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
Causally Interpretable Meta-analysis: Application in Adolescent HIV PreventionBarker, D. H., Dahabreh, I. J., Steingrimsson, J. A., Houck, C., Donenberg, G., DiClemente, R., & Brown, L. K. (n.d.).
Journal titlePrevention Science
Page(s)403-414AbstractEndowing meta-analytic results with a causal interpretation is challenging when there are differences in the distribution of effect modifiers among the populations underlying the included trials and the target population where the results of the meta-analysis will be applied. Recent work on transportability methods has described identifiability conditions under which the collection of randomized trials in a meta-analysis can be used to draw causal inferences about the target population. When the conditions hold, the methods enable estimation of causal quantities such as the average treatment effect and conditional average treatment effect in target populations that differ from the populations underlying the trial samples. The methods also facilitate comparison of treatments not directly compared in a head-to-head trial and assessment of comparative effectiveness within subgroups of the target population. We briefly describe these methods and present a worked example using individual participant data from three HIV prevention trials among adolescents in mental health care. We describe practical challenges in defining the target population, obtaining individual participant data from included trials and a sample of the target population, and addressing systematic missing data across datasets. When fully realized, methods for causally interpretable meta-analysis can provide decision-makers valid estimates of how treatments will work in target populations of substantive interest as well as in subgroups of these populations.
Correlates of depression among Black girls exposed to violenceWaller, B., Quinn, C. R., Boyd, D., DiClemente, R., & Voisin, D. R. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Page(s)146-155AbstractDepression 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.
Crush: A Randomized Trial to Evaluate the Impact of a Mobile Health App on Adolescent Sexual HealthMartínez-García, G., Ewing, A. C., Olugbade, Y., DiClemente, R. J., & Kourtis, A. P. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Adolescent Health
Page(s)287-294AbstractPurpose: Mobile technology allows delivery of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information directly to youth. We tested the efficacy of Crush, a mobile application aimed at improving sexual health by promoting the use of SRH services and contraception among female adolescents. Methods: We recruited 1,210 women aged 14–18 years through social media advertising and randomized them into a Crush intervention group and a control group that received a wellness app. At 3 and 6 months post randomization, we compared changes from baseline in behaviors, attitudes, self-efficacy, perceived social norms, birth control knowledge, perceived control and use intentions, and SRH service utilization. Odds ratios were estimated with multivariable logistic regression and adjusted for baseline outcome, age, race/ethnicity, mother's education, and sexual experience. Results: There was no difference in accessing SRH services according to study group. Three months post baseline, Crush users had higher odds (p < .05) than control participants of reporting confidence in accessing SRH services (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–2.3) and of believing that it is a good thing to use birth control consistently (aOR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.4–3.8). Six months after baseline, Crush users had higher odds than control participants of reporting they can control whether birth control is used every time they have sex (aOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2–2.6) and perceiving they would get pregnant if they did not use birth control (aOR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1–2.2). Impacts on other behavioral constructs were also found. Discussion: Crush was associated with improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy related to key SRH behaviors and may be a strategy to deliver SRH education to adolescent women. Studies including larger numbers of sexually active adolescents are needed to demonstrate behavioral impacts.
Development of an Integrated Approach to Virtual Mind-Mapping: Methodology and Applied Experiences to Enhance Qualitative Health ResearchAli, S. H., Merdjanoff, A. A., Parekh, N., & DiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleQualitative Health Research
Page(s)571-580AbstractThere is a growing need to better capture comprehensive, nuanced, and multi-faceted qualitative data while also better engaging with participants in data collection, especially in virtual environments. This study describes the development of a novel 3-step approach to virtual mind-mapping that involves (1) ranked free-listing, (2) respondent-driven mind-mapping, and (3) interviewing to enhance both data collection and analysis of complex health behaviors. The method was employed in 32 virtual interviews as part of a study on eating behaviors among second-generation South Asian Americans. Participants noted the mind-mapping experience to be (1) helpful for visual learners, (2) helpful in elucidating new ideas and to structure thoughts, as well as (3) novel and interesting. They also noted some suggestions that included improving interpretability of visual data and avoiding repetition of certain discussion points. Data collection revealed the adaptability of the method, and the power of mind-maps to guide targeted, comprehensive discussions with participants.
