Nicholas S Ialongo

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (166)470.34 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A number of classroom-based interventions have been developed to improve social and behavioral outcomes for students, yet few studies have examined how these programs impact the teachers who are implementing them. Impacts on teachers may affect students and therefore also serve as an important proximal outcome to examine. The current study draws upon data from a school-based randomized controlled trial testing the impact of two prevention programs. In one intervention condition, teachers were trained in the classroom behavior management program, PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG). In a second intervention condition, teachers were trained to use an integrated program, referred to as PATHS to PAX, of the PAX GBG and a social and emotional learning curriculum called Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS©). This study aimed to determine whether both interventions positively impacted teachers, with a particular interest in the teachers' own beliefs and perceptions regarding self-efficacy, burnout, and social-emotional competence. The sample included 350 K-5 teachers across 27 schools (18 schools randomized to intervention, 9 to control). Multilevel latent growth curve analyses indicated that the PATHS to PAX condition generally demonstrated the most benefits to teachers, relative to both the control and PAX GBG conditions. These findings suggest that school-based preventive interventions can have a positive impact on teachers' beliefs and perceptions, particularly when the program includes a social-emotional component. Several possible mechanisms might account for the added benefit to teachers. Additional research is needed to better understand how these programs impact teachers, as well as students.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Prevention Science

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Urban Health
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    ABSTRACT: Tobacco outlet exposure is a correlate of tobacco use with potential differences by gender that warrant attention. The aim of this study is to explore the moderating role of gender in the relationship between tobacco outlet exposure and past month tobacco use among African American young adults 21 to 24 years old. This cross-sectional study (n = 283) used geospatial methods to determine the number of tobacco outlets within walking distance (i.e., a quarter mile) of participants' homes and distance to the nearest outlet. Logistic regression models were used to test interactions between gender and tobacco outlet exposure (i.e., density and proximity). Tobacco outlets were classified based on whether or not they were licensed to sell tobacco only (TO outlets) or tobacco and alcohol (TA outlets). Neither density nor proximity was associated with past month tobacco use in the pooled models. However, gender modified the relationship between TO outlet density and tobacco use, and this relationship was significant only among women (OR = 1.02; p < 0.01; adjusted OR = 1.01; p < 0.05). This study underscores the importance of reducing tobacco outlet density in residential neighborhoods, especially TO outlets, as well as highlights potential gender differences in the relationship between tobacco outlet density and tobacco use.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Prevention Science
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study identifies and compares outcomes in young adulthood associated with longitudinal patterns of alcohol and marijuana use during adolescence among urban youth. Method: Data come from a cohort of 678 urban, predominantly Black children followed from ages 6-25 (1993-2012). Analyses are based on the 608 children who participated over time (53.6% male). Longitudinal patterning of alcohol and marijuana use were based on annual frequency reports from grades 8-12 and estimated through latent profile analysis. Results: We identified four classes of alcohol and marijuana use including Non-Use (47%), Moderate Alcohol Use (28%), Moderate Alcohol/Increasing Marijuana Use (12%) and High Dual Use (13%). A marijuana only class was not identified. Analyses show negative outcomes in adulthood associated with all three adolescent substance use classes. Compared to the non-use class, all use classes had statistically significantly higher rates of substance dependence. Those in the 'High Dual Use' class had the lowest rate of high school graduation. Comparing classes with similar alcohol but different marijuana patterns, the 'Moderate Alcohol/Increasing Marijuana Use' class had a statistically significant increased risk of having a criminal justice record and developing substance use dependence in adulthood. Conclusion: Among urban youth, heterogeneous patterns of alcohol and marijuana use across adolescence are evident, and these patterns are associated with distinct outcomes in adulthood. These findings suggest a need for targeted education and intervention efforts to address the needs of youth using both marijuana and alcohol, as well as the importance of universal early preventive intervention efforts.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Addictive behaviors
