New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU Silver Professors Awarded NIH Grants to Study Adolescent Sexual Behavior

December 22, 2010

The National Institutes of Health has awarded New York University Silver School of Social Work Professor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos and Visiting Professor James Jaccard two major grants for research on inner-city Latino and African American adolescent sexual behavior. Both projects will study teenagers and their families in the Bronx.

The first grant—$2.6 million over five years—will fund a large scale randomized clinical trial designed to prevent or reduce sexual activity of inner-city teens. The novel approach draws upon the collaborative efforts of social workers, pediatricians, and parents. Coordinated by social work interventionists, the study includes an initial intervention with adolescents and their mothers during annual physicals conducted at a community health care clinic. A social worker will meet with the teen’s mother and will share specific strategies for talking about delaying sexual behavior and reducing risk with their child. By the end of the research, Guilamo-Ramos hopes to further develop a practical, effective, and cost-efficient intervention that will reach large numbers of adolescents through health care settings. The research has important applied implications for social workers, pediatricians, and other adolescent health care providers.

 A second grant—$3.1 million over five years—will examine how family influences the formation of romantic relationships in adolescents. Specifically, the research will explore partner selection and parental messages conveyed to youth about preferred partner characteristics. Using a prospective research design, Guilamo-Ramos and his research team will interview 16- to 18-year-old couples and their parents to forecast the couple’s sexual behavior. Jaccard, an internationally recognized expert in attitude change and decision-making as applied to young adolescents, will closely consult with Guilamo-Ramos’ research team. By shedding light on adolescent couples and familial influences of romantic partner formation the study will inform parent-based interventions designed to address adolescent couples and sexual risk behavior.

 “The disproportionate impact of negative health outcomes associated with sexual behavior on Latino and African American youths demands approaches that address adolescents within the context of their families and integrate the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs,” said Guilamo-Ramos. “While oftentimes not seen as part of the public health response to adolescent sexual risk behavior, social workers are uniquely positioned to deliver interventions and programmatic efforts that derive their effectiveness from a focus on key socio-cultural and contextual influences.”

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Silver School of Social Work, Research

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Robert Polner | (212) 998-2337

NYU Silver Professor Awarded NIH Grant to Study Adolescent Sexual Behavior

Search News



NYU In the News

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

A Globalizer for N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi

The New York Times profiled Bill Bragin who will become the first executive artistic director of NYU Abu Dhabi’s new performing arts center.

Think Tank to Ponder a Future for Ballet

The New York Times profiled Jennifer Homans, the director of NYU’s new Center for Ballet and the Arts.

The Brilliant Ten: Jonathan Viventi Builds Devices That Decode Thoughts

Popular Science named Assistant Bioengineering Professor Jonathan Viventi as one of its “brilliant ten” for his research into brain implants that could one day halt epileptic episodes:

Living and Leaving the Dream: Adrian Cardenas’ Journey from the Major Leagues to College

The New York Times ran a feature on Adrian Cardenas, a former major league baseball player who is now studying philosophy and creating writing at NYU.

NYU Footer