Laura J Brown

Laura J Brown
University College London | UCL · Institute for Global Health (IGH)

PhD Demography; MSc Reproductive & Sexual Health Research; BSc Biological Anthropology

About

24
Publications
2,677
Reads
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56
Citations
Introduction
Interdisciplinary mixed-methods social scientist and public health researcher interested in environmental effects on women's health.
Additional affiliations
October 2020 - October 2020
University College London
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • I am working on The EVE Project, a research study to improve the evidence around preventing violence against women in the world’s highest prevalence settings. The EVE Project takes a multidisciplinary perspective to explore the community, national and global factors that have contributed to higher rates of violence in some parts of the world. We are looking in detail at these processes through two case studies in the Peruvian Andes and Samoa.
October 2019 - September 2020
The London School of Economics and Political Science
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Activities included: finalising my last PhD paper for publication; conducting new analyses on environment-breastfeeding links using an online UK survey dataset; training in climate change tipping points, environmental justice, air pollution monitoring, creative research methods, using smartphone sensors, apps and wearables in social science research, participatory research, R, and Spanish; organising and hosting Environment x Women’s Health Workshops and conducting interviews with Peruvian NGOs.
June 2019 - present
King's College London
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • I designed and delivered a two day crash-course in Statistics and Stata for 3rd year undergraduates in June 2019 and will be giving 5 x 1.5 hr lectures in Applied Epidemiology & Statistics for 2nd year undergraduates in November and December 2019.
Education
September 2014 - November 2018
September 2013 - September 2014
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Field of study
  • Reproductive & Sexual Health Research
September 2006 - July 2009
University of Kent
Field of study
  • Biological Anthropology

