Geri Donenberg

Geri Donenberg
University of Illinois at Chicago | UIC · Department of Medicine (Chicago)

PhD

About

154
Publications
30,922
Reads
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5,242
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2001 - present
University of Illinois at Chicago
Position
  • Professor and Associate Dean of Research

Publications

Publications (154)
Article
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Adolescent girls’ disruptive behavior problems (DBP) are associated with risk for other mental health challenges and legal system involvement. Existing literature suggests early pubertal timing and low maternal monitoring might confer risk for DBP; however, few studies examine the combined influence of these factors, particularly in samples at risk...
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Introduction: Compared with adults, adolescents in South Africa have larger gaps at each step of the HIV continuum of care resulting in low levels of viral suppression. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and modified Delphi analysis of interventions addressing the HIV continuum of care for adolescents in South Africa. We searched PubMed,...
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Harmonizing measures across studies can facilitate comparisons and strengthen the science, but procedures for establishing common data elements are rarely documented. We detail a rigorous, 2-year process to harmonize measures across the Prevention And Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-affected Adolescents in Resource Constrai...
Article
Objective: To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black adolescent girls' physical, psychological, and sexual development. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 25 girls (9-18 years old) primarily across the Midwestern United States. Interviews were conducted until theoretical saturation was reached. We conducted a co...
Article
Justice-Involved youth may experience unique sexual and mental health risks related to both their gender and sexual orientation. Although previous research has revealed important gender and sexual orientation differences in the sexual and mental health of Justice-Involved youth, no study has yet examined gender and sexual orientation differences si...
Article
Background: Adolescents living with HIV have elevated mental distress and suboptimal ART adherence. Setting: Two urban clinics in Kigali, Rwanda. Methods: A 2-arm individual randomized controlled trial compared Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy enhanced to address HIV (TI-CBTe) to usual care (time-matched, long-standing, unstructure...
Article
Racial microaggressions pose significant risk to health and well-being among Black adolescents and adults. Yet, protective factors (i.e., coping, racial/ethnic identity) can moderate the impact of racial microaggressions over time. Unfortunately, few studies have evaluated the role of these protective factors longitudinally or specifically among Bl...
Article
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Young Black women are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. Notably, few sexual health interventions for Black girls have documented the process of utilizing stakeholder input from the Black community to culturally tailor content. We conducted formative work in Chicago to adapt a mother–daughter HIV/STI prev...
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Background South African adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) report significant mental distress and sexual and reproductive health concerns. Mental health problems and trauma symptoms are consistently associated with sexual and reproductive health behavior. Despite their intersection, few interventions address them simultaneously or engage fema...
Article
Background Justice-involved youth are especially vulnerable to mental health distress, substance misuse, and risky sexual activity, amplifying the need for evidence-based programs (EBPs). Yet, uptake of EBPs in the justice system is challenging because staff training is costly in time and effort. Hence, justice-involved youth experience increasing...
Article
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Background South Africa has the world’s largest HIV epidemic, but South African adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) acquire HIV at twice the rate of and seroconvert on average 5–7 years earlier than their male peers. Female caregivers (FC) are an untapped resource for HIV/STI prevention in South Africa and offer a novel opportunity to strengthe...
Article
Endowing meta-analytic results with a causal interpretation is challenging when there are differences in the distribution of effect modifiers among the populations underlying the included trials and the target population where the results of the meta-analysis will be applied. Recent work on transportability methods has described identifiability con...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Justice-involved youth are especially vulnerable to mental health distress, substance misuse, and risky sexual activity, amplifying the need for evidence-based programs (EBPs). Yet, uptake of EBPs in the justice system is challenging because staff training is costly in time and effort. Hence, justice-involved youth experience increasing...
Article
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Introduction: Uptake of evidence-based interventions for adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AYA-LWH) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is complex, and cultural differences necessitate local adaptations to enhance effective implementation. Few models exist to guide intervention tailoring, yet operationalizing strategies is critical to inform sc...
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This paper describes how to ethically conduct research with Black populations at the intersection of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. We highlight the issues of historical mistrust in the USA and how this may impact Black populations' participation in COVID-19 vaccination trials. We provide recommendations for researchers to ethically...
