence for sexual risk taking and LS over time.
HIV/STI Service Delivery within Juvenile Community Supervision Agencies: A National Survey of Practices and Approaches to Moving High-Risk Youth through the HIV Care CascadeElkington, K. S., Robertson, A. A., Knight, D. K., Gardner, S. K., Funk, R. R., Dennis, M. L., Oser, C., & DIclemente, R.
Journal titleAIDS patient care and STDs
Page(s)72-80AbstractJustice-involved youth (JIY) are at considerable risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but are disconnected from treatment and prevention. Juvenile justice agencies providing community supervision (CS) are well positioned to provide HIV prevention, testing, and prompt referral to treatment for JIY. However, we lack an understanding of juvenile CS agency responses to HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) needs among JIY. We conducted a nationwide systematic assessment of how juvenile CS agencies identify, refer, and move youth through the HIV care cascade using a nationally representative sample of 195 juvenile CS agencies across 20 states. Two-thirds of CS agencies did not offer any HIV-/STI-related services, and 82% reported no collaboration with health agencies. Screening or referral for HIV risk behaviors was reported by 32% of the CS agencies and 12% for any intervention or prevention for HIV/STI risk behaviors. Between 21% and 30% of agencies were unaware of the location of local HIV/STI services. HIV/STI prevention training was not a priority for directors and was ranked second to last out of 16 training topics. Agencies where staff expressed need for HIV risk training and where specific court programming was available were more likely to provide or refer for HIV/STI screening and/or testing. Agencies were more likely to provide or refer for services if they provided pre-trial/pre-adjudication supervision, parole, or court programming. Considering the low provision of HIV/STI-related services and limited collaboration between health and justice agencies, interventions that promote cross-system collaboration designed to minimize barriers and facilitate identification, referral, and linkage to HIV services for JIY are necessary.
Neighborhood Stress and Life Satisfaction: Is there a Relationship for African American Adolescents?Valois, R. F., Kerr, J. C., Carey, M. P., Brown, L. K., Romer, D., DiClemente, R. J., & Vanable, P. A.
Journal titleApplied Research in Quality of Life
Page(s)273-296AbstractThis study identified associations between perceived neighborhood stress and adolescents’ perceptions of life satisfaction. African American adolescents aged 13–18 (n = 1658) from four matched, mid-sized cities in the northeastern and southeastern USA, completed a self-report questionnaire using an audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI). Analyses examined relationships between perceived neighborhood stress and perceived life satisfaction, while controlling for socioeconomic status (SES). Life satisfaction was found to be related to neighborhood stress for both males and females, with variability in neighborhood stress characteristics and in the magnitude of associations by gender. Further research should identify the particular characteristics of youth and specific aspects of adolescent life satisfaction associated with perceived neighborhood stress to develop community-based and culturally-sensitive quality of life improvement/health promotion programs.
Perceived neighborhood violence and crime, emotion regulation, and PTSD symptoms Among Justice-Involved, Urban African-American adolescent girlsSun, S., Crooks, N., Diclemente, R. J., & Sales, J. M.
Journal titlePsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Page(s)1-6AbstractObjective: African-American adolescent girls in urban areas are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, and they are also disproportionately impacted by neighborhood violence and crime (NVC), which has been shown to positively associate with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Guided by an ecological (individual X context) perspective, the present study aimed to examine the main and interactive effects of perceived NVC and emotion regulation (ER) strategies in a sample of justice-involved, urban African-American adolescent girls (n = 85) following their release from detention centers. Method: We investigated this research question longitudinally. Multiple linear regression models were conducted. PTSD symptoms at 3 months after release was used as the outcome variable, predicted by ER strategies, perceived NVC, and their interactions before release, controlling for PTSD symptoms and a brief screening of trauma events assessed beforen release. Simple slope analysis was used to probe significant interaction terms. Results: The main effects of perceived NVC and dysfunctional ER were significant. A significant interaction effect was found between perceived NVC and internal dysfunction ER at baseline to predict PTSD symptoms at 3 months after release. High levels of internal dysfunctional ER intensified the positive association of baseline perceived NVC and PTSD symptoms. Conclusions: Justice-involved African-American adolescent girls who report high NVC and use dysfunctional ER strategies are particularly vulnerable to the development of PTSD symptoms. Interventions with this population may benefit from targeting dysfunctional ER strategies to mitigate or prevent neighborhood violence related PTSD symptoms.
Preventing type 2 diabetes among South Asian Americans through community-based lifestyle interventions: A systematic reviewAli, S. H., Misra, S., Parekh, N., Murphy, B., & DiClemente, R. J.
