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Population, Family and Reproductive Health


The ABC Study

Jenny Robinson, Maria Trent, Jean Anderson, Anne Burke
This study explores the contraceptive knowledge, attitudes, and choices of adolescent women living with HIV.

Developing and Evaluating Life Skills Training Plus

Phil Leaf, Jacinda Dariotis, Beth Marshall, Terrinieka Williams Powell
This study, which is the core research project of the Center for Adolescent Health, a CDC funded Prevention Research Center aims to develop and evaluate the impact of additional Life Skills Training Modules focused on sexual risk taking on the risk behaviors and academic outcomes of Baltimore City middle school students.  Additionally, neighborhood and other contextual data will be employed to examine the variability in program impact. 

Early Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Needs in Refugee Settings

Courtland Robinson
The study explores sexual and reproductive health needs and risks of very young adolescents (10-14) in humanitarian contexts; unaccompanied and separated children in emergencies. The current research takes place in refugee camps and displaced persons settlements at the Thai-Burma and at the Ethopia-Somalia borders. It is a collaboration with the International Refugee Committee’s Womens Refugee Commission.

Exploration of Young People’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Assessment Practices

Michelle J. Hindin
This project is a MacArthur-funded initiative to conduct systematic reviews of interventions targeting young people (ages 10-24) in lower- and middle-income countries. Specifically, we are examining the quality  of interventions and evaluations in four key areas:  early marriage, early pregnancy, repeat pregnancy and STIs.

Faith-based Adolescents Involved in Total Health

Terrinieka Williams Powell, Sam Illangasekare
Focused on those areas of Baltimore where the adolescent pregnancy rates are the highest, this study aims to understand what is currently being done in the churches of those communities to address pregnancy prevention and to identify the potentials and barriers for effective interventions.


The Global Early Adolescent Study

Robert Wm. Blum, Caroline Moreau
The purpose of The Global Early Adolescent Study is to understand how gender norms influence sexual attitudes, beliefs and relationship formation in early adolescence as well as subsequent sexual activity and contraceptive practices in older adolescence.  Specifically, the study will explore: 1) the determinants of gender attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in early adolescents; 2) how these gender norms influence individual sexual and reproductive health (SRH) across adolescent years. The study has two phases the first of which just began and it explores transitions into adolescents. In addition, it will also develop a tool kit of 4 instruments appropriate for early adolescents 10-14 years of age while the second phase will be 5 years in duration (anticipated to begin in 2016) and will follow a cohort of 1400 young adolescents in 10 countries: Egypt, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Scotland, Belgium, India, China and the United States. This research will help us build the knowledge base for improved gender based violence prevention services as well as reducing child marriage and improving early contraceptive use among young males and females who have sex.

Identifying Social Contextal Factors for Adolescent Condom Use in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC)

Kristin Mmari
Study consists of a literature review to identify key social contextual factors that influence adolescent condom use, and a subsequent intervention study that will address identified social factors and the programmatic impact it will have on adolescent condom use.

Meaningful Use of Technology to Improve Health Care Delivery (DepoText Project)

Maria Trent
Randomized pilot trial designed to determine the feasibility and acceptability of an SMS program to assist adolescents and young adults who have selected Moderately-long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (MARCS) with clinic attendance at family planning appointments. To learn more, visit the Meaningful Use of Technology to Improve Health Care Delivery page.

Prevention in Churches

Terrinieka Williams Powell
To better understand the influence, if any, of churches on HIV risk and protective behaviors among young adult (ages 18-25) Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) by 1) exploring the relationship between HIV risk and protective behaviors (e.g., HIV testing, condom and substance use) and experiences in churches among BMSM and 2) assessing the extent to which churches can increase HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), risk reduction, and health promotion among BMSM.

Project Connect Baltimore

Arik V. Marcell
This is a CDC-funded program to evaluate school and community-based methods to engage males in HIV/STD testing and sexual and reproductive health care in Baltimore City by training youth-serving professionals on a web-based clinical services provider guide for male-specific clinical services ( If successful, this project will advance the field of male health promotion through its use of innovative approaches and technology that are easily transferable to a variety of settings and implemented at low cost.  

Quality improvement to integrate HIV testing in the Harriet Lane Clinic’s Title X Program

Arik V. Marcell
Funded by the Office of Population Affairs, the goal of this program is to integrate rapid HIV testing as part of Title X services and increase the proportion of clients receiving HIV test results and evaluate increased use using rapid Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles.

Technology Enchanced Community Health Nursing Study

Maria Trent
The study involves 350 young women 13-21years old diagnosed with PID in Baltimore and randomize them to receive CHN clinical support using a single post-PID face-to-face clinical evaluation and SMS communication support. We hypothesize that repackaging the recommended CDC-follow-up visit using a technology-enhanced community health nursing intervention (TECH-N) with integration of an evidence-based STI prevention curriculum will reduce rates of short-term repeat infection by improving adherence to PID treatment and reducing unprotected intercourse and be more cost-effective compared with outpatient standard of care (and hospitalization). To learn more, visit the  Technology Enchanced Community Health Nursing Study page.

Well-being of Adolescents in Vulnerable Environments

Kristin Mmari (Co-PI), Michele Decker (Co-PI), Beth Marshall, Robert Blum, Mark Emerson, Heena Brahmbhatt, Freya Sonenstein
The WAVE study explored the relationships between health  and environment in 5 low income urban communities of Ibadan, Johannesburg, Baltimore, Shanghai and  New Delhi. The study--focused on 15 to 19 year old youth--had two components the first of which included photo essay, focus group and interview and the second, using respondent driving sampling,  explored health, risk exposure, social contexts and protective factors among the most vulnerable youth in these communities.