Dyadic Intervention for Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention in Urban Adolescents and Young Adults (The SEXPERIENCE Study): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled TrialTrent, M., Yusuf, H. E., Rowell, J., Toppins, J., Woods, C., Huettner, S., Robinson, C., Fields, E. L., Marcell, A. V., DiClemente, R., & Matson, P. (n.d.).
Journal titleJMIR Research Protocols
Issue5AbstractBackground: Adolescents and young adults (AYA) aged younger than 25 years have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States. Current STI prevention strategies for AYA rely primarily on individual approaches, leaving sexual partners with significant unmet sexual and reproductive health care and health education needs. Dyadic interventions may hold promise for harnessing the power of communal coping within relationship dynamics to enhance sexual decision making, communication, and behavior changes that reduce the future risk of STIs. Objective: This paper describes the protocol and research methods of a dyad-based behavioral intervention that augments individual evidence-based interventions with joint health education counseling for heterosexual AYA dyads within a primary care setting. The trial aims to improve partner communication and collaborative sexual decision making and promote the adoption of sexual behaviors such as consistent condom use. The primary objective of this study is to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a dyadic intervention targeted at preventing STIs in heterosexual couples in an urban setting. Methods: A total of 100 AYA (50 dyads) aged 16 to 25 years, engaged in heterosexual intercourse, who reside in the city and are willing to recruit their main sexual partner for the study will be recruited and randomized into 2 groups, an intervention arm and a control arm. Participants will be recruited from an AYA medicine clinic and by using social media (Facebook and Instagram). The index participant and partner will complete a single individual session separately (Sister to Sister or Focus on the Future) with a gender-matched health educator. Dyads will then be randomized to receive an additional joint debriefing session together to discuss relationship dynamics, condom negotiation, etc. Participants will separately complete a telephone interview 6 weeks postintervention to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of the intervention on mutual sexual negotiation, consistency of condom use, and communal coping skills, etc. Results: So far, 25.4% (44/173) of eligible participants have been enrolled and randomized. Participants are mostly female (20/22, 91%), with at least a high school diploma (19/22, 86%), and 9 average lifetime sexual partners. Acceptability is high, with 98% (43/44) of participants expressing satisfaction with their study experience; 100% of dyads recruited were still together at 6-week follow-up. Conclusions: Findings from this study will add to the current literature on the approaches to STI prevention, and its success will inform its application in risk reduction counseling for youth who are most at risk.
Editorial: The outbreak and sequelae of the increase in opioid use in the United States, Canada, and beyondFriedman, S. R., Perlman, D. C., & DiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleFrontiers in Sociology
Employment conditions as barriers to the adoption of COVID-19 mitigation measures: how the COVID-19 pandemic may be deepening health disparities among low-income earners and essential workers in the United StatesCapasso, A., Kim, S., Ali, S. H., Jones, A. M., DiClemente, R. J., & Tozan, Y. (n.d.).
Journal titleBMC public health
Issue1AbstractBackground: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted economically-disadvantaged populations in the United States (US). Precarious employment conditions may contribute to these disparities by impeding workers in such conditions from adopting COVID-19 mitigation measures to reduce infection risk. This study investigated the relationship between employment and economic conditions and the adoption of COVID-19 protective behaviors among US workers during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Employing a social media advertisement campaign, an online, self-administered survey was used to collect data from 2,845 working adults in April 2020. Hierarchical generalized linear models were performed to assess the differences in engagement with recommended protective behaviors based on employment and economic conditions, while controlling for knowledge and perceived threat of COVID-19, as would be predicted by the Health Belief Model (HBM). Results: Essential workers had more precarious employment and economic conditions than non-essential workers: 67% had variable income; 30% did not have paid sick leave; 42% had lost income due to COVID-19, and 15% were food insecure. The adoption of protective behaviors was high in the sample: 77% of participants avoided leaving home, and 93% increased hand hygiene. Consistent with the HBM, COVID-19 knowledge scores and perceived threat were positively associated with engaging in all protective behaviors. However, after controlling for these, essential workers were 60% and 70% less likely than non-essential workers, who by the nature of their jobs cannot stay at home, to stay at home and increase hand hygiene, respectively. Similarly, participants who could not afford to quarantine were 50% less likely to avoid leaving home (AOR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.4, 0.6) than those who could, whereas there were no significant differences concerning hand hygiene. Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with the accumulating evidence that the employment conditions of essential workers and other low-income earners are precarious, that they have experienced disproportionately higher rates of income loss during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and face significant barriers to adopting protective measures. Our findings underscore the importance and need of policy responses focusing on expanding social protection and benefits to prevent the further deepening of existing health disparities in the US.
