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Community THRIVES Laboratory

Preventing Violence, Promoting Sexual Health and Helping Families Thrive

Mother kissing her baby on the cheek

The Community THRIVES Lab conducts community-engaged, transformative health research at the intersection of family violence, early childhood, and adolescent sexual health intervention.

Partnering with youth, families, and communities on research to improve health equity and bolster resilience, we aim to inform and test innovative approaches to improving adolescent sexual health and well-being, reducing unplanned and early pregnancy, nurturing young families, ending intergenerational cycles of child abuse and neglect, and intervening early with our youngest kids to help families thrive. This work takes a village.

 

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together.

 

Aboriginal Activist Group, Queensland, 1970

Rosie the Chatbot

October 1, 2021 — Present

Principal Investigators: Dr. Elizabeth Aparicio & Dr. Quynh Nguyen (Associate Professor, Epidemiology)
Funding: NIH R01MD016037

Rosie is a chatbot that will enable easier navigation of health information to support expectant and new mothers of color the moment they need it. Rosie will be able to engage in live question-and-answer sessions to respond to frequent questions that moms have. Information provided will come from verified sources such as children’s hospitals, health organizations and government agencies to ensure accuracy. It will also be presented in a conversational style without the need to navigate through dozens of web pages in search of a specific credible answer. Rosie's development and use will be a tool of help to improve moms' and children's quality of life and health care outcomes.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Expectant and Parenting Foster Youth

October 1, 2020 — Present

Hand holding a phone showing a photo of two kids smiling at camera

Community Partner: Healthy Teen Network
University Partner: Montclair State University
Funding: Annie E. Casey Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on transition age foster youth. This study seeks to examine how young parents in and aging out of the foster care system are navigating this difficult time, in order to inform practice and policy with this specialized group. This study involves participatory action methods, including PhotoVoice groups and focus groups, to uplift the experiences of parenting foster youth. 

Next Chapter Project, Phase 1

April 1, 2018 — Present
Young Mother kissing baby on the cheek

Community Partner: Hearts and Homes for Youth (Melanie Geddings-Hayes, LCSW-C)
Funding: UMD Maryland Catalyst Fund

Teen mothers who are in foster care speak with great joy about becoming a parent, though it has many challenges, and express a strong desire to do things differently with their own children than what they experienced in their own families while growing up. In this community-engaged grounded theory study, we are partnering with youth, social worker, and caregiver experts to explore the experience of accessing and receiving parenting support and mental health support among young mothers in foster care.

Fostering Healthy Relationships

May 1, 2017 — Present 
Foster Family of four

Community Partner: Hearts and Homes for Youth (Melanie Geddings-Hayes, LCSW-C)
UMD Partner: Prevention Research Center
Funding: UMD Department of Behavioral and Community Health, UMD Prevention Research Center, UMD Graduate School

Youth in foster care are 2-3 times as likely to become pregnant as a teen compared to their peers who are not in care and are at elevated risk for STI exposure. During this community-based participatory research project, we are partnering with youth, community, and university experts to conduct a needs assessment and create an innovative multi-level sexual health intervention for youth in foster care. Our current phase of the project involves examining the specific sexual health and mental health needs of LGBTQ foster youth.

Wahine Talk 

July 1, 2020 — Present
Sad young woman sitting on set of stairs

Community Partner: Waikiki Health's Youth Outreach (YO!) Program 

Funding: HHS Office of Population Affairs

Young women who are homeless experience teen pregnancy at a rate five times greater than their housed peers and engage in myriad sexual risk behaviors (such as unprotected and transactional sex). Systems of care are often ill-equipped to meet their health and well-being needs. To address this gap in care, Wahine Talk was developed by Kent Anderson and his team at Waikiki Health and is run out of a youth drop-in center in Waikiki, a neighborhood in Honolulu, HI with high rates of youth homelessness. Young women are invited to participate in four program components delivered by a team of interdisciplinary providers (social work/public health/nursing): basic needs and social services; peer mentoring; sexual health education groups; and sexual healthcare. Wahine Talk is an incentivized healthcare program: youth receive a cell phone upon entry to facilitate program connectedness, databoosts when they participate, and a second, upgraded cell phone if they complete a program checklist. To date, Wahine Talk has served 68 young women aged 14-22 years and followed up on key sexual health outcomes for 12 months following the conclusion of the intervention. Watch our Wahine Talk film and read our study publications here: go.umd.edu/WahineTalkProducts

Social Network Influences on Infant Feeding Decisions Among Low-Income Latina Women

A baby being held by a womanDissertation Research Supervised by Dr. Aparicio

PI: Amara Channell Doig, PhD Candidate
Advisor: Liz Aparicio, PhD

Infant feeding practices have important long-term health impacts but few families, particularly low-income and minoritized families, in the US meet the current feeding recommendations. Most current studies focus on mothers as the sole decision makers, but maternal social networks can influence these decisions. This study seeks to determine who influences infant feeding decisions, what information they share, and how mothers make their decisions. If you would like to learn more, please contact her at acdoig@umd.edu.

Application of a Multi-Method Approach to Identify Americans’ Historical and Contemporary Sentiments Toward the Uptake of Emergency Contraceptive Pills 

Yellow pill in a packageDissertation Research Supervised by Dr. Aparicio

PI: Michelle Jasczynski, PhD Candidate
Advisor: Liz Aparicio, PhD

Michelle is currently completing data collection for her dissertation. She is applying both sentiment and latent class analyses to describe and document historical and current attitudes and uptake of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPS) using Twitter data and a novel survey she developed. Research suggests ECPS are underutilized in the United States and there is a need for further evaluation of the knowledge, attitudes, and experiences among women and people who can become pregnant to understand what motivates uptake and what motivates the underutilization. Identifying barriers to access and use are essential as the reproductive health landscape in the United States is rapidly changing and ECPs may become the last contraception option millions may have access to. 