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    ABSTRACT: The trajectory of suicidal ideation across early adolescence may inform the timing of suicide prevention program implementation. This study aimed to identify developmental trajectories of suicidal ideation among an urban cohort of community-residing African Americans (AA) longitudinally followed from middle school through early adulthood (ages 11-19 years). Subtypes based on the developmental course of suicidal ideation from late childhood through mid-adolescence were identified using longitudinal latent class analysis (LLCA) with 581 AA adolescents (52.7% male; 71.1% free or reduced school meals). The developmental trajectories of suicidal ideation were then used to predict suicide attempts in young adulthood. Our LLCA indicated two subtypes (i.e., ideators and nonideators), with 8% of the sample in the ideator class. This trajectory class shows a peak of suicidal ideation in seventh grade and a steady decline in ideation in subsequent grades. Additionally, suicidal ideation trajectories significantly predicted suicide attempt. Results of these analyses suggest the need for suicide prevention approaches prior to high school for AA youth.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
  • Rashelle J Musci · George Uhl · Brion Maher · Nicholas S Ialongo
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the main and interaction effects of known social risk factors for substance use (inadequate parental monitoring and substance using friends) in adolescence and a polygenic score in predicting marijuana and tobacco use in adolescence and young adulthood. Phenotypic and genetic data were derived from a longitudinal study of a cohort of urban, predominately African American youth. Last year substance-use measures were collected annually from 8th grade through age 22. Participant self-reports of substance-using friends and parent monitoring were obtained yearly from Grades 8 to 12. Using longitudinal latent class analysis, the authors identified parallel developmental trajectories of tobacco and marijuana use and parent monitoring and the proportion of substance-using friends. Two trajectories were identified for tobacco and marijuana use, characterized by moderate versus little-to-no use. Additionally, 2 latent profiles were found for the social environment profiles: those characterized by higher parent monitoring and a lower proportion of substance-using friends versus lower parent monitoring and a higher proportion of substance-using friends. We found main and interaction effects for the polygenic score and social environment profile in predicting the longitudinal classes of marijuana and tobacco use. With respect to the interaction effect, membership in the moderate-use classes of marijuana and tobacco use was highest among those in the social environment profile characterized by lower parent monitoring and a higher proportion of substance-using friends. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the influence of neighborhood factors on transitions in marijuana involvement during adolescence in a sample of primarily low-income, urban Black youth. 556 Black adolescents were interviewed annually beginning in first grade as part of a longitudinal study. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to examine stages of marijuana involvement from 6th to 9th grades. The influence of neighborhood disorder, drug activity, violent crime, safety and disadvantage on transitions in marijuana involvement was tested using latent transition analysis (LTA). There was evidence for three stages of involvement: no involvement, offered, and use and problems. Involvement increased steadily during adolescence with a slightly greater risk to transition from offers to use between 6th and 7th grades. Neighborhood disorder (AOR=1.04, CI=1.00, 1.08), drug activity (AOR=1.12, CI=1.02, 1.22) and disadvantage (AOR=1.44, CI=1.10, 1.92) were associated with the transition from marijuana offers to use and problems. Neighborhood disorder (AOR=1.07, CI=1.02, 1.11), drug activity (AOR=1.19, CI=1.10, 1.29) and violent crime (AOR=1.17, CI=1.03, 1.32) were associated with transitioning rapidly from no involvement to use and problems. Understanding how neighborhoods could be organized and provided with supports to discourage marijuana use and promote non-drug using behaviors should be an important goal of any prevention program in low-income, urban Black neighborhoods. Enhancing citizen participation and mobilization to address the social processes of neighborhood disorder has the potential to reduce marijuana involvement in these neighborhoods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Drug and alcohol dependence
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents in disadvantaged communities have high rates of exposure to stress and trauma, which can negatively impact emotion regulation and executive functioning, increasing likelihood of school problems. This pilot study evaluated RAP Club, a 12-session school-based trauma-informed group intervention co-facilitated by a mental health counselor and young adult community member that utilizes evidence-based cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness strategies. Seventh and eighth graders at two urban public schools serving low-income communities were assigned to receive RAP Club (n = 29) or regular school programming (n = 20). RAP Club improved teacher-rated emotion regulation, social and academic competence, classroom behavior, and discipline. Higher program dose predicted improvements in several teacher-rated outcomes. Student self-report outcomes, however, did not vary by study group or dose. Even students with low baseline depression showed improvement in teacher-rated outcomes following program participation, supporting a model of universal program delivery to all students. Findings suggest RAP Club merits further study. Copyright © 2015 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Adolescence
