Our Projects

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Research


The Importance of the Pipeline: Development of an Urban Undergraduate Public Health Training Program

Funding Source: Office of the CUNY Dean for Health & Human Services

Co-Principal Investigator: Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES

Co-Principal Investigator: Debra B. Glaser, EdD
Status: Funding Just Received--Grant Period is July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014

Public health programs primarily focus on prevention and health promotion (rather than treatment), and on whole populations (rather than individuals). Public health is an essential component of the US health system. Its infrastructure and prevention-based programs, together with clinical health systems, work to improve population health and reduce health care costs. Unfortunately, the country’s public health system has been historically underfunded. Despite spending more than twice what most other industrialized nations spend on health care, the US ranks 24th out of 30 such nations in terms of life expectancy. A major reason for this disconcerting fact is that the US spends only 3% of its health care dollars on preventing diseases (as opposed to treating them), when 75% of health care costs are related to preventable conditions. This projects will work to develop a newly proposed Bachelor of Science program in public health with a concentration in community health education. In addition to meeting national accreditation requirements for undergraduate programs in public health through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the program will not only prepare students for graduate study in public health (through exposure to curricula and fieldwork experiences) but also to enter the public health workforce.


Anti-Gay Harassment, Violence and Psychosocial Correlates among a Select Sample of LGBT Pride Event Participants in New York City

Funding Source:  Research Foundation of CUNY, Account # 78452-18 01
Co-Principal Investigator:  Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES
Co-Principal Investigator:  Michael T. LeVasseur, MPH
Status:  Closed for Enrollment/Data Analysis Only

Discrimination, harrassment and violence toward perceived lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals has recently gained national recognition through the media and health promotion efforts such as the "It Gets Better" campaign.  The purpose of this study is to explore the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of a cross-sample of LGBT pride event participants in New York City.  Results of this study will be used to help inform the design of effective and efficient programs targeting underserved populations coping with sexual minority-related discrimination, harrassment and violence.


Planning for the Continuous Care of Children in HIV-Affected Families   A Study of the Training Needs of Social Workers

Funding Source:  PSC-CUNY/Research Foundation Award

Principal Investigator:  Susan Letteney, DSW, LCSW
Status:  Closed for Enrollment, Data Analysis Only


Project iMash (Influences of Mobile "Apps" on Sexual Health)

Funding Source: PSC-CUNY/Research Foundation of CUNY, Award # 66403-00 44

Principal Investigator: Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES
Status: Grant Period is July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014; Open for Enrollment

Since the advent of the Internet, communication technology has been rapidly progressing. It is estimated that over the next decade, mobile-based Internet technology will be broadly disseminated, connecting billions of people to the Internet. New social networking applications or ‘‘apps,’’ which use GPS technology to locate potential partners who are closest, and other emerging forms of mobile-based communication are replacing or enhancing older technological communication methods. This proposed study attempts to expand on the current research of men who have sex with men (MSM), Internet and mobile app use, and high-risk sex behavior and will assess the attitudes and beliefs of men toward HIV prevention interventions that are mobile app-based in nature. In essence, the proposed study will not only add to the current behavioral research, but will also attempt to create a new facet in the research that will address issues in prevention and education and create opportunities for future research that focuses on preventing HIV infections through the use of mobile technologies.


Comparison of Hybrid and Face-to-Face Learning Environments Among Social Work Students

Principal Investigator:  Susan Letteney, DSW, ACSW
Status:  Closed for Enrollment, Data Analysis Only


Project EPOCH (Education and Prevention for Online Community Health)

Funding Source:  PSC-CUNY/Research Foundation of CUNY, Award # 60165-39 40
Funding Period:  July 1, 2009-December 31, 2010
Principal Investigator:  Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES
Status:  Closed for Enrollment, Data Analysis Only

While researchers have examined the role the Internet plays in risk taking and decision making among men who have sex with men (MSM) who go online to seek seek sexual partners, little is known about what virtual methods and strategies, if at all, can and should be used to promote safer sex behaviors. This project seeks to examine the feasibility and perceived effectiveness of Internet-based safer sex interventions specifically tailored toward sub-populations of MSM.