Collaborative Co-design of Portable Work Benefits Policy Model and Prototype based on Direct Care Workers’ Needs, Attitudes, and Beliefs

Picture of a care worker helping an elderly manDissertation Research Supervised by Dr. Aparicio

PI: Charlene Kuo, PhD Candidate
Advisor: Liz Aparicio, PhD

Turnover is high among direct care workers who provide essential care to people with disabilities and frail elders and keep health care costs low through their labor. Charlene’s dissertation invites direct care workers to explore ways to improve their work conditions, compensation, and long-term health by co-designing a portable work benefits policy model and delivery platform prototype based on their self-identified needs, attitudes, and beliefs. Portable work benefits refer to benefits that travel with employees when they change jobs, are prorated so multiple clients can contribute, and are accessible to all workers. 

COMPLETED PROJECTS

African American Father-Daughter Sexual Health Communication 

A Black father and daughter hugging

Dissertation Research Supervised by Dr. Aparicio

PI: Olivia Kachingwe, PhD (Alumni)
Advisor: Liz Aparicio, PhD

African American youth and young adults living in the United States are disproportionately burdened by HIV/AIDS, and when compared to women of other races and ethnicities, African American women have the highest rate of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes simplex virus 2. Though sexual health communication is a well-established protective factor against sexual risk-taking behaviors, African American father-daughter sexual health communication is under-researched. Thus, this study seeks to understand the process of African American father-daughter sexual health communication, including the topics discussed, pertinent dyadic relationship dynamics, and perceived impact on sexual behavior.

Led by Dr. Elizabeth Aparicio, our lab takes a collaborative approach to intervene upon some of our communities' most challenging social determinants of health. We work to both challenge structural inequities and nurture individuals', families', and communities' innate ability to thrive. This work requires teams of dedicated community-based and campus-based researchers. Below are our current research team members.

Elizabeth Aparicio, faculty member of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Elizabeth Aparicio, PhD, MSW
Director

Dr. Aparicio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health. Trained as a clinical social worker, Dr. Aparicio served the community in Washinton D.C. and Maryland for nearly a decade as a trauma-focused licensed clinician, providing individual, family, and group psychotherapy to children and adolescents. Dr. Aparicio focuses on improving health equity through affecting individual and system-level change to improve youth and community well-being via informing and testing interventions in adolescent sexual health, teen pregnancy, and parenting; early childhood intervention; and child maltreatment prevention. She is a dedicated mentor and teacher, serving as a qualitative and mixed-methods methodologist and content expert on multiple PhD dissertation and MPH project committees, and teaching qualitative research methods to graduate students and community health engagement to undergraduate students.

 

Picture of YeseniaYesenia Lemus Avila
BS Student in Public Health Science
Yesenia Lemus Avila is a Junior Public Health Science major on the pre-med track at the University of Maryland; and is from Prince George’s County, Maryland. Yesenia is currently an undergraduate research assistant in the Community THRIVES Lab and is involved in various cultural and health organizations. Furthermore, she is also a CNA and a volunteer at the pediatric emergency department at John Hopkins Hospital. Her professional interests include maternal health, child health, and minority health. After undergraduate studies, she plans to attend medical school to specialize in pediatrics, where she can apply both her public health and medical knowledge/experiences. Yesenia’s lifetime goal is to open up various pediatric clinics in underprivileged areas to provide adequate healthcare in hopes to decrease the health inequity gap in the United States.

 

Lisa PicLisa Anoruo

Lisa Anoruo is a Junior Public Health Science major on the pre-med track. She grew up in Baltimore County Maryland but is originally from Owerri, Nigeria. Lisa is interested in maternal and child health, especially surrounding the disproportional health care disparities amongst African American mothers. After her undergraduate years at UMD, Lisa plans to attend medical school where she can pursue her goal of becoming a pediatrician to apply her knowledge of public health and medicine to empower and treat children and young mothers. Lisa also plans to open a practice in Nigeria to empower and treat children and young mothers facing adverse health effects.

 

Kayla Bae PicKayla Bae
BS Student in Public Health Science

Kayla Bae is a Sophomore Public Health Science major from Howard County, Maryland. She is an undergraduate research assistant in the Community THRIVES Lab, and she is also involved in other health and cultural organizations on campus. Her professional interests include sexual and reproductive health among women and youth. After her undergraduate years at UMD, she hopes to attend medical school where she can pursue a career in sexual and reproductive health and to continue to empower more children and women.

 

 

LenoraLenora Blakely Lenora is a senior in the Public Health Science program and is from Silver Spring, Maryland. After completion of her undergraduate degree, her goal is to earn an MPH in a Global Public Health program. Her professional interest lies in conducting field research in child and maternal health in latino populations, particularly in Central and South America.

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Chavez, MSW
Community Partner (Waikiki Health, HI)
Project: Wahine Talk

Megan Kaleipumehana Cabral, MSW
Community-based Researcher on O'ahu (HI)
Project: Wahine Talk

Amara Channell Doig, MPH
PhD Candidate in Behavioral and Community Health
Projects: Wahine Talk, Next Chapter Project

Amara Channell Doig, MPH is currently a PhD candidate in Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Georgia and a Master's degree in Public Health from George Washington University. Prior to starting her doctoral program, she worked as a Research Associate and Project Coordinator in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. In this capacity, she has worked with a local health department to assess breastfeeding and vitamin D practices among mothers receiving WIC and coordinated a childhood obesity research study. She previously worked in Lima, Peru to provide health care and education to impoverished communities as a health educator. She also worked as a principal advisor on the Peruvian National Nutrition Program. She has performed laboratory research, conducted fieldwork on medical care for children, and performed analyses of the role of the pharmacies in antibiotic overuse. Her research interests include cultural adaptations of interventions for ethnic and racial minorities, the use of social media for public health, pediatric obesity, and infant and toddler feeding practices. If you would like to learn more, please contact her at acdoig@umd.edu.

Sara GaSara Garmchirmchi

Sara Garmchi is a sophomore psychology major from Howard County, Maryland. As a medical assistant at an OBGYN office, she has a lot of interaction and experiences related to maternal health. Sara is interested in the mental health of foster youth and empowering and assisting young mothers from this system who lack a stable support system. Additionally, she is interested in exploring the issues that foster youth face in the healthcare system. After her undergraduate studies, Sara hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career as a pediatric/adolescent psychiatrist.