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence-based interventions are being disseminated broadly in schools across the USA, but the implementation levels achieved in community settings vary considerably. The current study examined the extent to which teacher and school factors were associated with implementation dosage and quality of the PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG), a universal classroom-based preventive intervention designed to improve student social-emotional competence and behavior. Specifically, dosage (i.e., number of games and duration of games) across the school year and quality (i.e., how well the game is delivered) of PAX GBG implementation across four time points in a school year were examined. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the association between teacher-level factors (e.g., demographics, self-reports of personal resources, attitudes toward the intervention, and workplace perceptions) and longitudinal implementation data. We also accounted for school-level factors, including demographic characteristics of the students and ratings of the schools' organizational health. Findings indicated that only a few teacher-level factors were significantly related to variation in implementation. Teacher perceptions (e.g., fit with teaching style, emotional exhaustion) were generally related to dosage, whereas demographic factors (e.g., teachers' age) were related to quality. These findings highlight the importance of school contextual and proximal teacher factors on the implementation of classroom-based programs.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Prevention Science
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    ABSTRACT: Internalizing symptoms during adolescence and beyond is a major public health concern, particularly because severe symptoms can lead to the diagnosis of a number of serious psychiatric conditions. This study utilizes a unique sample with a complex statistical method in order to explore Gene × Environment interactions found in internalizing symptoms during adolescence. Data for this study were drawn from a longitudinal prevention intervention study ( n = 798) of Baltimore city school children. Internalizing symptom data were collected using self-report and blood or saliva samples genotyped using Affymetrix 6.0 microarrays. A major depression polygenic score was created for each individual using information from the major depressive disorder Psychiatric Genetics Consortium and used as a predictor in a latent trait–state–occasion model. The major depressive disorder polygenic score was a significant predictor of the stable latent trait variable, which captures time-independent phenotypic variability. In addition, an early childhood stressor of death or divorce was a significant predictor of occasion-specific variables. A Gene × Environment interaction was not a significant predictor of the latent trait or occasion variables. These findings support the importance of genetics on the stable latent trait portion of internalizing symptoms across adolescence.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Development and Psychopathology
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents with comorbid anxiety and depression are at significantly increased risk of suicide. The recently proposed depression distress amplification model appears to have promise for explaining the relations between anxiety, depression, and suicidality, but it has not been tested in adolescents. Participants were 524 adolescents followed over two years. Baseline data for the current report were collected by trained interviewers while the adolescents were in eighth grade. Data were obtained in the same manner when the adolescents were in tenth grade. Baseline anxiety sensitivity cognitive concerns significantly predicted suicidal ideation two years later, above and beyond baseline suicidal ideation and depression. Further, consistent with the depression distress amplification model, anxiety sensitivity cognitive concerns interacted with depressive symptoms to predict suicidal ideation. This report extends the empirical and theoretical support for a relationship between anxiety sensitivity cognitive concerns and suicidality. Copyright © 2015 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Adolescence
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing interest in coaching to support teacher implementation of evidence-based interventions; yet, there is limited research examining the tailoring of coaching support to teachers’ needs. This paper examined coaching dosage across one school year, and the relationship between coaching contacts and teacher baseline and end-of-year data. Data came from a randomized controlled trial including 210 teachers in 18 schools implementing the Good Behavior Game (GBG), either as a stand alone or when integrated with a social-emotional learning curriculum. The overarching goal was to determine whether coaches provided varying levels of teacher contacts and how this support related to condition assignment, implementation, and teachers’ beliefs and perceptions data. Growth mixture modeling (GMM) was used to examine the frequency of teacher contacts across the school year. GMM indicated three distinct patterns: about 58 % of teachers received a moderate number of contacts; 27 % received a consistently low number of contacts; and 15 % received high and increasing support. Teachers who received a high degree of support were more often implementing the integrated GBG and reported more negative beliefs and perceptions at the start of the school year than those in the low contact class. Teachers in the low contact class implemented the least number of games and minutes of GBG, but reported better perceptions of organizational health and burnout, at the end of the year. Coaching dosage was unrelated to observer ratings of implementation quality.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · School Mental Health