Publications

Publications (24)
Preprint
Background: Establishing links to existing support services is an essential part of ethically conducting research on violence against women and girls. When services are not available, as is often the case in many remote indigenous communities, it may be necessary to provide a basic package of services as part of the research process. However, there...
Article
Full-text available
Growing evidence suggests that community-based interventions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) can effectively address harmful social norms that promote or sustain gender inequality and drive violence against women (VAW). However, understanding what actions communities are already taking to address harmful social norms and prevent VAW is...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 1 in 3 women and poses a major human rights threat and public health burden, yet there is great variation in risk globally. Whilst individual risk factors are well-studied, less research has focussed on the structural and contextual drivers of IPV and how these co-occur to create contexts of hig...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects 1 in 3 women and poses a major human rights threat and public health burden, yet there is great variation in risk globally. Whilst individual risk factors are well-studied, less research has focussed on the structural and contextual drivers of IPV and how these co-occur to create contexts of hig...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Violence against women (VAW) affects one in three women globally. In some countries, women are at much higher risk. We examined risk factors for VAW in countries with the highest 12-month prevalence estimates of intimate partner violence (IPV) to develop understanding of this increased risk. Methods For this systematic review, we sear...
Article
Full-text available
Background There has been substantial progress in research on preventing violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the last 20 years. While the evidence suggests the potential of well-designed curriculum-based interventions that target known risk factors of violence at the community level, this has certain limitations for working in partnership wi...
Article
Life history theory researchers often assume reproductive, parenting and health behaviours pattern across a fast-slow continuum, with ‘fast’ life histories (typified by short lifespans, early maturation and investing in quantity over quality of children) favoured in poor quality environments and/or when resources are scarce. Some researchers furthe...
Article
Full-text available
Background Women living in low-income and-middle-income countries experience increased exposure and worse effects of environmental threats and climate change. Peru is especially susceptible to a range of environmental exposures, including high levels of pollutants, contamination associated with extractive industries, and flooding exacerbated by the...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Understanding the timing and determinants of age at menarche is key to determining potential linkages between onset of puberty and health outcomes from a life-course perspective. Yet, we have little information in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) mainly due to lack of data. The aim of this study was to analyse trends in t...
Article
Full-text available
Local physical and social environmental factors are important drivers of human health and behaviour. Environmental perception has been linked with both reproduction and parenting, but links between subjective environmental experiences and breastfeeding remain unclear. Using retrospective data from an online survey of UK mothers of children aged 0–2...
Poster
Objective: Adolescence, a period of transition from childhood to adulthood, is a significant life stage under life history theory. The socio-ecological environment of adolescence likely influences developmental trajectory/later health, but current evolutionary research focuses on adult-defined Western concepts of environmental quality. An ethologic...
Thesis
Full-text available
Guided by the evolutionary framework of life history theory, which predicts lower parental investment in lower-quality environments, my PhD research explores socioeconomic differentials in breastfeeding behaviour in the UK with a particular focus on local environmental quality. My research is quantitative, and I use advanced statistical techniques...
Preprint
Full-text available
Life-history theory researchers often assume reproductive, parenting and health behaviours pattern across a fast–slow continuum, with ‘fast’ life histories (typified by short lifespans, early maturation and investing in quantity over quality of children) favoured in poor quality environments and/or when resources are scarce. These ideas, with diffe...
Book
Full-text available
In this case study, we summarize a large-scale randomized controlled trial conducted by Public Health England Behavioural Insights. The randomized controlled trial compared which of two invitation letters was most likely to increase uptake of the National Health Service Diabetes Prevention Programme among patients at high risk of developing diabete...
Article
Full-text available
In this case study, we summarize a large-scale randomized controlled trial conducted by Public Health England Behavioural Insights. The randomized controlled trial compared which of two invitation letters was most likely to increase uptake of the National Health Service Diabetes Prevention Programme among patients at high risk of developing diabete...
Article
Full-text available
We use the UK's Born in Bradford study to investigate whether women in lower‐quality environments are less likely to breastfeed. We use measures of physical environmental quality (water disinfectant by‐products (DBPs), air pollution, passive cigarette smoke, and household condition) alongside socioeconomic indicators, to explore in detail how diffe...
Article
Full-text available
This single-blind, pragmatic, cluster randomised controlled trial aims to investigate uptake of children's weight management services in response to enhanced National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) letters providing weight status feedback to parents in three English counties in 2015. Parents of 2642 overweight or very overweight (obese) childre...
Data
Table S1. Control and intervention conditions. Table S2. Comparison of kit return between trial arms and interventions. CONSORT Checklist.
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The aim of the study was to determine whether behaviourally informed short message service (SMS) primer and reminder messages could increase the return rate of HIV self‐sampling kits ordered online. Methods The study was a 2 × 2 factorial design randomized control trial. A total of 9585 individuals who ordered a self‐sampling kit from w...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives: Breastfeeding is an important form of parental investment with clear health benefits. Despite this, rates remain low in the UK; understanding variation can therefore help improve interventions. Life history theory suggests that environmental quality may pattern maternal investment, including breastfeeding. We analyse a na...
Thesis
Full-text available
Background Breastfeeding is a well-researched area and the health benefits for mother and infant are well known. Infant feeding decisions are complex and multifactorial. While the proximate determinants of breastfeeding behaviour are relatively well-researched, evolutionary explanations are lacking. This project aimed to test a prediction based on...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The EVE Project is a research study to improve the evidence around preventing violence against women in the world’s highest prevalence settings. To improve current evidence, the EVE Project takes a multidisciplinary perspective to explore the community, national and global factors that have contributed to higher rates of violence in some parts of the world. We are looking in detail at these processes through two case studies in the Peruvian Andes and Samoa.
Project
Women in the Global South are disproportionately negatively impacted by environmental threats and climate change; women who are already in marginalised positions are particularly vulnerable, especially those who are impoverished, indigenous or who live in rural areas. For many women in these contexts environmental adversity is an embodied experience. This project focuses on environmental effects on maternal, reproductive and mental health and potential community-based solutions
Project
The social environment around us during our formative teenage years can have life-long implications for health and behaviour - but how this happens may be different between cultures. In this project, we are establishing a long-term collaboration on adolescent sociality in Japan and the UK, with particular focus on adolescent social networks and adolescent communication. (Co-PIs: Emily Emmott and Masahito Morita) https://www.adolescentsociality.com