Melanie Geddings-Hayes, MSW, LCSW-C
Community Partner (Hearts and Homes for Youth)
Projects: Fostering Healthy Relationships, Next Chapter Project

David J. Hawthorne David J. Hawthorne is a PHD student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Prior to enrolling at UMD, David worked as a Research Coordinator in the Department of Health Studies at American University where he managed several research projects, including a NIH-funded study on minority stress among sexual and gender minorities, a mindfulness intervention for college students to reduce heavy episodic drinking, and an ecological momentary assessment examining disordered eating in young men. In addition to working with the Community Thrives Lab, David is a graduate research assistant with UMD's Prevention Research Center where he provides research and administrative support to the Center's projects including an intervention addressing drug-sex linked behaviors for men in substance abuse therapy, and an LGBTQ+ cultural competency training program for mental health providers and their organizations. David completed his undergraduate studies at Howard University and his Master's at American University. If you would like to learn more about David and his research interests, please contact David at davidjh@umd.edu.

Alexis Hunter PictureAlexis S. Hunter, MA (she, her, hers)

PhD Student in Behavioral and Community Health

Projects: Rosie the Chatbot

Alexis is a Teaching Assistant and a PhD student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Alexis earned her BA in Psychology from Michigan State University with specializations in Health Promotion and Bioethics, Humanities, and Society. She completed her MA in Community Psychology and Social Change at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the University, she worked at Wayne State University with health and racial disparities in chronic diseases (asthma, diabetes, and HIV/STI). Alexis is passionate about her work within health and racial disparities, substance use, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention. She has extensive experience as a qualitative researcher, working inside urban and rural communities. She has worked as a Research Project Manager as well as a HIV test counselor and prevention specialist at the University of Michigan. She is interested in finding creative and innovative ways to use community engaged research to structure socio-behavioral and sexual health interventions for adolescent and emerging adults to address the gaps that exist for understanding sexual and gender minority health disparities.

 

 

Masha Huq, doctoral student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Maisha Huq, MSPH
PhD Student in Behavioral and Community Health
Projects: Fostering Healthy Relationships, Wahine Talk, Next Chapter Project

Maisha Huq is a PhD student in the Behavioral and Community Health Department and began working with the lab in Fall 2019. She studied Economics as an undergraduate at Smith College and graduated from her Master of Science in Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. 

She is most interested in research and direct service related to promoting positive health behavior promotions, and she has a special interest in youth. During her Master’s in Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, she focused on adolescent health and worked on school-based health programming research in Baltimore. She has worked on a variety of social, economic, and health program implementation and evaluation research projects on homelessness, workforce development, and behavioral health, family planning, and school health. She has previously worked at Abt Associates, the Center for Adolescent Health at Johns Hopkins, and the PMA2020 Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. She values communities bringing their expertise and voice to addressing the issues which affect them most. At the THRIVES Lab, she is excited to conduct research guided by a commitment to community participation.

Michelle Jasczynski, instructor of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Michelle Jasczynski, Ed.M.
PhD Candidate in Behavioral and Community Health
Projects: Rosie the Chatbot, Fostering Healthy Relationships, COVID-19 Parenting, Wahine Talk, Next Chapter Project 

Michelle Jasczynski is a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Her research interests are centered around promoting and protecting adolescent health and wellness and bridging the gap between youth and access to healthcare. Michelle previously worked for CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepititis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) supporting the school-based HIV/STI prevention work of both the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) and the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) as a policy fellow and as a field-based program coordinator for the District of Columbia Department of Health's school-based STI/HIV screening program. Michelle received her BA in psychology from Berry College and her Master of Education in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

 

 

CharleneCharlene Kuo, MPH
PhD Candidate in Behavioral and Community Health
Project: Wahine Talk

Charlene Kuo is a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Prior to her time at UMD SPH, Charlene worked as a Research Coordinator at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Program. Broadly, she is interested in the social determinants of health and health equity. Charlene enjoys frameworks and methods that center the experiences and perspectives of people experiencing health disparities including critical race theory, community-based participatory research, and co-design. Charlene is curious about how American history, culture, values, and society has shaped public health in the United States. Charlene hopes to focus her dissertation on barriers to direct care workers accessing fair work benefits because it explores how care work and a workforce largely made up of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants are valued in the U.S. Charlene received her BA in American Studies and BS in Biological Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her MPH in Community Health Sciences from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

 

Picture of Ximena Francia Ximena Marin Gutierrez, MSW

Projects: Rosie the Chatbot, Next Chapter Project

Francia Ximena Marin Gutierrez is a Research Coordinator for the Rosie the Chatbot study in the Behavioral and Community Health department in the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Howard University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Marymount University. Her interests are Social Justice, Women and Children Welfare, Leadership Development, and Cultural Competence Development. Follow her on Twitter at @gu1_marin

 

 

Danielle Phillips, doctoral student of University of Maryland School of Social Work

Danielle Phillips, MSW, LSW
PhD Student in Social Work at UMB School of Social Work
Projects: Wahine Talk, Next Chapter Project

Danielle Phillips is currently a PhD student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. Her research interests are centered on humanistic issues that often imply a lack of equity and access that affect minorities, particularly women, such as housing, wage equity, reproductive health, racism, mental health, education, and personal safety. Danielle's research focus is on intersectional approaches to social policy analysis and development as related to intergenerational trauma and its effects on families. Danielle received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Hawai'i Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Danielle is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the state of Hawai'i. Prior to relocating to Maryland in August 2018, Danielle formerly worked as the Director of Social Services at Hale Makua Health Services on the island of Maui while serving on the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Hawai'i Chapter Board of Directors as a member-at-large, Chair of the Continuing Education Committee, and Chair of the PACE Committee. Danielle has served as a research assistant with the Wahine Talk project since 2016.