Family Involvement in Asian American Health Interventions: A Scoping Review and Conceptual ModelAli, S. H., Mohsin, F. M., Rouf, R., Parekh, R., Dhar, B., Kaur, G., Parekh, N., Islam, N. S., & DiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titlePublic Health ReportsAbstractFamily members play a crucial role in the health of Asian American communities, and their involvement in health interventions can be pivotal in optimizing impact and implementation. To explore how family members can be effectively involved in Asian American health interventions and develop a conceptual framework of methods of involvement at the stages of intervention development, process, and evaluation, this scoping review documented the role of Asian American family members in interventions (across any health objective). Of the 7175 studies identified through database and manual searches, we included 48 studies in the final analysis. Many studies focused on Chinese (54%) or Vietnamese (21%) populations, were conducted in California (44%), and involved spouses (35%) or parents/children (39%). We observed involvement across 3 stages: (1) intervention development (formative research, review process, material development), (2) intervention process (recruitment, receiving the intervention together, receiving a parallel intervention, enlisting support to achieve goals, voluntary intervention support, agent of family-wide change, and participation gatekeepers), and (3) intervention evaluation (received evaluation together, indirect impact evaluation, and feedback during intervention). Impact of family member involvement was both positive (as sources of encouragement, insight, accountability, comfort, and passion) and negative (sources of hindrance, backlash, stigma, obligation, and negative influence). Suggestions for future research interventions include (1) exploring family involvement in South Asian or young adult interventions, (2) diversifying types of family members involved (eg, extended family), and (3) diversifying methods of involvement (eg, family members as implementation agents).
Feasibility, acceptability, and short-term impact of a brief sexually transmitted infection intervention targeting U.S. Military personnel and family membersKunz, A., Moodley, A., Colby, D. J., Soltis, M., Robb-McGrath, W., Fairchok, A., Faestel, P., Jungels, A., Bender, A. A., Kamau, E., Wingood, G., DiClemente, R., & Scott, P. (n.d.).
Journal titleBMC public health
Issue1AbstractBackground: Over the past 10 years, incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has increased to record numbers in the United States, with the most significant increases observed among adolescents and young adults. The US military, where the majority of active duty personnel are 18–30 years old, has seen similar increases. However, the US military does not yet have a standardized, service-wide program for STI education and prevention. Methods: The KISS intervention (Knocking out Infections through Safer-sex and Screening) was adapted from an evidence-based intervention endorsed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and consisted of a one-time, small group session. Content included STI/HIV knowledge and prevention, condom use skills, and interpersonal communication techniques. The intervention was pilot tested for feasibility and acceptability among a population of service members and medical beneficiaries at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Results: A total of 79 participants aged 18–30 years were consented to participate in the pilot study and met entry criteria, 66/79 (82.5%) attended the intervention session, and 46/66 (69.7%) returned at 3 months for the final follow-up assessment. The intervention sessions included 31 male (47.0%) and 35 female (53.0%) participants. Almost all participants felt comfortable discussing sexual issues in the group sessions, reported that they intended to practice safer sex after the intervention, and would also recommend the intervention to friends. Knowledge about STI/HIV prevention significantly increased after the intervention, and intervention effects were maintained at 3 months. About one-fifth of participants tested positive for N. gonorrhea or C. trachomatis infection at enrollment, while none had recurrent STIs at the final visit. Use of both male and female condoms increased after the intervention. Conclusions: The KISS intervention was feasible to implement in the military setting and was acceptable to the active duty service members and other medical beneficiaries who participated in the pilot project. Further studies are needed to determine if the KISS intervention, or others, effectively decrease STI incidence in active duty personnel and would be appropriate for more widespread implementation. Trial Registration: Retrospectively registered as the pilot phase of clinicaltrials.gov NCT04547413, “Prospective Cohort Trial to Assess Acceptability and Efficacy of an Adapted STI/HIV Intervention Behavioral Intervention Program in a Population of US Army Personnel and Their Medical Beneficiaries—Execution Phase”.