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examines the interaction between a polygenic score and an elementary school-based universal preventive intervention trial. The polygenic score reflects the contribution of multiple genes and has been shown in prior research to be predictive of smoking cessation and tobacco use (Uhl et al., 2014). Using data from a longitudinal preventive intervention study, we examined age of first tobacco use from sixth grade to age 18. Genetic data were collected during emerging adulthood and were genotyped using the Affymetrix 6.0 microarray. The polygenic score was computed using these data. Discrete-time survival analysis was employed to test for intervention main and interaction effects with the polygenic score. We found a main effect of the intervention, with the intervention participants reporting their first cigarette smoked at an age significantly later than controls. We also found an Intervention × Polygenic Score interaction, with participants at the higher end of the polygenic score benefitting the most from the intervention in terms of delayed age of first use. These results are consistent with Belsky and colleagues' (e.g., Belsky, Bakermans-Kranenburg, & van IJzendoorn, 2007; Belsky & Pleuss, 2009, 2013; Ellis, Boyce, Belsky, Bakermans-Kranenburg, & van IJzendoorn, 2011) differential susceptibility hypothesis and the concept of "for better or worse," wherein the expression of genetic variants are optimally realized in the context of an enriched environment, such as provided by a preventive intervention.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Development and Psychopathology

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Dependence
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the perceived feasibility and pattern of implementation following an online training for teachers delivering an integrated intervention encompassing two school-based universal preventive interventions: Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum and the PAX Good Behavior Game (GBG). Forty-five teachers from three urban elementary schools completed an online training consisting of didactics and video demonstration and received in-person coaching across a 31-week implementation period. Data from 65 teachers from three schools who received in-person training and coaching provided a benchmark for comparison. Most teachers in the online training + in-person coaching (OLT + IPC) condition reported that the technology was easy to use and that the course was as effective as an in-person workshop. Teachers in the OLT + IPC group reported positive attitudes regarding PATHS and the PAX GBG that generally were not significantly different from attitudes reported by teachers who received in-person training + in-person coaching (IPT + IPC). Importantly, teachers in the OLT + IPC condition achieved a high level of implementation quality similar to that demonstrated by teachers in the IPT + IPC condition. The frequency of intervention delivery by OLT + IPC teachers was also not significantly different than that of IPT + IPC teachers. These findings provide evidence that the internet is a promising component in a training sequence designed to teach teachers to deliver evidence-based preventive interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · School Mental Health
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    Grace P Lee · Carla L Storr · Nicholas S Ialongo · Silvia S Martins

    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2014
  • Beth A. Reboussin · Nicholas Ialongo · Kerry Green
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    ABSTRACT: Despite recent evidence of higher rates of marijuana use among African Americans than Whites, limited research has examined the reasons for this racial disparity. The purpose of this study is to examine how contextual stressors that disproportionately affect African American adolescents are related to marijuana opportunities and use in a sample of primarily low-income urban-dwelling African Americans. Four hundred and seventy African-American children were interviewed annually beginning in first grade as part of a longitudinal field study in Baltimore city. Latent transition analysis was conducted to examine the influence of contextual stress as measured by neighborhood disorder, community violence exposure and racial discrimination on transitions across stages of marijuana involvement in 6th-9th grades. Three-stages of marijuana involvement emerged: no involvement, marijuana opportunities and use and problems. Youth who reported witnessing or being a victim of community violence were significantly more likely to transition from no marijuana involvement to having opportunities to use marijuana (AOR=1.45; 95% CI=1.02, 2.07) and to use and problems (AOR=2.68; 95% CI=1.36, 5.27) compared to youth who did not report exposure to community violence. Higher levels of neighborhood disorder was significantly associated with transitions from no involvement to use and problems (AOR=2.38; 95% CI=1.22, 4.63). Youth who reported experiencing higher levels of racial discrimination were significantly more likely to transition from no marijuana involvement to having opportunities to use marijuana (AOR=2.04; 95% CI=1.41, 2.95). These findings highlight the need to develop interventions focused on contextual factors that disproportionately affect these youth and factors that might promote resilience in these urban environments.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: African American male high school students have the highest rates of marijuana use among all racial, ethnic, and gender groups, yet there is limited research examining contextual factors salient to the African American community. The purpose of this study was to examine how neighborhood environment measured in 8th grade is related to longitudinal transitions in marijuana use during high school (9th to 12th grades) in a sample of urban African Americans. Four hundred and fifty-two African American children were interviewed annually beginning in 1st grade as part of a longitudinal field study in Baltimore city. Latent transition analysis indicated early in high school posed the greatest risk for initiation and progression of marijuana use. Community violence exposure was associated with an increased likelihood of transitioning from no marijuana use to infrequent use (adjusted odds ratios (AOR) = 2.40, p
