Larry K Brown

Alpert Medical School - Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States

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Publications (83)156.4 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: HIV-related stigma reduces HIV-prevention behaviors, testing, and optimal treatment behavior. African-Americans demonstrate greater HIV-related stigma than other races/ethnicities. Given the elevated HIV- prevalence of African-Americans, identifying effective stigma reduction strategies has implications for national testing and prevention goals among this group. This study examines the the effectiveness of a culturally-tailored media (radio and television) HIV-risk reduction intervention in reducing HIV-related stigma. Methods: A total of 1613 African-American adolescents (age 14-17) from four mid-sized cities in the Northeastern and Southeastern US participated in a randomized control trial to determine the impact of media in reducing HIV risk behavior. Two cities (one Northeastern and one Southeastern) received the media intervention. Participants completed audio computer assisted self-interviews at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months to determine HIV-related stigma and HIV-related knowledge differences. Analysis of variance determined stigma and knowledge differences at each measurement interval. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) determined stigma and knowledge differences over the entire study. Results: Mean stigma scores decreased over time while knowledge increased. There were no stigma differences at baseline but there were significant differences between intervention and control cities at three months (p<0.05). These differences diminished by 6-months. HLM did not detect stigma differences. Conversely, there were no significant knowledge differences between the experimental groups at any measurement interval, but HLM indicates greater knowledge scores for the intervention group over the entire study (p<0.05). Conclusions: A coordinated media strategy to reduce HIV risk behavior demonstrated short term benefit in reducing stigma and longer-term benefit in increasing knowledge.
    142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2014; 11/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about why some adolescents with internalizing symptoms engage in sexual behaviors that increase their risk for HIV. This study tested a mediation model of internalizing symptoms and safe sex intentions among adolescents receiving mental health treatment. Self-efficacy for HIV prevention, HIV knowledge, and worry about HIV were hypothesized to mediate associations between internalizing symptoms and safe sex intentions among sexually active and non-active adolescents receiving mental health treatment (N = 893, M age = 14.9). Significant indirect effects from internalizing symptoms to safe sex intentions varied according to sexual experience: for sexually non-active adolescents, HIV worry and knowledge mediated this link, whereas for sexually active adolescents, HIV self-efficacy was the significant mediator. Increasing both HIV knowledge and self-efficacy for HIV prevention are important targets for HIV prevention with adolescents with internalizing symptoms, and careful attention should be paid towards targeting these interventions to sexually experienced and inexperienced youth.
    Children and Youth Services Review 11/2014; 46:177–185. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Research on the relationship between adolescent health risk behaviors, sexual risk behaviors in particular, and perceived life satisfaction is emerging. Some researchers suggest that life satisfaction has been a neglected component of adolescent health research. African American adolescents aged 13-18 (n = 1,658) from four matched, mid-sized cities in the northeastern and southeastern USA, completed a self-report questionnaire via Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interview. Analyses were conducted to examine relationships between perceived difficulty in performing HIV/AIDS preventive behavior and perceived life satisfaction, while controlling for socioeconomic status. Results suggest that perceived life satisfaction is related to perceived difficulty in performing HIV/AIDS preventive behaviors, for both males and females, with variability in the magnitude of associations by gender. Further research is necessary to identify the particular characteristics of youth and specific aspects of adolescent life satisfaction associated with perceived difficulty in performing HIV/AIDS preventive behavior to develop gender-appropriate and culturally-sensitive quality of life/health promotion programs.
    AIDS and Behavior 09/2014; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined associations among family environment, coping, and emotional and conduct problems in adolescents attending therapeutic day schools due to mental health problems.