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Background: Implementation science’s focus on establishing implementation strategy effectiveness has overshadowed the need to understand differential performance of such strategies under various conditions. Methods allowing for assessment between implementation context and process can help address this gap. This article provides a detailed descript...
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Black/African-American girls are infected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at higher rates than their White counterparts. This study tested the efficacy of IMARA, a mother-daughter psychosocial STI/HIV prevention program, on adolescent Black/African-American girls' incident STIs at 12 months in a 2-arm group randomized controlled trial....
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Receptive syringe sharing (RSS) among people who inject drugs (PWID) is a risk factor for hepatitis C virus and HIV infections. PWID with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have increased risk of RSS, but it remains unclear what drives this association. This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to study characteristics associated wit...
Article
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This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to measure positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) among people who inject drugs (PWID) and examined associations with borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms and difficulties with emotion regulation, in the context of injection drug use. We recruited PWID, ages 18-35 years, through...
Article
Objective: African American female adolescents face disparities compared with White peers in the interrelated areas of mental health symptoms and sexually transmitted infection (STI) acquisition. IMARA (Informed, Motivated, Aware and Responsible about AIDS) is a group-based mother-daughter intervention addressing these factors among African Americ...
Article
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Background: The intersection of violence exposure and mental health problems is a public health crisis for South African (SA) adolescents. Understanding the impact of community violence on adolescent mental health can inform future interventions. Objectives: To assess pathways between community violence exposure and internalising and externalisi...
Article
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Background: Young people account for more than a quarter of new HIV infections in the US, with the majority of cases among young men who have sex with men; young transgender women are also vulnerable to infection. Substance use, particularly alcohol misuse, is a driver of sexual transmission and a potential barrier to engagement in the HIV prevent...
Article
Background: Sub-Saharan African adolescents living with HIV face challenges to antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. Poor mental health drives nonadherence but can be improved with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT delivered by peers may strengthen effects while building capacity for sustainment in low-income countries. This case study ret...
Preprint
Full-text available
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is common among people who inject drugs (PWID) and is associated with receptive syringe sharing (RSS). This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to study associations between emotion dysregulation, a characteristic of BPD, and patterns of negative affect and RSS among PWID. We recruited PWID, age 18...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to measure negative affect (NA) among people who inject drugs (PWID), and examined associations with borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms and difficulties with emotion regulation, in the context of injection drug use. We recruited PWID, age 18-35, through syringe exchange program sites...
Article
Introduction: Youth of color (e.g., Black/African American and Latinx/Hispanic) are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system and experience greater health disparities compared to non-Hispanic White youth. Ethnic/racial discrimination (ERD) is a risk marker for poor mental health and behavioral outcomes among youth of color, and traumatic str...
Article
Depression and HIV-related stigma, among other factors, have been inversely linked independently with adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among the youth. However, the processes through which the various factors influence this relationship is not fully known. Guided by Social Action Theory, we examined the interactive mechanisms through which...
Article
Depression and HIV-related stigma, among other factors, have been inversely linked independently with adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among the youth. However, the processes through which the various factors influence this relationship is not fully known. Guided by Social Action Theory, we examined the interactive mechanisms through which...
Article
The study of aggression in juvenile offenders, a high priority from clinical and public health standpoints, depends on properly measuring and modeling aggression. The Aggressive Behaviors scale from the Youth Self-Report (YSR–AB) has been widely used to measure youth aggression, often functioning as a stand-alone scale in analyses (of note, even wh...
Article
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Project STYLE is a multi-site 3-arm RCT comparing family-based, adolescent-only, and general health promotion interventions with 721 adolescents in mental health treatment. This study reports 12-month outcomes for family context and sexual risk behaviors, and explores the role of baseline family context in modifying treatment response. Using the fu...
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We examined virological non-suppression (VLN) among youth ages 13–24 years receiving HIV treatment in public health facilities in six southern Malawi districts. We also tested three ART adherence measures to determine how well each identified VLN: pill counts, a Likert scale item, and a visual analogue scale. VLN was defined as HIV RNA > 1000 copie...