Katelyn Reynolds, student of the University of Maryland

Katelyn Reynolds 
BS in Biological Sciences: Physiology and Neurobiology Student 
Project: African American Father-Daughter Sexual Health Communication, Next Chapter, Wahine Talk

Katelyn Reynolds is a sophomore at the University of Maryland studying Biology with minors in Global Poverty and Humanities, Health and Medicine. Aside from working in the Community THRIVES Lab, Katelyn has significant experience working with children and families as an assistant in a preschool, gymnastics coach, and nanny. Most recently, she became a certified nursing assistant. After she completes her undergraduate degree, Katelyn hopes to attend medical school and ultimately practice in the field of women’s health. Katelyn is interested in sexual health education and creating solutions to disparities in health care related to gender, race, and ethnicity. Katelyn believes working in the Community THRIVES Lab will not only give her experience in the research process but also an opportunity to see how the field of community health operates to best serve the population at hand. 

Jennifer Robinson, doctoral student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Jennifer Robinson, MPH
PhD Candidate in Behavioral and Community Health
Projects: Rosie the Chatbot, Fostering Healthy Relationships, COVID-19 parenting, Next Chapter Project, Wahine Talk

Jennifer Robinson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA in Psychology and English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked as a consultant conducting qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research on public health topics for a variety of stakeholders (e.g., USAID, National Cancer Institute). She has also been active in mental health advocacy and has worked to help those in crisis as a volunteer counselor. She is currently an instructor of record and graduate teaching assistant in the Behavioral and Community Health department. Her current research seeks to understand and address the sexual and reproductive health and mental health needs of marginalized youth. If you would like to learn more, please contact her at jrobin20@umd.edu.

Picture of SwatiSwati Sah, MPH
PhD Student in Behavioral and Community Health
Projects: Fostering Healthy Relationships, Next Chapter
Swati Sah is a PhD student in Behavioral and Community Health and began working with the THRIVES lab in Fall 2021. She received her MPH at New York University, during which she spent two months at the University of Cape Town exploring the stigma around abortion, coercive contraceptive practices of medical clinics on immigrant woman, and delays and barriers in the judicial system preventing appropriate handling of sexual assault and domestic violence cases. Following her MPH, she worked in suicide prevention and as a community contact tracer for the NYC COVID-19 response. Through this work, her primary research focus narrowed to understanding power-based violence as it relates to structural policies. She is also currently the Sexual Assault Prevention Graduate Coordinator at the Dept. of Fraternities and Sororities at UMD.

 

John Salerno, doctoral student of School of Public Health from the University of Maryland

John P. Salerno, MPH
PhD Candidate in Behavioral and Community Health
Project: Fostering Healthy Relationships

John is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Public Health (SPH), Department of Behavioral and Community Health (BCH). He is also a teaching assistant at the UMD-SPH-BCH, and a graduate research assistant at the Prevention Research Center (PRC) and the Community THRIVES Lab (THRIVES). His sexual/gender and racial/ethnic identities are gay/cisgender men and Hispanic/Latino, and he uses he/him/his pronouns. He received his BA in psychology and MPH in prevention science and community health at the University of Miami (UM). Prior to beginning this doctoral program, he worked at a Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research at the UM School of Nursing & Health Studies. His research there focused on the implementation of precision medicine approaches adolescent mental health awareness in schools, health promotion/disease prevention among homeless individuals and victims of intimate partner violence, and the health of racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities. He has expertise in community engagement, community-based participatory research, program evaluation, and scientific writing within the field of public health. He has a special research interest in LGBTQ+ health and is particularly interested in research to improve the health of hyper-marginalized LGBTQ+ youth, including those in public systems (child welfare and criminal justice), the homeless, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants/refugees. His current/active research projects target these populations. The overarching goal of his research is to improve the life trajectories of individuals who have fewer chances to succeed in life and are at risk for health disparities due to their intersectional and marginalized identities. For more information about him and his current/past work, please visit his ResearchGate and Linkedin profile pages. If you would like to learn more about him or his research, please do not hesitate to contact him at Jsalerno@umd.edu.     

Jee Hun (Mike) Yoo, doctoral student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Jee Hun (Mike) Yoo, MHS
PhD Candidate in Behavioral and Community Health
Project: Next Chapter Project

Jee Hun (Mike) Yoo is a PhD student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. He received his BA in public health studies and psychology at Johns Hopkins University and MHS in environmental health science at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research interest is around better understanding the various ways that cultural factors affect the mental health of minority and marginalized population. In particular, he is interested in how people manage and cope with different stressors in their lives, and how various cultural factors help or hinder people in achieving healthy management of their mental health. If you would like to learn more, please contact him at jyoo22@umd.edu.

StefanyStefany Zelaya 

BS in Public Health Sciences 

Stefany Zelaya is a senior Public Health Sciences major and nonprofit leadership and social innovation minor. She is from Baltimore County, Maryland and serves as an undergraduate research assistant in the Community THRIVES Lab. Her professional interests are focused on improving community health and improving access to health services among minority communities. She is interested in topics surrounding substance use and HIV/AIDS. After her undergraduate studies, she hopes to attend graduate school for a masters in public health or masters in health administration. 

 

 

ALUMNI

Faduma Aden, student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Faduma Aden
BS Student in Public Health Science
Projects: Fostering Healthy Relationships, Next Chapter Project, Wahine Talk

Faduma Aden is a junior Public Health Science major. She is from Montgomery County, Maryland and originally from Somalia. Faduma currently serves as an undergraduate research assistant in the Community THRIVES Lab and is also involved in both cultural and health organizations on campus. Her professional interests focus on women's health, particularly reproductive and sexual health. Faduma uses she/her/hers pronouns and is particularly interested in community-based participatory work, such as the Community THRIVES Lab's current projects. After she completes her undergraduate program, Faduma hopes to earn her MPH degree with a focus in health behavior and/or health policy, then move on to work in the programming and policy realm of public health. Faduma then hopes earn a PhD in Public Health, with a research focus on improving access to reproductive and sexual health resources for vulnerable populations.