Journal titlePreventive Medicine Reports
Volume20AbstractEthnic South Asian Americans (SAAs) have the highest relative risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the United States (US). Culturally tailored lifestyle interventions have the potential to promote South Asian diabetes prevention; however, the extent of their use and evaluation in US settings remains limited. This systematic review characterizes and evaluates outcomes of community-based lifestyle interventions targeted towards T2DM indicators among South Asians living in the US. A PRISMA-informed search of Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, and clinical trial registry databases using key words pertaining to South Asians migrants and diabetes indicators (glucose and insulin outcomes) was conducted of community-based lifestyle interventions published up until October, 31 2019. Of the eight studies included in the final synthesis, four interventions focused on cultural and linguistic adaptations of past chronic disease prevention curricula using group-based modalities to deliver the intervention. Hemoglobin A1c (A1c) was the most common outcome indicator measured across the interventions. Three of the five studies observed improvements in indicators post-intervention. Based on these findings, this review recommends 1) greater exploration of community-based lifestyle interventions with high quality diabetes indicators (such as fasting blood glucose) in ethnic SAA communities, 2) expanding beyond traditional modalities of group-based lifestyle interventions and exploring the use of technology and interventions integrated with passive, active, and individualized components, and 3) development of research on diabetes prevention among second generation SAAs.
Reproductive coercion sometimes works: evaluating whether young African-American women who experience reproductive coercion or birth control sabotage are more likely to become pregnantRosenbaum, J. E., & DiClemente, R. J.
Journal titleHealth Services and Outcomes Research Methodology
Page(s)265-282AbstractMen engaging in reproductive coercion may coerce, force, or deceive female partners into pregnancy. This study evaluates whether the 3-month incidence of pregnancy is higher among women reporting reproductive coercion than similar women reporting no reproductive coercion. We tested this hypothesis in longitudinal data from a sample of African-American women ages 18–24 recruited from community settings in Atlanta, Georgia, US, in 2012–2014 (n = 560). Participants were surveyed at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. To reduce selection bias, we used full matching on 22 baseline variables related to demographics, economic power, risky alcohol use, and gender-based power inequality. We used logistic regression in the matched sample with outcome pregnancy 3 months later, controlling for baseline fertility intentions (n = 482, n = 458, n = 452 at respectively 3, 6, 9 months). At 3 months, 15% of women reported reproductive coercion. At 6 months, 11.3% of women reporting coercion were pregnant vs. 4.6% of matched women reporting no coercion (p = 0.06). Women reporting coercion had 3 times the odds of pregnancy as matched women reporting no coercion (AOR 2.95, 95% CI (1.16, 6.98), p = 0.02). Among women pregnant after coercion, only 15% wanted to be pregnant then or sooner. Women reporting reproductive coercion are at greater risk of unwanted or mistimed pregnancies, and the semen exposure that caused these pregnancies could also transmit STI/HIV. Clinicians should screen patients for reproductive coercion; consider using semen exposure biomarkers such as PSA or Yc-PCR to identify condom sabotage or stealthing; and refer women experiencing reproductive coercion to supportive services.
Social media as a recruitment platform for a nationwide online survey of COVID-19 knowledge, beliefs, and practices in the United States: Methodology and feasibility analysisAli, S. H., Foreman, J., Capasso, A., Jones, A. M., Tozan, Y., & Diclemente, R. J.
Journal titleBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue1AbstractBackground: The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into one of the most impactful health crises in modern history, compelling researchers to explore innovative ways to efficiently collect public health data in a timely manner. Social media platforms have been explored as a research recruitment tool in other settings; however, their feasibility for collecting representative survey data during infectious disease epidemics remain unexplored. Objectives: This study has two aims 1) describe the methodology used to recruit a nationwide sample of adults residing in the United States (U.S.) to participate in a survey on COVID-19 knowledge, beliefs, and practices, and 2) outline the preliminary findings related to recruitment, challenges using social media as a recruitment platform, and strategies used to address these challenges. Methods: An original web-based survey informed by evidence from past literature and validated scales was developed. A Facebook advertisement campaign was used to disseminate the link to an online Qualtrics survey between March 20-30, 2020. Two supplementary male-only and racial minority- targeted advertisements were created on the sixth and tenth day of recruitment, respectively, to address issues of disproportionate female- and White-oriented gender- and ethnic-skewing observed in the advertisement's reach and response trends. Results: In total, 6602 participant responses were recorded with representation from all U.S. 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The advertisements cumulatively reached 236,017 individuals and resulted in 9609 clicks (4.07% reach). Total cost of the advertisement was $906, resulting in costs of .09 per click and .18 per full response (completed surveys). Implementation of the male-only advertisement improved the cumulative percentage of male respondents from approximately 20 to 40%. Conclusions: The social media advertisement campaign was an effective and efficient strategy to collect large scale, nationwide data on COVID-19 within a short time period. Although the proportion of men who completed the survey was lower than those who didn't, interventions to increase male responses and enhance representativeness were successful. These findings can inform future research on the use of social media recruitment for the rapid collection of survey data related to rapidly evolving health crises, such as COVID-19.