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Objective: Early pubertal development is associated with negative health and mental health outcomes. Research on the influence of puberty on mental health underscores a need to examine the interplay between puberty and exposure to environmental risk. This study investigates a more rarely studied aspect of girls' environments - romantic relationshi...
Article
Socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with increased exposure to victimization and traumatic stress. The present study evaluates longitudinal pathways linking victimization and trauma to depressive symptoms in a socioeconomically disadvantaged sample of African-American adolescent girls seeking mental health services (N = 177, 12-16 years old at...
Article
Determining the barriers and facilitators of antiretroviral adherence among former and current substance users may be useful in the creation of successful interventions that target this hard-to-reach population. We performed a cross-sectional study of HIV-infected patients (N = 123) prescribed antiretroviral therapy at four Chicago healthcare venue...
Article
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Parents can play a vital role in shaping teenagers’ sexual attitudes, behavior, and contraceptive use through communication, however, less is known about how to modify parent–adolescent communication among youth with mental health problems. The impact of a family-based sexual risk prevention intervention on both observational and self-report of par...
Article
The current study sought to test whether higher quality mother–daughter communication would buffer associations between maternal depressive symptoms and girls’ internalizing and externalizing psychopathology symptoms among urban African American girls across a 12-month period. One hundred ninety-four treatment-seeking urban African American adolesc...
Article
Despite the demonstrated effectiveness of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce incident HIV infections, PrEP’s potential as an HIV prevention strategy for adolescent populations is unknown. This study assessed perceptions of adolescent PrEP use and clinical trial participation among African American women and their adolescent daughters. We cond...
Article
Objective: Juvenile offenders report high rates of sexual risk taking, increasing the possibility of HIV. This 2-arm group randomized controlled trial tested the efficacy of PHAT Life, a sexual risk reduction program, compared with a time-matched health promotion program for youth on probation. Method: Male and female 13- to 17-year-olds (M = 16...
Article
Objective: This study examined individual and social factors associated with sexual risk behavior among African American girls seeking outpatient mental health services across 2 years and key developmental transitions. Method: African American females 12-16 years old (M = 14.5; SD = 1.15; n = 266) were recruited from eight outpatient mental heal...
Article
Objective There is a largely unmet need for evidence-based interventions that reduce future aggression and incarceration in clinically aggressive juvenile offenders serving probation. We addressed this gap using a group randomized controlled trial. Offenders both with and without clinical aggression were included, enabling comparison of interventio...
Article
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The present study examined whether parental monitoring buffers the negative effects of communtity violence exposure on probation youth’s substance use and sexual risk behaviors. Among a sample of 347 Chicago youth on probation, ages 13–17 years, parental monitoring did not moderate the relationship between community violence exposure and probation...
Article
Objective Adolescents in alternative schools for behavioral and emotional problems have an earlier sexual onset and higher rates of sexual risk than their peers. They also often have difficulty managing strong emotions, which can impair sexual decision making. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention programs for these adolescents may be most...
Article
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Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and conduct disorder (CD) symptoms often co-occur in adolescence, but little is known about whether they show common or distinct emotional processing deficits. Method: We examined the effects of PTSD and CD symptoms on facial affect processing in youth with emotional and behavior problems. Teens e...
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Younger sisters of teenage parents have elevated rates of engaging in unprotected sex. This may result from changes in parenting behavior after a sibling becomes pregnant or impregnates a partner, and be particularly pronounced for girls seeking mental health treatment. The current study examines condom use over time in 211 African-American girls r...
Article
Previous research suggests parents with mental health concerns are more likely to engage in maladaptive parenting practices and are less likely to benefit from parenting interventions. The current study examined the moderating influence of parent mental health problems on response to a family HIV prevention program delivered to youth in mental heal...
Article
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by a grant from the Royalty Research Fund at the University of Washington. We thank all the youth, families, and community organizations for their participation. Objective: The current work examined three HIV knowledge areas (i.e.,general knowledge, HIV-safe behaviors, HlV-risk behaviors) among Afric...
Article
This study evaluates the prevalence of mental/emotional distress and its specific correlates among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in 20 jail systems across the United States. Of the 878 PLWHA jail detainees, 52% had high levels of mental/emotional distress, defined by the composite Addiction Severity Index score. High mental/emotional distress...