Emily Hillig
BS in Community Health
Projects: Wahine Talk, Next Chapter Project

 

Olivia Kachingwe, adjunct professor of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Olivia Kachingwe, Ph.D., MPH
Projects: African American Father-Daughter Sexual Health Communication, Wahine Talk, Fostering Healthy Relationships

Olivia Kachingwe received her PhD from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Her research focuses on sexual health decision-making and sexual risk behavior among racial and sexual minority youth. Prior to attending the University of Maryland, Olivia worked as a Project Coordinator for a health equity project funded by the Rhode Island Department of Health. The project was stewarded by the Women's Resource Center, a domestic violence non-profit organization in Newport, Rhode Island. Olivia received her BA in Health and Societies from the University of Pennsylvania and her MPH with a concentration in Health Behavior from Brown University, School of Public Health. To learn more, please contact Olivia via email at okaching@umd.edu.

 

Kaitlyn Lee, graduate student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Kaitlyn Lee, BS, MPH
Community-Based Researcher in Maryland 
Projects: Next Chapter Project, Wahine Talk

Kaitlyn earned her MPH from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health in 2020 and has worked with the lab since 2019.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland in 2013. Prior to entering the MPH program, Kaitlyn was employed as a Research Assistant in the Center for Creativity and Innovation (CINC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she helped manage a study, which assessed the validity of an online substance use assessment. Prior to that, she was an Interviewer for the Epidemiological Catchment Area study at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Kaitlyn’s research interests still include mental health and substance use, but also violence prevention in the urban youth population as well as global health disparities.

Eshana Parekh, student of the University of Maryland

Eshana Parekh
BS in Human Ecology Student
Projects: Fostering Healthy Relationships, Next Chapter Project, Wahine Talk

Eshana Parekh graduated with a degree in Ecology and Evolution major and Spanish minor. She is from Howard County, Maryland and served as an undergraduate research assistant in the Community THRIVES Lab. Eshana has also previously worked at an ecology research lab at the University of Maryland, collecting wetland data in efforts to improve the Delmarva wetland ecosystem. Her professional interests are centered around bettering community health, especially among minority communities, as well as environmental conservation and activism. After her undergraduate studies, she hopes to join the Peace Corps to serve marginalized populations and better community health on a global scale. Eshana would then like to go to graduate school to advance her abilities to serve others in the medical field.

 

Publications

(*designates co-authored with student/s)

*Aparicio, E. M., Kachingwe, O. N., Phillips, D. R., Jasczynski, M., Cabral, M. K., Aden, F., Parekh, E., Espero, J., & Childers, C. (2020). "Having a baby can wait": Experiences of a sexual and reproductive health promotion program in the context of homelessness among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander youth captured through PhotoVoice. Qualitative Health Research, 104973232096442, 1-13.

*Aparicio, E. M., Kachingwe, O. N. Fleishman, J., & Novick, J. (In Press). How youth experiencing homelessness access and select birth control in the United States: A review. Health and Social Work.

*Channell Doig, A., Jasczynski, M., Fleishman, J., & Aparicio, E. M. (2020). Breastfeeding among mothers who have experienced childhood maltreatment: A review. Journal of Human Lactation. Advance online publication.

*Kachingwe, O. N., Salerno, J. P., Boekeloo, B., Fish, J., Geddings-Hayes, M., Aden, F., & Aparicio, E. M. (2020). "The internet is not private": The role of social media in sexual health among youth in foster care. Journal of Adolescence, 82, 50-57.

*Salerno, J., Kachingwe, O. N., Fish, J., Parekh, E., Geddings-Hayes, M., Boekeloo, B. O., & Aparicio, E. M. (2020). "Even if you think you can trust them, don't trust them": The lived experience of sexual health among sexual minority girls in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105161.

*Salerno, J., Turpin, R., Howard, D., Dyer, T., Aparicio, E. M., & Boekeloo, B. (2020). Health care experiences of Black men who have sex with men and transgender women: A qualitative study. Journal of Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 31(4), 466-475.

Martoccio, T., Berlin, L., Aparicio, E. M., Appleyard Carmody, K., & Dodge, K. (2020). Intergenerational continuity in child maltreatment: Explicating underlying mechanisms. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.

Shpiegel, S., Aparicio, E. M., King, B., Prince, D., Lynch, J., & Grinnell-Davis, C. (2020). The functional patterns of adolescent mothers leaving foster care: Results from a cluster analysis. Child and Family Social Work, 25, 478-487.

*Aparicio, E.S., Kachingwe, O.N., Phillps, D.R., Fleishman, J., Novick, J., Okimoto, T., Cabral, M.K., SueKa'opua, L., Childers, C., Espero, J., & Anderson, K. (2019). Holistic, trauma-informed adolescent pregnancy prevention and sexual health promotion for female youth experiencing homelessness: Initial outcomes of Wahine Talk. Children and Youth Services Review.

Massey Combs, K., Aparicio, E.M., Prince, D.M., Grinnell-Davis, C., Marra, L., & Faulkner, M. (2019). Evidence-based sexual health programs for youth involved with juvenile justice and child welfare systems: Outcomes across settings. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 64-69.

Aparicio, E. M., Shpiegel, S., Grinnell-Davis, C., & King, B. (2019). “My body is strong and amazing:” Embodied experiences of pregnancy and birth among young women in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 199-205.

*Aparicio, E.M., Rodrigues, E., Birmingham, A., & Houser, C. (2018). Dual experiences of teenage parenting and homelessness among Native Hawaiian youth: A critical interpretative phenomenological analysis. Child and Family Social Work, 1-10. 

*Aparicio, E.M., Phillips, D., Cabral, M.P., Okimoto, T., & Houser, C., & Anderson, K. (2018). Participant and provider perspectives of Wahine Talk: A holistic teen pregnancy prevention program developed with and for homeless youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 93, 467-473.

Aparicio, E. M., Gioia, D., & Pecukonis, E. V. (2018). “I can get through this and I will get through this”: The unfolding journey of teenage motherhood in and beyond foster care. Qualitative Social Work, 17(1), 96-114.

West, A., Aparicio, E., Berlin, L., & Jones Harden, B. (2017). Home visitors’ perceptions of supplementing Early Head Start with the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up Program: Implications for implementation. Infant Mental Health Journal, 38(4), 514-522.