The Influence of Familial and Peer Social Support on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Among Black Girls in Juvenile Correctional FacilitiesQuinn, C. R., Boyd, D. T., Kim, B. K. E., Menon, S. E., Logan-Greene, P., Asemota, E., Diclemente, R. J., & Voisin, D.
Journal titleCriminal Justice and BehaviorAbstractBlack girls bear a higher burden of juvenile justice involvement in the United States, relative to other racial/ethnic female groups. Emerging evidence suggests that system involvement is related to trauma histories and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study investigated the associations between individual, family, and peer factors, and their relationship to PTSD among Black girls with juvenile justice involvement. Cross-sectional data were collected from 188 Black girls in detention. Measures assessed were history of abuse, negative peer norms, future orientation, caregiver support, self-esteem, age, and PTSD symptoms. Major regression findings indicated that higher rates of caregiver support, higher negative peer norms, lower self-esteem rates, and lower future orientation rates were correlated with greater PTSD symptoms. Treatment programs for this population warrant a multisystemic approach, which includes caregivers and peers, and bolstering important constructs such as self-esteem and hopefulness.
Trends and predictors of COVID-19 information sources and their relationship with knowledge and beliefs related to the pandemic: Nationwide cross-sectional studyAli, S. H., Foreman, J., Tozan, Y., Capasso, A., Jones, A. M., & DiClemente, R. J.
Journal titleJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Issue4AbstractBackground: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened need to understand health information seeking behaviors to address disparities in knowledge and beliefs about the crisis. Objective: This study assessed sociodemographic predictors of the use and trust of different COVID-19 information sources, as well as the association between information sources and knowledge and beliefs about the pandemic. Methods: An online survey was conducted among US adults in two rounds during March and April 2020 using advertisement-based recruitment on social media. Participants were asked about their use of 11 different COVID-19 information sources as well as their most trusted source of information. The selection of COVID-related knowledge and belief questions was based on past empirical literature and salient concerns at the time of survey implementation. Results: The sample consisted of 11,242 participants. When combined, traditional media sources (television, radio, podcasts, or newspapers) were the largest sources of COVID-19 information (91.2%). Among those using mainstream media sources for COVID-19 information (n=7811, 69.5%), popular outlets included CNN (24.0%), Fox News (19.3%), and other local or national networks (35.2%). The largest individual information source was government websites (87.6%). They were also the most trusted source of information (43.3%), although the odds of trusting government websites were lower among males (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.58, 95% CI 0.53-0.63) and those aged 40-59 years and ≥60 years compared to those aged 18-39 years (AOR 0.83, 95% CI 0.74-0.92; AOR 0.62, 95% CI 0.54-0.71). Participants used an average of 6.1 sources (SD 2.3). Participants who were male, aged 40-59 years or ≥60 years; not working, unemployed, or retired; or Republican were likely to use fewer sources while those with children and higher educational attainment were likely to use more sources. Participants surveyed in April were markedly less likely to use (AOR 0.41, 95% CI 0.35-0.46) and trust (AOR 0.51, 95% CI 0.47-0.56) government sources. The association between information source and COVID-19 knowledge was mixed, while many COVID-19 beliefs were significantly predicted by information source; similar trends were observed with reliance on different types of mainstream media outlets. Conclusions: COVID-19 information source was significantly determined by participant sociodemographic characteristics and was also associated with both knowledge and beliefs about the pandemic. Study findings can help inform COVID-19 health communication campaigns and highlight the impact of using a variety of different and trusted information sources.
Using ADAPT-ITT to modify a telephone-based HIV prevention intervention for SMS delivery: Formative studyDavis, T., DiClemente, R. J., & Prietula, M.