Knowledge, beliefs, mental health, substance use, and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic among US adults: a national online surveyDiClemente, R. J., Capasso, A., Ali, S. H., Jones, A. M., Foreman, J., & Tozan, Y. (n.d.).
Journal titleZeitschrift fur Gesundheitswissenschaften
Page(s)2069-2079AbstractAIM: Given the need for data to inform public health messaging to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, this national survey sought to assess the state of COVID-19-related knowledge, beliefs, mental health, substance use changes, and behaviors among a sample of U.S. adults.SUBJECT AND METHODS: In the period March 20-30, 2020, we collected data on COVID-19-related knowledge, awareness and adoption of preventive practices, depression and anxiety (Patient Health Questionnaire-4), stress (Impact of Event Scale-6), pessimism, and tobacco and alcohol use. Differences between age groups (18-39 years, 40-59 years and ≥ 60 years) were tested using Pearson's chi-squared tests or ANOVAs; associations between drinking and smoking and depression, anxiety, and stress were tested using adjusted logistic regression models.RESULTS: Approximately half of the sample ( N Total = 6391) were 50-69 years old and 58% were female. COVID-19 knowledge (mean = 12.0; SD = 1.2) and protective practice awareness (mean = 9.1; SD = 0.8) were high. Among respondents, 44% had a score consistent with depression and anxiety (PHQ-4 score ≥ 6), and 52% reported high stress scores (≥ median of 1.33). COVID-19-related anxiety and depression were associated with increased drinking (AOR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.49, 2.15) and smoking (AOR = 2.17; 95% CI = 1.64, 2.88). High stress scores were also associated with increased drinking (AOR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.49, 2.17, p < 0.001) and smoking (AOR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.31, 2.33). CONCLUSIONS: In spite of high knowledge levels, important gaps were identified. High prevalence of poor mental health outcomes and associated increases in drinking and smoking warrant ongoing risk communications tailoring to effectively disseminate information and expanding psychosocial services, particularly via telehealth, to mitigate the negative mental health impact of COVID-19.SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10389-021-01564-4.
Looking forwardDiclemente, R. J. (n.d.). In AIDS and Adolescents: Future directions for prevention of HIV among adolescents.
Mapping drivers of second-generation South Asian American eating behaviors using a novel integration of qualitative and social network analysis methodsAli, S. H., Gupta, S., Tariq, M., Penikalapati, R., Vasquez-Lopez, X., Auer, S., Hanif, C., Parekh, N., Merdjanoff, A. A., & DiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleEcology of Food and Nutrition
Page(s)503-521AbstractThis study explores a novel, mixed qualitative method to deconstruct the diet of second-generation South Asian Americans (SAAs). Online interviews of 32 second-generation SAAs were conducted usingintegrated free-listing and mind-mapping. Ranked free-lists were aggregated to identify salient drivers, while connections made within mind-maps were analyzed using social network analysis (SNA) methods. Overall, 34 distinct drivers and 247 unique connections were identified. Taste, family, and health had the highest adjusted rankings, while health displayed the strongest network centrality. Interventions aimed at second-generation SAA dietary behaviors may benefit from family-based or multi-level interventions, which consider the complex, unique dietary norms identified.
Perceptions of Sexual Risk and HIV/STI Prevention Among Black Adolescent Girls in a Detention Center: an Investigation of the Role of Parents and PeersQuinn, C. R., Boyd, D. T., Beaujolais, B., Hughley, A., Mitchell, M., Allen, J. L., DiClemente, R. J., & Voisin, D. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health DisparitiesAbstractBlack American adolescent girls constitute approximately one third of the US youth legal system population. Their overrepresentation in the youth punishment system is an indicator of significant physical, sexual, and/or behavioral health needs. Since less is known about perceptions of HIV/STI risk among Black girls with juvenile justice histories, we used intersectionality theory to explore the following: (1) how a sample of Black girls in detention endorse their perceptions of sexual safety given the multiple intersections of their race, gender, and SES and (2) how their endorsements align with interlocking systems of social inequality for system-involved Black at the social structural level. We examined relational and behavioral factors associated perceived HIV/STI risk. Among a sample of 188 Black girls (ages 13–17 years), we examined parent and partner sexual communication, fear of condom negotiation, a positive STI test, and partner risk profile as significant correlates. Major findings indicated that greater partner communication was associated with higher perceived HIV/STI risk, whereas having had a risky sexual partner, fear of condom negotiation, and having had a positive STI test were correlated with lower perceived risk. The significant factors identified in this study can be the focus of STI prevention and intervention programs for Black girls with youth punishment histories.
