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Past Projects


Parenting and Relationship Transition and Risk Study

PARTNRS (Parenting and Relationship Transition and Risk Study) was concluded in March 2012 and sought to understand the sexual and reproductive health of young expectant fathers and their adolescent partners as they transitioned to parenthood. The study involved 296 couples from across the state of Connecticut. Each couple completed a series of interviews during and immediately following the period of pregnancy, answered questions related to their health and relationship, and were tested periodically for STDs. The data collected used for the development of a community based group intervention geared toward strengthening families and decreasing incidences of HIV and other STDs.

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Project #5R01MH075685-02

Partners in LIFE

Partners in LIFE (Love, Intimacy, and Family Education) is an integrated risk reduction intervention based on research data gathered from first time expectant parents over the course of their pregnancy and transition to parenthood. The goals of this intervention are to work with young parenting couples ages 14-25 years in order to:

  • minimize sexual risk
  • improve relationship functioning
  • improve parenting skills

This project takes a group-based approach to examining the multiple dimensions of relationship development and cohesion. Couples participating in the intervention utilize a 15 week curriculum led by 2 trained facilitators and explore a variety of topics related to communication, identifying and managing emotions, empathy, conflict resolution reducing sexual risk, and family planning.

The community partner for this project is Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut.

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ○ Project #5R34MH094354-02

Multi-level Intervention for HIV-Positive MSM in India

This study seeks to develop, implement, and assess an innovative multi-level intervention for HIV-positive MSM in India to promote their health, safer sex, and disclosure of HIV status. There have been few HIV prevention interventions for HIV-positive MSM in India, one of the most high-risk and vulnerable populations in the world.

Test and Tweet: Change Through Social Technologies

Currently, the incidence of HIV cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) is increasing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 21% of the HIV population is unaware of their HIV status. Those unaware of their HIV status are central to the spread of HIV and are difficult to engage in care. This project will develop and provide preliminary feasibility data for a peer-delivered social technology intervention using a variety of technologies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, text messaging) to increase HIV testing and engage potential unaware MSM in medical care and related services.

The community partner for this project is The CIRCLE CARE Center in Norwalk, CT.

Funded by the Community Research Partnership Program of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA)


Cell phone Research to Enhance Well-being

CREW (Cell phone Research to Enhance Well-being) sought to understand how the use of cell phone technology influences existing social networks and impacts decision making among men ages 18-25 years. The study consisted of 120 participants and takes place over six months. During study enrollment participants completed three computer based interviews and allow data related to their cell phone activity and GPS locations to be collected.

The partner for this project is Mobile Spy.

Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Project #1R21DA031146-01A1

Father’s Social Networks

Father’s Social Networks: Fathers can play an important role in child development and family functioning. This study sought to understand how a fathers’ friends may influence his health behaviors and involvement with his children. We conducted an egocentric social network study, interviewing young fathers about their social networks to assess how the social norms, communication, and influence of network members influence their sexual risk and their parenting behavior and involvement.

The community partner for this project was Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut (CCPC).

Funded by the Community Research Partnership Program of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA).