Therapeutic Schools. Affect Management & HIV Risk: Adolescents are at risk for HIV because of sexual and drug behavior initiated during this developmental period. One subgroup of adolescents at particular risk for HIV is those with psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, adolescents with significant psychological distress, emotional reactivity and/or diagnosed psychiatric disorders are less likely than their peers to benefit from the frequently used skills-based interventions. It appears that emotional liability during """"""""real life"""""""" sexual situations, disrupts skill-based learning. Preliminary evidence suggests the value of addressing non-cognitive factors by targeting Affect Management during sexual situations. This project will implement and evaluate interventions for a total of 420 adolescents with psychiatric disorders who are in therapeutic school settings in Rhode Island and Chicago. Affect Management and skills-based interventions will be compared to a didactic standard of care control group and their relative efficacies determined. Both interventions, informed by the Social Personal Framework, will have a large focus on skills of special relevance for adolescents with psychiatric disorders. The Affect Management intervention will include non-cognitive factors to target distress in sexual situations. This project will be conducted at two sites (Rhode Island and Chicago) and will include ten group sessions of one hour duration each, with two booster sessions. The relative efficacy of the Affect Management intervention will be established by an increase in the self-report of condom use. Additional goals include improving affect regulation to reduce susceptibility risk behavior opportunity and to sustain the intervention effects. This study will partner with schools to produce an intervention that fully incorporates important non-cognitive factors in order to have utility with adolescents with psychiatric disorders. The results are capable of impacting the large number of teens in therapeutic settings treatment as well as informing other interventions with high-risk youth.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-8 (03))
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Brouwers, Pim
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Brown, Larry K; Houck, Christopher; Lescano, Celia et al. (2012) Affect regulation and HIV risk among youth in therapeutic schools. AIDS Behav 16:2272-8
Donenberg, Geri R; Emerson, Erin; Brown, Larry K et al. (2012) Sexual experience among emotionally and behaviorally disordered students in therapeutic day schools: an ecological examination of adolescent risk. J Pediatr Psychol 37:904-13
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