Re-membering HIV in the Black Church: women’s religious and social identity in relation to perceived risk and men on the down lowFuller, T. J., Phillips, N. R., Lambert, D. N., DiClemente, R. J., & Wingood, G. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleCulture, Health and Sexuality
Page(s)437-450AbstractThis analysis of 84 interviews with female Black Church leaders and members from Atlanta, GA, examined how women in Black churches construct definitions of, and identities in relation to, HIV narratives about men on the down low. We analyse these narratives as collective memories, through the theoretical lens of memory and trauma studies, by identifying how women understand themselves as the victims of men on the down low transmitting HIV; describe this as a painful experience; make public claims about this experience; and draw on theological understandings to make these claims. The narratives articulate how Black communal modes of meaning making have been disrupted by the HIV epidemic and assign responsibility for HIV transmission to men on the down low, who are perceived to be engaged in risky sexual behaviour. We discuss these results in relation to HIV education and prevention and suggest health educators can engage Black church leaders by understanding these narratives as forms of countermemory.
The influence of routine and leisure family activities on the ability of young Asian Americans to maintain a healthy lifestyle: findings from a nationwide surveyAli, S. H., Rouf, R., Mohsin, F. M., Meltzer, G., Sharma, P., & DiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Page(s)962-974AbstractFamily is uniquely influential in the health of young Asian Americans (AAs), yet little is known on the impact of specific shared family activities. This study explores different types and frequencies of AA young adult shared family activities on perceived familial influence on the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle (diet, physical activity, sleep, social relationships, stress, and risky substances). A nationwide sample of 18–35-year-old AAs was surveyed in March 2021 on a list of 30 shared family activities with mothers, fathers, siblings, or extended family. Overall, 984 unique family relationships reported by 616 young AAs were analyzed. Confirmatory factor analysis synthesized a reliable two-factor (routine, leisure activities) 10-item Shared Activities with Family (SAF) scale. Mothers were most influential (mean 3.25, SD = 1.14), although shared activities among South Asians or with extended family were most associated with changes in perceived influence. Routine shared activities were more strongly associated with perceived influence on sleep, diet, and risky substances, while leisure shared activities were more associated with influence on developing healthy social relationships. Family-based, dyadic interventions for young AAs may incorporate shared activities (both routine and leisure) to promote healthy behaviors, although further research to explore mechanisms and directionality of influence is needed to inform action.
The Longitudinal Relationship Between Broken Windows and Sexual Behaviors Among African American Girls in Juvenile Detention: The Moderating Effects of Sexual Sensation Seeking and Parental MonitoringKim, D. H., Quinn, K., Di Clemente, R., Marotta, P., & Voisin, D. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Page(s)219-234AbstractObjective: Broken windows theory has been applied in public health to understand how neighborhood disadvantage contributes to health risk and disparities. This longitudinal study examined the relationship between a broken windows index (i.e., a proxy for neighborhood disadvantage) and sexual behaviors and whether sexual sensation-seeking behaviors and parental monitoring moderated that relationship. Method: Participants were 188 African American adolescent girls incarcerated in a short-term detention facility in Atlanta, GA. Participants completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews at baseline, 3, and 6 months; interviews assessed neighborhood disadvantage, sexual risk behaviors, sexual sensation seeking, parental monitoring, and demographics. Results: Longitudinal findings indicate that the broken windows index was associated with risky sexual behaviors (e.g., condomless sex and sex while using drugs). Parental monitoring (i.e., knowledge of child activities and friends) moderated the relationship between broken windows and sexual risk behaviors. Conclusion: Future interventions should address underlying mechanisms linking structural disadvantage to sexual behaviors.
What predicts people’s belief in COVID-19 misinformation? A retrospective study using a nationwide online survey among adults residing in the United StatesKim, S., Capasso, A., Ali, S. H., Headley, T., DiClemente, R. J., & Tozan, Y. (n.d.).