Aparicio, E. M. (2017). “I want to be better than you”: Lived experiences of intergenerational child maltreatment prevention among teenage mothers in and beyond foster care. Child and Family Social Work, 22, 607-616.

Stephens, T. & Aparicio, E. M. (2017). “It’s just broken branches:” Child welfare-affected mothers’ dual experiences of insecurity and striving for resilience in the aftermath of complex trauma and familial substance abuse. Children and Youth Services Review, 37, 248-256.

Aparicio, E. M., Denmark, N., Berlin, L., & Jones Harden, B. (2016). First generation Latina mothers’ experiences of supplementing home-based Early Head Start with the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up program. Infant Mental Health Journal, 37(5), 537-548.

*Aparicio, E. M., Vanidestine, T., Zhou, K., & Pecukonis, E. V. (2016). Teen pregnancy in Latino communities: Young adult perspectives and experiences of sociocultural context. Families in Society, 97(1), 50-57.

Aparicio, E., Pecukonis, E. V., & O’Neale, S. (2015). “The love that I was missing:” Exploring the lived experience of motherhood among teen mothers in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 51, 44-54.

*Aparicio, E., Pecukonis, E. V., & Carper, K. (2014). Sociocultural factors of teenage pregnancy in Latino communities: Preparing social workers for culturally-responsive practice. Health and Social Work, 39(4), 238-243.

Aquavita, S., Gibbons, M., Aparicio, E., & Pecukonis, E. V. (2014). Student perspectives on interprofessional education: Overcoming barriers and increasing effectiveness of interdisciplinary experiences. Journal of Allied Health, 23(2).

Pecukonis, E., Doyle, O., Acquavita, S., Aparicio, E., Gibbons, M., & Vanidestine, T. (2013). Interprofessional leadership training in MCH social work. Social Work in Health Care, 52(7). doi: 10.1080/00981389.2013.792913

Aparicio, E., Michalopoulos, L. M., & Unick, G. J. (2013). An examination of the psychometric properties of the vicarious trauma scale in a sample of licensed social workers. Health and Social Work, 38(4), 199-206.

Bellin, M. H., Osteen, P., Zabel, T. A., Dosa, N, Aparicio, E., Braun, P., & Dicianno, B. (2013). Family satisfaction, pain, and quality of life in emerging adults with spina bifida: A longitudinal analysis. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92(8), 641-655.

Bellin, M. H., Dosa, N., Zabel, T. A., Aparicio, E., Dicianno, B., & Osteen, P. (2012) Family functioning, self-management and the trajectory of psychological symptoms in emerging adults with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, advance access September 12, 2012, 1-13.

Michalopoulos, L. M., & Aparicio, E. (2012) Vicarious trauma in social workers: The role of trauma history, social support, and years of experience. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 21(6), 646-664.

Presentations

(*designates co-authored with student/s)

*Kachingwe, O.N., Salerno, J.P., Boekeloo, B.O., Fish, J., Geddings-Hayes, M., Faduma, A., & Aparicio, E.M. (2019, November). Sexual health among youth in foster care: the role of social media. Poster presentation at the American Public Health Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting; Philadelphia, PA.

*Salerno, J.P., Kachingwe, O., Boekeloo, B., Fish, J., Geddings-Hayes, M., Aparicio, E.  Feeling Unsafe and Threatened: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Sexual Health Needs of Lesbian and Bisexual Girls in Foster Care (Poster Presentation). 2019 National LGBTQ Health Conference. May 31 – June 1st, 2019. Atlanta, GA

*Kachingwe, O.N., Boekeloo, B.O., Salerno, J.P., Geddings-Hayes, M., & Aparicio, E.M. (2019, May). Sexual health needs among youth in foster care: A grounded theory model. Oral presentation at the Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting; San Francisco, CA

*Kachingwe, O.K., Aparicio, E.M., Houser, C., Fleishman, J.L., Novick, J.G., Phillips, D.R., & Anderson, K. (2018, May). “She was there through the whole process”: Exploring how homeless youth and youth-at-risk of homelessness access and select birth control. Poster presented at the Society for Prevention Research 26th Annual Meeting; Washingon, D.C.

*Aparicio, E.M., Birmingham, A., Rodrigues, E. & Houser, C. (2018, January). “They never raised me up:” Dual experiences of teenage parenting and homelessness among Native Hawaiian youth. In Aparicio, E.M. (chair) Parenting in the wake of violence and trauma. Symposium conducted at the Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference; Washington, D.C.

King, B., Aparicio, E.M., Dworsky, A., Massey, K., Shpiegel, S., Grinnell-Davis, C., Smith, R., Faulkner, M., & Lane Eastman, A. (2018, January). Early pregnancy and parenting among foster youth: A national discussion to inform research, practice, and policy. Roundtable presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference; Washington, D.C.

Shpiegel, S., King, B., Aparicio, E.M., Smith, R., & Grinnell-Davis, C. (2018, January). Early parenthood among males emancipating from foster care: Findings from the National Youth in Transition Database. Poster presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference; Washington, D.C.

*Aparicio, E.M., Wey, A., Spellman, C., Foster, A., Keaunui, K., Porter, H., & McKenzie, P. (2017, November). Sociocultural Context of Teenage Pregnancy in Native Hawaiian Communities: A mixed method analysis of population-level predictors and youth perspectives. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association National Conference; Atlanta, GA.

Smith, R. & Aparicio, E.M. (2017, October). “If you don’t ask, I’m not telling you anything”: What works when engaging in real talk with foster youth around dating and sexual behaviors. Roundtable Presentation at the Healthy Teen Network Annual Conference; Baltimore, MD.

Aparicio, E.M. & Smith, R. (2017, October). “If you don’t ask, I’m not telling you anything”: What works when engaging in real talk with foster youth around dating and sexual behaviors. Poster presented at the Healthy Teen Network Annual Conference; Baltimore, MD.

Aparicio, E.M., Shpiegel, S., & Grinnell-Davis, C. (2017, January). “My body is strong and amazing”: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of embodied experiences of pregnancy and birth among foster youth. Paper presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference; New Orleans, LA.

