Sexual Risk Behavior / Reproductive Health
CHIP research on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexual risk behaviors includes the development and evaluation of interventions for pregnancy prevention; meta-analyses of existing safer sex interventions and family planning campaigns; use of virtual reality (VR) technology to measure study participants’ rapid, emotion-based reactions to condoms; development and evaluation of an intervention to support the reproductive health of people living with HIV (PLWH) in India; identification of the barriers and predictors of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine use in at-risk populations; and the new work to enhance partner notification around potential HIV/STI exposure in South Africa and to develop a mobile phone app for preventing HIV and other STIs.
Additionally, CHIP’s health psychologists Rick Gibbons and Meg Gerrard have been conducting The Family and Community Health Study (FACHS), a longitudinal study of psychosocial factors related to the physical and mental health of African American families, for more than 15 years. The largest such study conducted to date in the US, FACHS began with 900 families and has followed them across 6 waves, with a special focus on the adolescents who were age 10 at Wave 1 (age 26 at Wave 6) and their parents. An ongoing study, FACHS examines the impact of stressors, such as racial discrimination, environmental risk, and low socioeconomic status (SES), as well as buffers, such as racial socialization and racial identity, on outcomes including substance use, obesity, and disease. An offshoot of the research team’s work in this area includes using experimental (lab) methods to examine the effects of discrimination and social exclusion on the willingness of young Black and White adults to engage in risky sex and drug use.