    Journal of adolescence. 08/2014; 37(7):1133-1142.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Adolescents with abuse histories have been shown to be at increased risk to acquire Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Sexually Transmitted Infections (HIV/STI). Additionally, teens with lower levels of self-restraint or higher levels of distress, such as those with psychiatric concerns, have also demonstrated increased sexual risk behaviors. This study explored sex differences in sexual risk behaviors among a sample of adolescents in a therapeutic/alternative high school setting. Moderated regression analysis showed that a lower level of self-restraint was associated with sexual risk behaviors in boys but not in girls. Rather, the interaction of self-restraint and multiple types of abuse was associated with greater sex risk within girls in this sample. Results suggest that girls and boys with abuse histories and low levels of self-restraint may have different intervention needs related to sexual risk behaviors.
    Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 05/2014; · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the link between the emotional context of sexual situations and sexual risk, specifically by examining the relationship of teens' recall of their affective states prior to sex with their sexual risk behaviors and attitudes. Adolescents (ages 13-19) attending therapeutic schools due to emotional and behavioral difficulties (n = 247) completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews regarding sexual behavior, including ratings of their emotions prior to last sexual activity. Positive emotions were most commonly endorsed (43-57 % of participants), however, significant proportions (8-23 %) also endorsed negative emotions prior to last sex. Both positive and negative emotions were significantly related to risk attitudes and behavior in regression analyses. The affective contexts of sexual experiences may be important predictors of risk in adolescence.
    AIDS and Behavior 02/2014; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to examine the prevalence of sexting behaviors (sexually explicit messages and/or pictures) among an at-risk sample of early adolescents as well as the associations between sexting behaviors and sexual behaviors, risk-related cognitions, and emotional regulation skills. It also aimed to determine whether differences in risk were associated with text-based versus photo-based sexts.METHODS:Seventh-grade adolescents participating in a sexual risk prevention trial for at-risk early adolescents completed a computer-based survey at baseline regarding sexting behavior (having sent sexually explicit messages and/or pictures), sexual activities, intentions to have sex, perceived approval of sexual activity, and emotional regulation skills.RESULTS:Twenty-two percent of the sample reported having sexted in the past 6 months; sexual messages were endorsed by 17% (n = 71), sexual messages and photos by 5% (n = 21). Pictures were endorsed significantly more often by females (χ(2)[2] = 7.33, P = .03) and Latinos (χ(2)[2] = 7.27, P = .03). Sexting of any kind was associated with higher rates of engaging in a variety of sexual behaviors, and sending photos was associated with higher rates of sexual activity than sending text messages only. This was true for a range of behaviors from touching genitals over clothes (odds ratio [OR] = 1.98, P = .03) to oral sex (OR = 2.66, P < .01) to vaginal sex (OR = 2.23, P < .01).CONCLUSIONS:Sexting behavior (both photo and text messages) was not uncommon among middle school youth and co-occurred with sexual behavior. These data suggest that phone behaviors, even flirtatious messages, may be an indicator of risk. Clinicians, parents, and health programs should discuss sexting with early adolescents.
    PEDIATRICS 01/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE The study examined the efficacy of family-based and adolescent-only HIV prevention programs in decreasing HIV risk and improving parental monitoring and sexual communication among youths in mental health treatment. METHODS A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 721 adolescents (ages 13-18 years) and their caregivers from mental health settings in three U.S. cities were randomly assigned to one of three theory-based, structured group interventions: family-based HIV prevention, adolescent-only HIV prevention, and adolescent-only health promotion. Interventions were delivered during an all-day workshop. Assessments were completed at baseline and three months postintervention. RESULTS Compared with those in the health intervention, adolescents in the HIV prevention interventions reported fewer unsafe sex acts (adjusted rate ratio=.49, p=.01), greater condom use (adjusted relative change=59%, p=.01), and greater likelihood of avoiding sex (adjusted odds ratio=1.44, p=.05). They also showed improved HIV knowledge (p<.01) and self-efficacy (p<.05). The family-based intervention, compared with the other interventions, produced significant improvements in parent-teen sexual communication (p<.01), parental monitoring (p<.01), and parental permissiveness (p=.05). CONCLUSIONS This RCT found that the HIV prevention interventions reduced sexual risk behavior over three months in a large, diverse sample of youths in mental health treatment and that the family-based intervention improved parental monitoring and communication with teens about sex. These interventions show promise.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 01/2014; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to test an integrated cognitive behavioral and contingency management (CBT/CM) intervention for young people living with HIV (YPLH) with an alcohol and/or cannabis use disorder in an open pilot trial. Seventeen participants (ages 18–24) were recruited from three HIV community clinics. Assessments were completed at pre-and post-treatment as well as 3 month follow-up. Eighty percent of participants were retained in the study. Results suggest that the CBT/CM intervention was acceptable, feasible, and could be delivered with fidelity. Further, participants reported significant reductions in alcohol use, withdrawal symptoms, dependence symptoms and related problems, as well as co-occurring depressive symptoms and delinquent behavior across assessment periods. A trend was evident for reductions in marijuana use and related problems. Overall, these preliminary results suggest that a substance abuse CBT/CM intervention tailored to YPLH is acceptable, feasible, and holds promise for symptomatic improvement. Further testing of this type of protocol is warranted.
    Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 01/2014; 46(2):244–250.
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    ABSTRACT: Juvenile offenders have disproportionately high rates of psychiatric and substance use disorders relative to their nonoffending counterparts. Less is known about the impact of psychiatric and substance use disorders on repeat juvenile justice involvement among juveniles specifically referred for forensic mental health evaluations. We describe the demographic, psychiatric, and legal history background of 404 juveniles who underwent a court clinic forensic mental health evaluation, and we examine the association between these factors and detention rates of 20 percent over a 12-month postevaluation period. After accounting for known predictors of reoffending, such as prior offense history and externalizing disorders, dual diagnosis (i.e., co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders) remained a salient predictor of future detention. Consistent with prior literature on juvenile offending, substance use may greatly enhance the likelihood of subsequent detention.
    The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 01/2014; 42(1):56-65. · 0.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A virtual reality environment (VRE) was designed to expose participants to substance use and sexual risk-taking cues to examine the utility of VR in eliciting adolescent physiological arousal. 42 adolescents (55% male), with a mean age of 14.54 years (SD = 1.13) participated. Physiological arousal was examined through heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and self-reported somatic arousal. A within-subject design (neutral VRE, VR party, and neutral VRE) was utilized to examine changes in arousal. The VR party demonstrated an increase in physiological arousal relative to a neutral VRE. Examination of individual segments of the party (e.g., orientation, substance use, and sexual risk) demonstrated that HR was significantly elevated across all segments, whereas only the orientation and sexual risk segments demonstrated significant impact on RSA. This study provides preliminary evidence that VREs can be used to generate physiological arousal in response to substance use and sexual risk cues.
    Journal of Pediatric Psychology 12/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Young female offenders represent a growing number of young offenders. Studies have shown that youth in the juvenile justice system, particularly young females, report higher rates of lifetime sexual abuse than their nonoffending peers. The aim of this study was to examine gender differences in risk factors for recidivism, including a history of sexual abuse, among a juvenile court clinic sample. Findings suggest that, even after accounting for previously identified risk factors for recidivism such as prior legal involvement and conduct problems, a history of sexual abuse is the most salient predictor of recidivism for young female offenders, but not for males. The development of gender-responsive interventions to reduce juvenile recidivism and continued legal involvement into adulthood may be warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Law and Human Behavior 10/2013; · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents in therapeutic schools are at greater risk for HIV and other STIs than their peers due to earlier higher rates of sexual risk and difficulty managing strong emotions. HIV prevention programs that incorporate techniques for affect management (AM) during sexual situations may be beneficial. This paper determined the immediate impact of such an intervention, AM, compared to a standard, skills-based HIV prevention intervention and a general health promotion intervention (HP) for 377 youth, ages 13-19, in therapeutic schools in two cities. 1 month after the intervention, analyses that adjusted for the baseline scores found adolescents in AM were more likely to report condom use at last sex than those in HP (0.89 vs. 0.67, p = 0.02) and that their HIV knowledge was significantly greater. These data suggest that AM techniques might improve the impact of standard skills-based prevention programs for adolescents in therapeutic schools.