Grinnell-Davis, C., Aparicio, E.M., & Shpiegel, S. (2017, January). Parenting attitudes among maltreated youth: Implications for prevention strategies. Poster presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference; New Orleans, LA.

Shpiegel, S., Aparicio, E.M., Grinnell-Davis, C., & Prince, D. (2017, January). Sexual risk behaviors among adolescents in foster care: The impact of sexual orientation. Paper presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference; New Orleans, LA.

Stephens, T. & Aparicio, E.M. (2017, January). “It’s just broken branches”: Maternal dual experiences of insecurity and striving for resilience in the aftermath of complex trauma and familial substance abuse. Paper presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 21st Annual Conference; New Orleans, LA.

Aparicio, E. (2016, January). Examining the social-ecological context of teenage birth among Native Hawaiian youth.  Paper presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 20th Annual Conference; Washington, DC.

Aparicio, E. (2016, January). “I want to be better than you:” Exploring experiences of teen mothers in foster care working to break the cycle of child maltreatment. Paper presented at the Society for Social Work and Research 20th Annual Conference; Washington, DC.

Aparicio, E. (2015, October). At a distance: Bolstering social work practice across the miles. Teaching Methods Workshop presented at the 61st Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education; Denver, CO.

West, A., Berlin, L., Jones Harden, B., & Aparicio, E. (2015, May). Real-world sustainability of Early Head Start + parenting: Home visitors’ strengths, needs, and perceptions. Paper symposium presented at the 2015 Society for Prevention Research 23rd Annual Meeting; Washington, DC.

Berlin, L., Appleyard, K., Aparicio, E., & Dodge, K. (2013, April). Predicting and preventing early maltreatment: Leveraging mothers’ own parenting histories and early parenting behaviors. Paper presented at the Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Conference; Seattle, Washington.

Vanidestine, T., Aparicio, E., & O’Reilly, N. (2012, November). Social work education and infusing racial justice content: Qualitative research curriculum development. Teaching Methods and Learning Styles Workshop presented at the 58th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education; Washington, DC.

Michalopoulos, L. M. & Aparicio, E. (2012, November). A psychometric study of the vicarious trauma scale in a sample of social workers. Poster presented at the 58th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education; Washington, DC.

Michalopoulos, L. M., & Aparicio, E. (2011, September). Vicarious trauma in social workers: The role of trauma history, social support, and years of experience. Paper presented at the 16th Annual Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma; San Diego, CA.

Aparicio, E., Gibbons, M. A., & Pecukonis, E. (2010, October). Creating tomorrow’s leaders: An innovative mentoring program for MSW and PhD students. Teaching Methods and Learning Styles Workshop presented at the 56th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education; Portland, OR.

Bellin, M. H., Aparicio, E., & Neely-Barnes, S. (2010, October). Social work education in developmental disabilities: Curriculum development and infusion. Curriculum and Administrative Workshop at the 56th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education; Portland, OR.

Aparicio, E., Michalopoulos, L. M., Shaikh, N., & Vanidestine, T. (2010, May). Conceptualizing vicarious trauma:  Support, supervision, perceived racism, and trauma history. Poster presentation at the Johns Hopkins University Conference for the Dissemination of Student Research; Baltimore, MD.

 

News

End of the Academic Year Update 2022

Our team had a big year! Our team substatively added to the literature base in sexual and reproductive health and mental health. Our study on the prevention of intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect among young, trauma-affected families was published and featured on NPR. We had a number of manuscripts, reports, and webinars come out from our Annie E. Casey Foundation-funded  work assessing the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic among young parents with foster care backgrounds. Our two main papers describe young parents’ experiences of the pandemic(led by co-PI Svetlana Shpiegel)  and young parents’ perspectives on COVID-19 vaccination (led by co-PI Liz Aparicio). We expect our paper on youths’ photovoice project to be out soon; the photovoice book is viewable here. In another collaboration with Svetlana Shpiegel, we published findings about early fatherhood and socioeconomic outcomes among young fathers transitioning from foster care. We published our latest research from the Wahine Talk project, focused on intimate partner birth control communication among female youth experiencing homelessness and their partners. The future looks bright! Together with our colleagues Quynh Nguyen, Jordan Graber-Boyd, and Xin He, we secured our first NIMHD-funded R01 grant to study the development and impact of a health information chatbot for pregnant and new mothers of color on symptoms of depression, frequency of emergency room visits, and attendance at well-child visits. All of this is done in partnership with our incredible community-based organizatoin partners and our study participants. Special thanks goes to our long-standing partners Hearts and Homes for Youth and Waikiki Health. 

End of the Academic Year Update 2021

This has been quite the year. We have pivoted to conducting all of our research at a distance, continuing to take care of our participants, one another, our families, and ourselves during the pandemic. Our team focused on a number of key publications this year, with a particular emphasis on adolescent sexual and reproductive health among highly vulnerable populations. We published several papers from our Fostering Healthy Relationships study, which focuses on sexual health among youth in foster care. These include an analysis of the role of social media in sexual health among youth in foster care (lead by 2021 graduate Dr. Olivia Kachingwe); an examination of the lived experience of sexual health among sexual minority girls in foster care (lead by doctoral candidate John Salerno); and a comprehensive grounded theory model of sexual health needs among youth in care. Our team published findings from our Wahine Talk PhotoVoice project, wherein youth experiencing homelessness shared their experiences of the Wahine Talk intervention through photography. Doctoral candidate Amara Channell Doig led our first Next Chapter Project publication, which was a review of the literature on breastfeeding among mothers who have experienced childhood maltreatment. Working closely with members of the UMD Prevention Research Center, doctoral candidate John Salerno led a paper on health care experiences of Black men who have sex with men and transgender women.  We collaborated with multiple research teams outside of the University of Maryland on several papers, examining underlying mechanisms of intergenerational continuity of child maltreatment and repeat childbirth among young women emancipating from the foster care system.

July 2020: Society for Prevention Research Conference and New Study on LGBTQ Foster Youth

We went virtual due to COVID-19 and are now doing business at a distance! We had three presentations at the 2020 SPR Conference, including (1) examining social workers' experiences of supporting their young, maltreated clients in preventing the transmission of child abuse and neglect to their children; (2) youth-friendly provision of sexual and reproductive health care during Wahine Talk; and (3) longitudinal outcomes of Wahine Talk. We were also thrilled to launch the next phase of our Fostering Healthy Relationships project, focused on assessing the mental health and sexual health needs of LGBTQ foster youth.

June 2020: Office of Population Affairs Webinars on Wahine Talk

Lab PI Dr. Liz Aparicio recently shared the lab's Wahine Talk work, presenting twice at Office of Population Affairs webinars, including a grantee showcase and an HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA) virtual expo.

January 2020: Society for Social Work and Research Conference

We presented multiple studies at the 2020 Society for Social Work and Research Conference, including PI Dr. Aparicio's organized symposium on the sexual and reproductive health needs of youth experiencing homelessness. During this symposium, we shared outcomes of our Wahine Talk study (lead author: second-year PhD student Danielle Phillips) and findings from an in-depth review of the literature on factors affecting birth control access and selection among youth experiencing homelessness (lead author: third-year PhD student Olivia Kachingwe). We were delighted to include presentations by collaborators Drs. Jaih Craddock (UMB School of Social Work) and Stephanie Begun (University of Toronto School of Social Work) in the symposium.

December 2019: Year in Review

Our team is honored to have contributed more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications to the literature this year, with a particular emphasis on adolescent sexual and reproductive health among highly vulnerable populations. We published several papers on teen pregnancy and parenting among youth in foster care, including evaluating two evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs for system-involved youth; exploring how foster youth experience the process of pregnancy and birth; examining the role of entry into care and placement instability on risk of early birth among foster youth; and describing outcomes among various categories of adolescent mothers leaving foster care. Our team continued to publish findings from our Wahine Talk study, examining the process of how female homeless youth in Wahine Talk experience the process of accessing and selecting birth control (article led by third year PhD student Olivia Kachingwe) and describing outcomes to six months among youth experiencing homelessness who participated in the program. Complementing these findings was a study on the dual experience of teen pregnancy and homelessness among Native Hawaiian youth, the first such study with young Native Hawaiian parents experiencing homelessness. Finally, one of our lab members (second year PhD student Amara Channell Doig) was a part of several collaborations with other labs and centers on and off-campus, producing a publication on WIC breastfeeding outcomes and a study looking at the VALE obesity treatment program for Latino children

November 2019: APHA Conference

Our team attended the American Public Health Association conference in Philadelphia, PA. Olivia Kachingwe presented some of our Foster Health Relationships findings: "Sexual Health Among Youth in Foster Care: The Role of Social Media." Dr. Liz Aparicio had three presentations on our Wahine Talk findings: "Trauma-Informed Sexual Health Interventions for Female Youth Experiencing Homelessness," "Life's Too Short. Hold Your Family Close. Experiences of Holistive Sexual Health Programs in the Context of Youth Homelessness," and "Wahine Talk: Holistic Sexual Health Intervention for Youth who are Homeless." Amara Channell Doig was a part of a group presentation with some UMD SPH Colleagues (Ali Hurtado and Matt Rodriguez) entitled Exploring the Design and Feasibility of a Blended (mHealth) Nutrition Education Program for Immigrant Latino Families.

October 2019: Community Presentation on Trauma-Informed Foster Parenting

We had the opportunity to present to foster parents from our community partner Hearts and Homes for Youth on Oct 30. This presentation focused on using principles of trauma-informed care to improve the delivery of foster care.

April 2019: New Infographic on Teen Pregnancy in Latino Communities

We have developed a new infographic for our article on Teen Pregnancy in Latino Communities. Please feel free to share! You can also check out the accompanying journal article on Teen pregnancy in Latino Communities.

February 2019: New Study on Sexual Health Programs for Foster Youth

One of our recent efforts has been to evaluate the evidence-based sexual health programs "Making Proud Choices!" and "Be Proud! Be Responsible!" among youth in foster care and youth involved with the juvenile justice system. With trauma-informed program tailoring, youth who participated showed gains in sexual health knowledge and improved attitudes towards condoms and birth control. Check out our most recent publication in Children and Youth Services Review, available free until April 18: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1YeET_4La8TyuJ. 

January 2019: New Study on Pregnancy and Birth among Foster Youth

We recently released a new study exploring how teen mothers in foster care experience pregnancy and birth. This is part of a larger phenomenological exploration of the meaning and experience of motherhood among young women in and transitioning from foster care. Check out this and our other publications on Google Scholar. Need a copy? You can always email us!

November 2018: New Research on Teen Parenting while Homeless

Teenage parenting is a challenging venture - particularly when parenting while homeless. We recently released a study that explores the experience of three young homeless and parenting teens (one mother and two fathers) in the first known study of teenage parenting and homelessness among Native Hawaiian youth, a key affected population. Youth shared experiences of childhood, early experiences of pregnancy and parenting while homeless, and how they are finding their way as young homeless parents currently. Reach out to us for a copy of this article or read this and our other articles on Google Scholar.

September 2018: First Wahine Talk Publication

We are excited to announce the release of our first publication from the Wahine Talk project, which introduces the intervention, discusses its development, and provides participant and provider perspectives of the first cycle of implementation. Read our first Whine Talk article or email us for a copy. 

May 2018: Society for Prevention Research Conference

Olivia Kachingwe represented our team at the Society for Prevention Research's Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. to present work she led exploring how homeless female youth experience accessing and selecting birth control. 

April 2018: Site Visit to Waikiki Health's Youth Outreach Program

One of our lab teams was recently in Honolulu, HI working with our community partner Waikiki Health's Youth Outreach (YO!) program. We work with YO! to evaluate a newly developed, holistic sexual health and adolescent pregnancy prevention program called Wahine Talk for youth who are homeless. Follow us on Twitter @commTHRIVESlab for updates.

Collaborators

School of Public Health Prevention Research Center logo
School of Public Health Center for Health Equity logo
Waikiki Health Medical and Dental, Behavioral Health, Social Services logo
Hearts Homes for youth logo