Journal titleJMIR Formative Research
Issue10AbstractBackground: African American adolescent females are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. Given the elevated risk of STIs and HIV in African American women, there is an urgent need to identify innovative strategies to enhance the adoption and maintenance of STI and HIV preventive behaviors. Texting is a promising technology for creating preventive maintenance interventions (PMIs) that extend the efficacy of the original intervention. However, little guidance in public health literature is available for developing this type of application. Objective: This paper describes a formative pilot study that incorporates user experience methods to design and test PMI texts for Afiya, an original evidence-based intervention (EBI) specifically designed for African American adolescent females. This study aims to describe the adaptation process of health educator-led phone calling to text-based communication. Methods: The formative process followed the assessment, decision, adaptation, production, topical experts-integration, training, testing (ADAPT-ITT) framework for adapting EBIs and using them in a new setting, for a new target population or a modified intervention strategy. This study presents the details of how the phases of the ADAPT-ITT framework were applied to the design of the adaptation. An advisory board was constituted from the target population, consisting of 6 African American women aged 18-24 years, participating in formative activities for 12 weeks, and involving components of the PMI design. As Afiya included a telephone-based PMI, developers of the original Afiya phone scripts crafted the initial design of the SMS-based texts and texting protocol. The advisory board participated in the 1-day Afiya workshop, followed by 4 weeks of texting PMI messages and a midcourse focus group, followed by 4 more weeks of texting PMI messages, ultimately ending with a final focus group. At the advisory board's request, this phase included an optional, additional week of text-based PMI messages. Results: The methods provided a rich source of data and insights into the fundamental issues involved when constructing SMS-based PMI for this target population and for this EBI. Prior contact and context are essential as the health educator was identified as a key persona in the process and the messages were situated in the original (workshop) context. Narrative adaptations for personas emerged from advisory board discussions. Suggestions on how to expand the PMI to current, specific social contexts indicated that the use of narrative analysis is warranted. Conclusions: The use of existing EBIs incorporating telephone-based PMI scripts facilitated the initial design of the texts, with a subsequent narrative analysis of the advisory board data providing additional adjustments given the actual context. Additional examination of the advisory board feedback revealed that personas would offer insight into and opportunities for a persona-specific modification of texting narratives.
A model for cognitively-based compassion training: theoretical underpinnings and proposed mechanismsAsh, M., Harrison, T., Pinto, M., DiClemente, R., & Negi, L. T.
Journal titleSocial Theory and HealthAbstractAcross cultures and belief systems, compassion is widely considered to be beneficial for the development of personal and social wellbeing. Research indicates that compassion-training programs have broad health benefits, but how and why compassion-training programs are effective is still relatively unknown. This paper describes the theoretical underpinnings of a specific compassion-training program, CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training), and proposes an integrative model that draws on existing health behavior constructs to identify CBCT’s core components and hypothesizes their directionality and interaction. The model includes two primary categories of skill development: (1) intrapersonal skills leading to greater resiliency, and (2) interpersonal skills leading to greater compassion. It is hypothesized that these two pathways are mutually reinforcing and both contribute to greater wellbeing. This model provides a foundation for theory-driven research on the underlying mechanisms in CBCT training. An understanding of CBCT’s mechanisms is a critical step towards optimizing and personalizing the intervention to meet the needs of specific populations.
A multilevel intervention with African American churches to enhance adoption of point-of-care HIV and diabetes testing, 2014-2018Wingood, G. M., Lambert, D., Renfro, T., Ali, M., & DiClemente, R. J.
Journal titleAmerican journal of public health
Page(s)S141-S144AbstractWe describe a multilevel intervention to enhance adoption of point-of-care HIV and diabetes testing at church health fairs in Atlanta, Georgia. Church leaders viewed a leadership video and subsequently conducted social activities that support testing. After the multilevel intervention, a third of churches hosted HIV and diabetes health fairs, and church leaders engaged in more social activities. Of 193 attendees receiving health services, 56.6% received HIV testing and 92.7% received diabetes testing. This implementation science approach could reduce HIV and diabetes disparities among African Americans.
Accelerating the Evolution of Health Promotion Research: Broadening Boundaries and Improving ImpactWingood, G. M., & DiClemente, R. J.
Journal titleAmerican journal of public health
African-American sexual minority adolescents and sexual health disparities: An exploratory cross-sectional studyNorris, A. L., Brown, L. K., DiClemente, R. J., Valois, R. F., Romer, D., Vanable, P. A., & Carey, M. P.
Journal titleJournal of the National Medical Association
Page(s)302-309AbstractPurpose: To better understand sexual health disparities among African-American sexual minority adolescents. Methods: African-American adolescents (N = 1120; mean age = 15.24 years) were recruited from 4 cities (Columbia, SC; Macon, GA; Providence, RI; Syracuse, NY) to a larger trial. The current analyses used data from the 18-month follow-up when adolescents reported on their sexual partnerships, condom use knowledge, self-efficacy and outcome expectancies for condom use, sexual risk behavior, and STI testing history. Results: Compared with heterosexual adolescents, sexual minority adolescents reported more concerns about potential relationship harms resulting from safer sex negotiation. Sexual minority adolescents were also more likely to engage in riskier sexual behaviors, with females reporting more sexual partners and drug use prior to sex, and males reporting inconsistent condom use and higher rates of HIV. Conclusions: African-American sexual minority adolescents evidence disparities in sexual risk behavior and STI history that appear to result from interpersonal and relationship concerns. These concerns need to be targeted in sexual health interventions for sexual minority adolescents.