    AIDS and Behavior 08/2013; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective:Untreated psychiatric illness is detrimental to the health and well-being of HIV-infected youth. This study examines the relationships between social and demographic variables and the rates of psychiatric treatment among HIV-infected youth.Methods:Analyses are from a cross-sectional survey of 1706 HIV-infected youth (13-26 years) in care at treatment sites or affiliates of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions from 2010 to 2011. Among the youth who reported recent significant mental health symptoms, comparisons on demographic variables (including race, ethnicity, language spoken, level of education, sexual orientation, and household income) were made.Results:Psychiatrically symptomatic black youth were significantly less likely than symptomatic nonblack peers to receive mental health care (37.4% versus 48.6%) and psychiatric medications (19.3% versus 26.9%).Conclusion:Care providers should be alerted to the potential disparities in mental health care treatment that exist for black youth living with HIV.
    Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care. 05/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the reliability and validity of the Dyadic Observed Communication Scale (DOCS) coding scheme, which was developed to capture a range of communication components between parents and adolescents. Adolescents and their caregivers were recruited from mental health facilities for participation in a large, multi-site family-based HIV prevention intervention study. Seventy-one dyads were randomly selected from the larger study sample and coded using the DOCS at baseline. Preliminary validity and reliability of the DOCS was examined using various methods, such as comparing results to self-report measures and examining interrater reliability. Results suggest that the DOCS is a reliable and valid measure of observed communication among parent-adolescent dyads that captures both verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors that are typical intervention targets. The DOCS is a viable coding scheme for use by researchers and clinicians examining parent-adolescent communication. Coders can be trained to reliably capture individual and dyadic components of communication for parents and adolescents and this complex information can be obtained relatively quickly.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 02/2013; 22(2):279-287. · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: African Americans are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and cancer. Health promotion interventions hold promise for reducing health disparities. Promoting Health Among Teens (PHAT) is a brief, culturally tailored health education intervention to decrease cardiovascular disease and cancer risk for African Americans. This study evaluated the effects of PHAT for African American adolescents ages 14 to 17 in four eastern cities in the USA. A randomized controlled design (N = 1,654) was used to determine differences in health knowledge, diet, physical activity, and substance use behaviors between PHAT participants and a sexual health promotion control group. Data were collected at baseline, three, six, and twelve months post intervention. Growth curve modeling was used to detect differences in health knowledge, dietary behaviors, physical activity, and substance use between PHAT and control group participants. PHAT participants had significantly greater knowledge gains but modest behavior changes compared to control group participants. PHAT is a promising intervention to increase knowledge and address selected health behaviors in African American youth. Future attempts to execute PHAT should continue its emphasis on knowledge building while increasing intervention dosage and modifying length of time for intervention sessions.
    American journal of health education / American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. 01/2013; 44(4):191-202.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of pregnancy as well as multi-level factors (i.e., individual, family, and environment) associated with history of pregnancy among a sample of urban adolescent women seeking psychological services. Data were collected from a total of 264 sexually active, 13-18-year-old, adolescent women who participated in a larger HIV prevention study. Adolescents and one participating parent completed an audio computer-assisted self-interviewing survey. A total of 17.4 % of participants reported a history of pregnancy. A multivariable logistic regression model suggests that after controlling for empirically derived sociodemographic and behavioral covariates, absence of father in the home, family support and cohesion, and neighborhood risk were positively related to pregnancy. This study is among the first to examine multi-level factors associated with pregnancy among adolescent women diagnosed with psychological disorders. Consideration of such factors is crucial both in terms of clinical practice and in the design of pregnancy prevention programs. Collaboration between physicians and mental health providers working with adolescent women is crucial and represents an ideal opportunity to promote parental involvement and access to supportive community resources, including pregnancy prevention programs for this vulnerable population of adolescents.
