Ilana Seff

Ilana Seff
Washington University in St. Louis | WUSTL , Wash U

Doctor of Public Health

About

39
Publications
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280
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Publications

Publications (39)
Chapter
Intimate partner violence (IPV) poses a significant threat as young as adolescence, globally. Girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) often face even greater risk of IPV. The risk of IPV in this region often materializes during adolescence, before girls have even entered into a formal union or marriage. This study presents findings from a study...
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IntroductionThere is substantial evidence linking stressful life events (SLEs) in childhood to poor mental health later in life, but few studies explore how various types of SLEs differentially impact mental health. The purpose of this study is to assess associations between SLEs and psychosocial outcomes in a diverse adolescent population in the U...
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Background Understanding how gender norms affect health is an important entry point into designing programs and policies to change norms and improve gender equality and health. However, it is rare for global health datasets to include questions on gender norms, especially questions that go beyond measuring gender-related attitudes, thus limiting ge...
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Youth violence poses a substantive public health burden in Latin America, particularly among adolescent boys and young men. Understanding predictors of youth violence perpetration among boys and young men is critical to more effectively target and tailor prevention programs, especially in Colombia, which has endured decades-long internal armed conf...
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Background Adolescent girls face myriad threats to their well-being and safety as a result of gender-inequitable attitudes and norms, and these risks are often exacerbated during humanitarian emergencies. While humanitarian actors have begun to address caregivers’ behaviors and gender attitudes as an approach to support and meet the needs of adoles...
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Although programmes and policies targeting violence against women and girls (VAWG) have increased in the past decade, there is a paucity of evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions. To expand this evidence base, researchers increasingly employ remote data collection (RDC)—including online surveys, mobile applications and telephone inter...
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Purpose Nearly 20% of U.S. adolescents have considered suicide. Yet, gaps remain in understanding correlates of resilience and suicide risk, especially among populations born outside the United States who may face unique migration- and acculturation-related stressors. This study adds to the literature by exploring correlates of suicide ideation amo...
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Background Humanitarian practitioners have recently expanded their focus from the provision of assistance only to working to ensure refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs) can develop sustained ‘self-reliance’. However, few tools measure self-reliance, and even fewer capture non-financial dimensions of self-reliance or measure the construc...
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive form of gender-based violence that exacerbates in humanitarian settings. This systematic review examined the myriad IPV impacts and the quality of existing evidence of IPV in humanitarian settings. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) procedures, a t...
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While current literature evidences a strong association between gender-based violence exposure and adverse mental health outcomes, few studies have explored how attitudinal acceptance of intimate partner violence (IPV) might impact this relationship. This analysis employed data from 13–24-year-old females as part of the Violence Against Children Su...
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In light of the many robust quantitative data sets that include information on attitudes and behaviors related to intimate partner violence (IPV), and in an effort to expand the evidence base around social norms and IPV, many researchers construct proxy measures of norms within and across groups embedded in the data. While this strategy has become...
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Introduction Few studies have assessed the impact of displacement, resettlement, and discrimination on well-being outcomes for adolescent refugees resettled within the U.S. Conducted in three charter schools in the intergenerational Arab enclave of the Detroit Metropolitan Area, this mixed-methods study assessed the mental health and psychosocial s...
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One in three women and girls will experience violence in their lifetime. In conflict and postconflict settings, the incidence of violence against women and girls (VAWG) is exacerbated, resulting in increased negative social, economic, health, and psychosocial effects. In an attempt to prevent and respond to the occurrence of VAWG in humanitarian se...
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This commentary identifies and underscores the importance of key considerations for the global commitment to end violence against children. The authors draw from recent research to highlight the overlap in risk factors for violence against women and children and argue for greater coordination and collaboration in the prevention of both forms of vio...
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Every year, thousands of young refugees and their families face challenges as they adjust to schools in the US. This article explores how families resettled to the US from conflict-affected, Arab-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa region , such as Iraq and Syria, view education, and how parents support their children's education...
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Adolescent girls face elevated risks of gender-based violence in humanitarian settings because of the intersectionality of age and gender, and the additional and exacerbated risk factors relevant to emergencies. Because there is no clear division of labour between the gender-based violence and child protection sectors, adolescent girls are often ne...
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This study examined outcomes associated with early sexual debut in five sub-Saharan African countries for males and females, separately. We employed Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) from Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, restricting samples to males and females age 18–24 years. Early sexual debut was defined as having one’s firs...