Journal titleBMC public health
Issue1AbstractBackground: Tackling infodemics with flooding misinformation is key to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet only a few studies have attempted to understand the characteristics of the people who believe in misinformation. Methods: Data was used from an online survey that was administered in April 2020 to 6518 English-speaking adult participants in the United States. We created binary variables to represent four misinformation categories related to COVID-19: general COVID-19-related, vaccine/anti-vaccine, COVID-19 as an act of bioterrorism, and mode of transmission. Using binary logistic regression and the LASSO regularization, we then identified the important predictors of belief in each type of misinformation. Nested vector bootstrapping approach was used to estimate the standard error of the LASSO coefficients. Results: About 30% of our sample reported believing in at least one type of COVID-19-related misinformation. Belief in one type of misinformation was not strongly associated with belief in other types. We also identified 58 demographic and socioeconomic factors that predicted people’s susceptibility to at least one type of COVID-19 misinformation. Different groups, characterized by distinct sets of predictors, were susceptible to different types of misinformation. There were 25 predictors for general COVID-19 misinformation, 42 for COVID-19 vaccine, 36 for COVID-19 as an act of bioterrorism, and 27 for mode of COVID-transmission. Conclusion: Our findings confirm the existence of groups with unique characteristics that believe in different types of COVID-19 misinformation. Findings are readily applicable by policymakers to inform careful targeting of misinformation mitigation strategies.
A model for cognitively-based compassion training: theoretical underpinnings and proposed mechanismsAsh, M., Harrison, T., Pinto, M., DiClemente, R., & Negi, L. T. (n.d.).
Journal titleSocial Theory and Health
Page(s)43-67AbstractAcross 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 Pilot Study to Adapt a Trauma-Informed, Mindfulness-Based Yoga Intervention for Justice-Involved YouthOwen-Smith, A., Black, H., Emerson, D., Cotner, M., Smith, H., Jackson, D., Ford, J. D., DeBar, L., DiClemente, R., & Hayat, M. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleInternational journal of yoga therapy
Issue1AbstractThe purpose of the present study was to adapt and pilot a trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga (TIMBY) intervention focused on enhancing self-regulation among youth in the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice system. In this article we (1) describe the process by which we systematically adapted an evidence-based protocol specifically for this population, (2) describe the nature of and rationale for those adaptations, (3) present some preliminary qualitative findings based on interviews with youth participants, and (4) briefly summarize how the adapted protocol will be evaluated in the subsequent feasibility trial. The iterative drafting and revision process involved modifications to a well-established, protocolized Trauma-Informed Yoga program and was identified by the project advisory board and t h rough formal interviews with intervention staff. Qualitative interviews were conducted with youth participants concerning intervention impact, credibility, and satisfaction. Several needed modifications were identified so that the intervention would be contextually appropriate for justice-involved youth. Thirty youth were enrolled in the pilot study: 77% we re Non - Hispanic Black/African-American, 18% were Non-Hispanic White, and 5% were Hispanic White. The average age was 16.45 years (range 14-20). The youth consistently reported satisfaction with the sessions and positive beliefs about how the sessions were helping them with a range of physical and psychological/ emotional challenges. Adaptations to the protocol in the present study highlight how mindfulness-based interventions for justice-involved youth need to consider what is both developmentally suitable for youth and appropriate in a justice setting. A feasibility study using this revised TIMBY protocol is underway at four Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice facilities to formally identify the barriers and facilitators to implementation for the present study and a future, larger-scale trial.
An Examination of Gender Differences in Bullying among Justice-involved AdolescentsDembo, R., Krupa, J. M., Faber, J., DiClemente, R. J., Wareham, J., & Schmeidler, J. (n.d.).
Journal titleDeviant Behavior
Page(s)268-287AbstractMost 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.
Behavioral counseling associated with STI preventionDiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Pediatrics
Changing the landscape of South Asian migrant health research by advancing second-generation immigrant health needsAli, S. H., Diclemente, R. J., & Parekh, N. (n.d.).