    Journal of Urban Health 09/2012; · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents with a history of psychiatric disorder(s) are particularly vulnerable to contracting sexually transmissible infections (STIs) as a result of psychological and emotional states associated with higher rates of risky sexual behaviour. The present study examined gender differences in sexual risk behaviours and STI among adolescents in mental health treatment. Three hundred and seventy nine sexually active adolescents, aged 13-18 years, from a larger multisite study, who received mental health treatment during the past year, completed an audio computer-assisted self interview assessing sociodemographics, psychiatric symptomatology and HIV/STI risk behaviours, and provided urine specimens tested for STI. After controlling for covariates, multivariate logistic regression models indicated that female adolescents were more likely to have had an HIV test (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=3.2, P=0.0001), obtain their HIV test results (AOR=2.9, P=0.03), refuse sex out of fear for STI acquisition (AOR=1.7, P=0.04), or avoid a situation that might lead to sex (AOR=2.4, P=0.001), and were less likely to have a casual sex partner (AOR=0.40, P=0.002). Additionally, females were more likely to report inconsistent condom use (AOR=2.60, P=0.001) and have a STI (AOR=9.1, P=0.0001) than their male counterparts. Female adolescents receiving mental health treatment were more than nine times as likely to have an STI and more likely to use condoms inconsistently. The standard of care for mental health practice for adolescents should include referrals for STI screening and treatment as well as assessment and discussion of risky sexual behaviours as part of the treatment plan when indicated. Effective programs should address gender-specific communication and behavioural skills.
    Sexual Health 07/2012; 9(3):240-6. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The acquisition of affect regulation skills is often impaired or delayed in youth with mental health problems but the relationship between affect dysregulation and risk behaviors has not been well studied. Baseline data from adolescents (N = 417; ages 13-19) recruited from therapeutic school settings examined the relationship between affect dysregulation, substance use, self-cutting, and sexual risk behavior. Analyses of covariance demonstrated that adolescents who did not use condoms at last sex, ever self-cut, attempted suicide, used alcohol and other drugs and reported less condom use self-efficacy when emotionally aroused were significantly more likely (p < .01) to report greater difficulty with affect regulation than peers who did not exhibit these behaviors. General patterns of difficulty with affect regulation may be linked to HIV risk behavior, including condom use at last sex. HIV prevention strategies for youth in mental health treatment should target affect regulation in relation to multiple risk behaviors.
    AIDS and Behavior 06/2012; 16(8):2272-8. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Family-based interventions targeting parenting factors, such as parental monitoring and parent-child communication, have been successful in reducing adolescent offenders' substance use and delinquency. This pilot, exploratory study focuses on family and parenting factors that may be relevant in reducing juvenile offenders' substance use and sexual risk taking behavior, and in particular examines the role of family emotional involvement and responsiveness in young offenders' risk-taking behaviors. Participants included 53 juvenile drug court offenders and their parents. Results indicate that poor parent-child communication is associated with marijuana use and unprotected sexual activity for young offenders; however, family affective responsiveness is also a significant unique predictor of unprotected sexual activity for these youth. Findings suggest that interventions focused on improving parent-child communication may reduce both marijuana use and risky sexual behavior among court-involved youth, but a specific intervention focused on improving parents and young offenders' ability to connect with and respond to one another emotionally may provide a novel means of reducing unprotected sexual risk behaviors.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 06/2012; 21(3):449-456. · 1.42 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

594 Citations
156.40 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2014
    • Alpert Medical School - Brown University
      • Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 2002–2013
    • Rhode Island Hospital
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 2012
    • Providence Hospital
      Mobile, Alabama, United States
  • 2010–2012
    • Emory University
      • Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
      Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • Brown University
      • Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Annenberg Public Policy Center
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2008–2010
    • Lifespan
      Providence, Rhode Island, United States