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Experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization have well-established associations with poor mental health. There is also burgeoning evidence regarding the association between IPV perpetration and mental health in a small number of countries. However, there is a paucity of data about the gendered differences for these IPV experiences w...
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Background: The association between intimate partner violence (IPV) victimisation and poor mental health outcomes is well established. Less is known about the correlation between IPV perpetration and mental health, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Using data from the nationally representative Violence Against Children Survey, this...
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Background: Families resettling to the U.S. from conflict-affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) face countless challenges. These families must cope with experiences of armed conflict and forced migration while also assimilating to a new society. According to the 'immigrant paradox,' time spent in a new country can compound...
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Purpose: Attitudinal programming for the prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV) among adolescents and young adults often focuses on whom to target based on gender or age; yet other pivotal junctures may relate to when to intervene, such as critical events (e.g., marriage). Using data from the nationally representative Violence Against Child...
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Purpose: To date, there has been insufficient focus on age and sex differences in studies of violence amongst adolescents and young adults in low- and middle-income countries. As adolescence is a formative period during which experiencing violence can have both short- and long-term consequences, we aim to investigate experiences of violence by age...
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Background: In recent years, research has increasingly focused on examining the relationship between one type of child maltreatment -- emotional violence -- and suicidal behaviors. However, the growing body of empirical evidence supporting these associations has been mostly limited to high-income contexts. Objective: This study examines how expo...
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This mixed-methods study uses baseline data from a program evaluation in the Democratic Republic of Congo to examine two outcomes of interest: self-reported exposure to forced sex and belief that a girl’s community would force her to marry her hypothetical rapist, for married and unmarried 13- to 14-year-old girls (n = 377). Married girls are more...
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Despite global commitments to achieving gender equality and improving health and wellbeing for all, quantitative data and methods to precisely estimate the effect of gender norms on health inequities are underdeveloped. Nonetheless, existing global, national, and subnational data provide some key opportunities for testing associations between gende...
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Introduction Parenting programmes are increasingly popular for reducing children’s exposure to interpersonal violence in low/middle-income countries, but there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. We investigated the incremental impact of adding a caregiver component to a life skills programme for adolescent girls, assessing girls’ exposure...
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Introduction Interpersonal violence is a critical public health concern in humanitarian contexts, but evidence of effective violence prevention programmes targeting adolescent girls is lacking. We investigated the efficacy of a life skills and safe spaces programme to reduce adolescent girls’ experiences of interpersonal violence in a refugee setti...
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Improving the status of malnourished children, and preventing children from becoming malnourished, lies at the heart of several of the Sustainable Development Goals. While many cross‐sectional studies examine correlates of stunting, they largely cannot identify drivers of change in stunting. We use two waves of panel data from Ethiopia and incremen...
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Background: Interpersonal violence is a major public health concern in humanitarian contexts, and adolescent girls are uniquely vulnerable. There is little evidence on effective violence prevention programmes targeting this population. We investigated the efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of a life skills and safe spaces programme to reduce...
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Background Evidence suggests adolescent self-esteem is influenced by beliefs of how individuals in their reference group perceive them. However, few studies examine how gender- and violence-related social norms affect self-esteem among refugee populations. This paper explores relationships between gender inequitable and victim-blaming social norms,...
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Purpose This article examines the effects of a girls' social empowerment program, Creating Opportunities through Mentoring, Parental Involvement and Safe Spaces, on economic vulnerability of participating adolescent refugee girls in Ethiopia. Methods Adolescents aged 13–19 years from three refugee camps were randomly assigned to either a treatment...
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In developing countries highly dependent on agriculture, non-farm enterprises (NFEs) are often lauded as income diversification opportunities, helping to smooth income in the farming off-seasons. Using data from the first wave of the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS), a nationally representative survey of rural and small town Ethiopia, we explore...
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Poverty can take many different forms, ranging widely over dimensions both monetary, such as consumption or income, and nonmonetary, such as health and education. One large class of nonmonetary measures of poverty is the multidimensional poverty index (MPI); recent studies document that people identified as poor in one dimension are often different...
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Understanding change is critical to policy formulation. Who benefits, who loses from change, and what causes change are core policy questions. Panel data are central to understanding change, and this special issue of the journal is devoted to five papers examining change in wellbeing as measured by two waves of data from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic...
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This paper examines the dynamics of wellbeing in Ethiopia by assessing changes in poverty status based on consumption and asset ownership. Using panel data from the first two waves of the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS), we discover that although the cross-sectional poverty remains relatively unchanged (approximately 30% in both 2012 and 2014),...

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