An Examination of Gender Differences in Bullying among Justice-involved AdolescentsDembo, R., Krupa, J. M., Faber, J., DiClemente, R. J., Wareham, J., & Schmeidler, J.
Journal titleDeviant BehaviorAbstractMost studies of bullying rely on school-based samples of youth; however, a few studies of justice-involved populations suggest delinquent youth experience higher rates of bullying than youth in the general population. Little is known about gender differences in bullying among justice-involved youth. Using data from a Health Coach service project for justice-involve youth implemented at two intake facilities, 312 female and 857 male newly arrested youth were included in the current study. The current study sought to determine gender differences in prevalence rates of bullying involvement. Logistic regression was used to explore gender differences in how key covariates of demographic, risk factors, and traumatic experiences related to bullying. Rates of bullying experiences were higher for girls (35%) than boys (17%), and these rates were higher than rates reported in studies using general population or school-based samples. Analysis revealed differences in risk factors of bullying by gender. For both arrested girls and boys, depressive symptoms and sexual assault victimization increased the odds of bullying. Justice-involved youth are at greater risk of bullying and experience multiple problems. Holistic treatment and prevention strategies that recognize the co-occurrence of mental health symptoms, serious victimization, and substance abuse with bullying experiences are needed.
Depressive Symptoms as a Longitudinal Predictor of Sexual Risk Behaviors Among African-American AdolescentsFoley, J. D., Vanable, P. A., Brown, L. K., Carey, M. P., DiClemente, R. J., Romer, D., & Valois, R. F.
Journal titleHealth PsychologyAbstractObjective: Understanding individual level factors associated with sexual risk behaviors among African-American adolescents remains an important public health priority. The current secondary data analysis examined the longitudinal association between a baseline assessment of depressive symptoms and sexual risk behaviors reported 6 months later; the purpose was to determine whether the association of depressive symptoms to risky sex varies as a function of gender. A secondary aim was to examine self-efficacy for sex refusal and condom use assessed at a 3-month follow-up as mediators of the depressive symptoms-sexual risk relationship. Methods: The sample consisted of 782 sexually active African-American adolescents (Mage = 15.3 years, SD = 1.08; 54% female) recruited to participate in a sexual health intervention trial. Data analyses focused on vaginal sex, and outcomes included: (a) sexual activity with 2 or more partners in the previous 3 months; (b) the relative frequency of condom use in the previous 3 months; (c) noncondom use at last occasion of sex; and (d) positive sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening. Results: Depressive symptoms predicted sex with 2 more partners for female participants, but no other risk markers for the sample as a whole. However, there was a significant indirect effect of depressive symptoms on condomless sex via decreased condom use self-efficacy for both male and female adolescents. Conclusions: These findings have important implications for HIV/STI prevention, in which behavioral interventions may benefit from modules that include a focus on the influence of mood on self-efficacy for safer sex practices.
Evaluating the Role of Family Context Within a Randomized Adolescent HIV-Risk Prevention TrialBarker, D. H., Hadley, W., McGee, H., Donenberg, G. R., DiClemente, R. J., & Brown, L. K.
Journal titleAIDS and Behavior
Page(s)1195-1209AbstractProject STYLE is a multi-site 3-arm RCT comparing family-based, adolescent-only, and general health promotion interventions with 721 adolescents in mental health treatment. This study reports 12-month outcomes for family context and sexual risk behaviors, and explores the role of baseline family context in modifying treatment response. Using the full sample, there were sustained benefits for parent-reported sexual communication (d = 0.28), and adolescent-reported parental monitoring (d = 0.24), with minimal differences in risk behaviors. Latent profile analysis identified four family context classes: struggling (n = 177), authoritative (n = 183), authoritarian (n = 175), and permissive (n = 181). The authoritarian and permissive classes were also distinguished by disagreement between parent and adolescent report of family context. Classes differed in terms of baseline mental health burden and baseline sexual risk behavior. Classes showed different patterns of treatment effects, with the struggling class showing consistent benefit for both family context and sexual risk. In contrast, the authoritarian class showed a mixed response for family context and increased sexual risk.