Journal titleTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Page(s)1295-1297AbstractSouth Asian immigrants confront a growing non-communicable disease burden, a significant issue in countries such as the USA. While efforts have slowly begun to address South Asian migrant health, second-generation communities remain underserved and understudied despite facing many of the same non-communicable disease concerns. The aim of this commentary is to highlight unique health disparities contributing to the current South Asian migrant health status and identify pathways for further formative research needed to inform subsequent development, implementation, and evaluation of health interventions targeting this community. Extant peer-reviewed literature addressing second-generation South Asian health issues was used to identify key research pathways needed to address existing gaps. Specifically, we call for (a) enhancing targeted surveillance and recruitment in research and (b) collecting data to help characterize behavioral and cultural patterns that may contribute to disease onset and progression. Expanding research on second-generation South Asian migrant health may help to develop tailored and targeted interventions.
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. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Health Care Chaplaincy
Page(s)191-206AbstractThis 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.
Computer-based alcohol reduction intervention for alcohol-using HIV/HCV co-infected Russian women in clinical care: study protocol for a randomized controlled trialDiClemente, R. J., Brown, J. L., Capasso, A., Revzina, N., Sales, J. M., Boeva, E., Gutova, L. V., Khalezova, N. B., Belyakov, N., & Rassokhin, V. (n.d.).
Issue1AbstractBackground: Russia has a high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. In 2018, over one million persons were living with HIV (PLWH); over a third were women. A high proportion of HIV-infected women are co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and many consume alcohol, which adversely affects HIV and HCV treatment and prognosis. Despite the triple epidemics of alcohol use, HIV and HCV, and the need for interventions to reduce alcohol use among HIV/HCV co-infected women, evidence-based alcohol reduction interventions for this vulnerable population are limited. To address this gap, we developed a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of a computer-based intervention to reduce alcohol consumption among HIV/HCV co-infected women in clinical care. Methods: In this two-arm parallel randomized controlled trial, we propose to evaluate the efficacy of a culturally adapted alcohol reduction intervention delivered via a computer for HIV/HCV co-infected Russian women. The study population consists of women 21–45 years old with confirmed HIV/HCV co-infection who currently use alcohol. Intervention efficacy is assessed by a novel alcohol biomarker, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), and biomarkers of HIV and HCV disease progression. Women are randomized to trial conditions in a 1:1 allocation ratio, using a computer-generated algorithm to develop the assignment sequence and concealment of allocation techniques to minimize assignment bias. Women are randomized to either (1) the computer-based alcohol reduction intervention or (2) the standard-of-care control condition. We will use an intent-to-treat analysis and logistic and linear generalized estimating equations to evaluate intervention efficacy, relative to the standard of care, in enhancing the proportion of women with a laboratory-confirmed negative EtG at each research study visit over the 9-month follow-up period. Additional analyses will evaluate intervention effects on HIV (viral load and CD4+ levels) and HCV markers of disease progression (FibroScan). Discussion: The proposed trial design and analysis provides an appropriate conceptual and methodological framework to assess the efficacy of the computer-based intervention. We propose to recruit 200 participants. The intervention, if efficacious, may be an efficient and cost-effective alcohol reduction strategy that is scalable and can be readily disseminated and integrated into clinical care in Russia to reduce women’s alcohol consumption and enhance HIV/HCV prognosis. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03362476.
Development and Cultural Adaptation of a Computer-Delivered and Multi-Component Alcohol Reduction Intervention for Russian Women Living with HIV and HCVBrown, J. L., Anastasakis, I., Revzina, N., Capasso, A., Boeva, E., Rassokhin, V., Crusey, A., Sales, J. M., Hitch, A., Renfro, T., & DiClemente, R. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Volume20AbstractBackground: There is elevated prevalence of problem drinking among Russian women living with HIV and HCV co-infection. This paper describes the development and cultural adaptation of a multi-component alcohol reduction intervention incorporating a brief, computer-delivered module for Russian women living with HIV and HCV co-infection. Methods: The format and content of the intervention were adapted to be linguistic-, cultural-, and gender-appropriate using the ADAPT-ITT framework. A computer-delivered module and brief clinician-delivered individual and telephone sessions were developed. Results: We describe the theoretical foundations of the intervention, the cultural adaptation of the intervention, and overview the content of the intervention’s multiple components. Discussion: Interventions to reduce alcohol use that can be integrated within Russian HIV treatment centers are urgently needed. If efficacious, the culturally-adapted intervention offers the promise of a cost-effective, easily disseminated intervention approach for Russian women living with HIV/HCV co-infection engaging in problematic alcohol use.