Article
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Adolescents' interpersonal skills are associated with fewer teen depressive symptoms and more positive parenting, but little is known about how teens' externalizing problems moderate these relationships. This study examines links among teens' interpersonal skills, parenting, and withdrawn-depressed symptoms in adolescents seeking outpatient psychia...
Article
Being informed and using positive coping strategies are associated with engaging in health-promoting behaviors. We assessed whether the type of information source about HIV (personal or impersonal) and coping strategies (optimism, avoidance, or emotion-focused) are associated with HIV testing among adolescents attending therapeutic schools. Partici...
Chapter
The authors tell a story about the relationships built between their research team and a group of young women from low-income, underserved communities in Chicago followed for over 10 years in a seven-wave longitudinal study. The study examines two major public health concerns, sexual risk and violence exposure, in a population of young women that i...
Article
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High risk sexual behaviour, alcohol and drug use, and mental health problems combine to yield high levels of HIV-risk behaviour among adolescents with mental health problems. In South Africa, little research has been conducted on parental perspectives of HIV-risk among this population. We conducted a series of focus group discussions with 28 mother...
Article
This study explored South African adolescents’ perceived risk and protection for HIV infection. Adolescents (N = 28) with a mean age of 14.6 years receiving mental health care participated in Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to engage in an in-depth exploration of their perceived risk and protective mechanisms for HIV prevention. The data were analys...
Article
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Using in-depth interviews with 20 probation youth (60% female; 35% White; 30% Hispanic; mean age: 15 years, range = 13–17), their caregivers (100% female; mean age: 44 years, range = 34–71), and 12 female probation officers (100% White; mean age: 46 years, range = 34–57), we explored how family and probation systems exacerbate or mitigate sexual ri...
Article
Objective: This study examined associations among family environment, coping, and emotional and conduct problems in adolescents attending therapeutic day schools due to mental health problems. Methods: Adolescents (N = 417; 30.2% female) ages 13-20 (M = 15.25) reported on their family environment (affective involvement and functioning), coping (...
Article
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People who inject drugs (PWID) and have mental health conditions, such as major depression, an anxiety disorder, or antisocial or borderline personality disorder, may have elevated risk for HIV and HCV infection. This study examined the associations between psychiatric disorders and risky injection behavior in an out-of-treatment sample of young PW...
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Background: Prescription opioid (PO) misuse is a significant concern in the United States. Objectives: This study describes the prevalence and timing of PO misuse, diagnoses of opiate abuse and dependence, and their associations with psychiatric disorders in a sample of young people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: Participants were 570 young...
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Youth involved in the juvenile justice system are at elevated risk for HIV as a result of high rates of sexual risk taking, substance use, mental health problems and sexually transmitted infections. Yet few HIV prevention programs exist for young offenders. This pilot study examined change in juvenile offenders’ sexual activity, drug/alcohol use, H...
Article
This longitudinal study examined psychopathology as an explanatory mechanism linking childhood violence exposure (CVE) to sexual risk in 177 African American girls recruited from mental health clinics serving low-income communities in Chicago. Beginning at average age 14, girls completed five interviews over 2 years and a sixth assessment including...
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Disruptive behavior problems (DBP) represent a growing concern for young women (e.g., Snyder and Sickmund, 2006), but gender-specific investigations have been traditionally underrepresented in this area. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations among gender-relevant risk factors for DBP among 217 African American girls in psychiatri...
Article
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To assess the associations of sexual risk behavior with psychiatric impairment and individual, peer, and partner attitudes among adolescents receiving mental health treatment. Adolescents (N=893, 56% female, 67% African American) completed assessments of psychiatric impairment, rejection sensitivity, peer norms, HIV knowledge, perceived vulnerabili...
Article
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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...
Article
Low-income, urban African American (AA) girls are at heightened risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and violence exposure may be an important risk factor. AA girls (N = 177) from low-income communities in Chicago completed a 2-year longitudinal study of HIV-risk behavior involving five waves of data collection (ages 12-16 at baseline)...
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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 hea...