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Urban Health
  • Beth A Reboussin · Nicholas S Ialongo · Kerry M Green
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The aim of this study was to examine how patterns of academic and behavior problems in the first grade relate to longitudinal transitions in marijuana use from middle school through entry into high school among African-Americans. Methods: Latent class and latent transition analyses were conducted on a community sample of 458 low-income, urban-dwelling African-Americans. Results: Two behavior problem classes emerged at school entry; externalizing and attention/concentration. Academic problems co-occurred with both problem behavior classes although more strongly with attention/concentration. Youth in the attention/ concentration problem class were more likely to transition from no marijuana involvement to use and problems beginning in the 7th grade and to use and problems given the opportunity to use marijuana early in high school compared to youth with no problems. Youth in the externalizing behavior problem class were significantly more likely to transition from no involvement to having a marijuana opportunity during the transition to high school compared to youth in the attention/concentration problems class. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of developing prevention programs and providing school services that address the co-occurrence of academic and behavior problems, as well as their subtype specific risks for marijuana involvement, particularly for low-income minority youth who may be entering school less ready than their non-minority peers. These findings also provide evidence for a need to continue to deliver interventions in middle school and high school focused on factors that may protect youth during these critical transition periods when they may be especially vulnerable to opportunities to use marijuana based on their academic and behavioral risk profiles.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Addictive Behaviors
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine transitions in gambling participation from late adolescence into emerging adulthood and to identify factors (i.e., gender, race, intervention status, lunch status, conduct disorder, parental monitoring, neighborhood environment, and substance use) that might influence these transitions. Methods Markov modeling was used to describe the movement between past-year gambling states (i.e., nongambling and gambling) across 5 years. Annual data on the past-year gambling behavior and substance use were collected from 515 young men and women starting at the age of 17 years. Results Past-year gambling declined from 51% prevalence at the age of 17 years to 21% prevalence at the age of 22 years. Participants who reported no past-year gambling at a particular annual assessment had more than an 80% probability of also reporting no past-year gambling at the following assessment. Men were 1.07–2.82 times more likely than women to transition from past-year nongambling to gambling year to year, and women were 1.27–5.26 times more likely than men to transition from past-year gambling to nongambling year to year. In addition, gender and past-year tobacco use interacted such that men who used tobacco were most likely (and men who did not use tobacco least likely) to gamble at baseline. Conclusions Transition rates between gambling states appear to be relatively stable over time from late adolescence into emerging adulthood; however, men and those who engage in substance use may be at an increased risk of gambling participation.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Adolescent Health

Publication Stats

4k Citations
470.34 Total Impact Points


  • 1993-2016
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Mental Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1994-2015
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Mental Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2014
    • Columbia University
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2013
    • George Washington University
      • Department of Psychology
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2012
    • Florida State University
      • Department of Psychology
      Tallahassee, FL, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2006
    • The National Bureau of Economic Research
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Iowa
      • Department of Psychology
      Iowa City, IA, United States
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
      CGS, Maryland, United States
  • 2003-2004
    • The Ohio State University
      • Department of Psychology
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
      • Department of Psychology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1996
    • University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 1986
    • Michigan State University
      • Department of Psychology
      East Lansing, Michigan, United States