Spirituality and Identity Formation in Same-Sex Attracted Men

Co-Principal Investigator:  Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES
Co-Principal Investigator:  Jude E. Elysee, MS
Status:  Closed for Enrollment, Data Analysis Only

Although several studies have examined the impact of religiosity in the lives of same-sex attracted men, very little literature exists on the cross-section of sexual identity development and the influence of spirituality among these men.  This study aims to explore the role of spirituality among same-sex attracted men with regard to self-identification ("coming out") and provide implications for community/religious-based psychosocial interventions targeting same-sex attracted men.


Project MATCHE (Mentored-Approach to Training in Community Health Evaluation)

Funding Source: Office of the CUNY Dean for Health & Human Services
Co-Principal Investigator: Susan Letteney, DSW, LCSW
Co-Principal Investigator: Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES
Status: Funding Over--Data Collection & Analysis

Recent research indicates that understanding determinants of complex health problems such as HIV increases if perspectives of community members, agency staff and researchers are consulted. When these varying stakeholders’ strengths can be harnessed to collaboratively identify preparedness to adapt HIV-related, evidence-based interventions, programming will best match the community’s needs and likely lead to decreased infection. Working with the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center (LESHRC), this study uses the Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) model as a methodological framework to address three goals: 1) Equitably involve the strengths, decision-making and ownership of stakeholders such as community members, organizational representatives, and researchers in the program evaluation process; 2) Equip agency representatives and other stakeholders with skills necessary to utilize this model for future internal organizational research and evaluation; and 3) Through mentoring, train 7 (4 undergraduate, 2 doctoral) pre-professional CUNY student research fellows (RFs) in applied health research and program evaluation.


Maternal Caregiving of Children in HIV Affected Families:  Pilot Study

Funding Source:  PSC-CUNY/Research Foundation Award
Principal Investigator:  Susan Letteney, DSW, LCSW
Status:  Closed for Enrollment, Data Analysis Only


Project SHIBI (Social Health and Implications for Behavioral Intervention)

Funding Source:  PSC-CUNY/Research Foundation of CUNY, Award # 64641-00 42 
Funding Period:  July 1, 2011-December 31, 2012
Principal Investigator:  Nicholas A. Grosskopf, EdD, MCHES
Co-Investigator:  Michael T. LeVasseur, MPH
Status:  Open for Enrollment

This study attempts to expand on the current research of men who have sex with men (MSM), the influence and structure of social networks, health risk behavior (sexual risk behavior, specifically) and associated co-morbidities.  In essence, this study will not only add to the current behavioral research on MSM and health disparities, but will also attempt to create a new facet that will address questions surrounding social networks and the influence of social context while creating opportunities for future research that focuses on preventing HIV and other disparities through the use of theoretically driven methods and empirical data.

Publications

CRG-HPP Members Names are linked

Beckerman, N. & Letteney, S. "Couples of Mixed HIV Status: Key Emotional Issues." Social Work in Health Care. 31 2000: 25-41.

Burke, R.C., Wilson, J., Bernstein, K., Grosskopf, N.A., Murrill, C., Cutler, B. & Begier, E., & Sweeney, M.. "The NYC Condom: Use and Acceptability of New York City's Branded Condom." American Journal of Public Health. 99 2009: 2178-2180.

Grosskopf, N.A., Harris, J,K., Wallace, B.C., & Nanin, J.E.. "Online sex-seeking behaviors of MSM in New York City." American Journal of Men's Health. 5(5) 2011: 378-385.

Krauss, B., Letteney, S., De Baets, A.J., Baggaley, R.D., & Okero, F.A. (in press). Disclosure to HIV status to HIV-positive children 12 and under:  A systematic cross-national review of implications for health and well-being.  Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies.​

Krauss, B., Letteney, S., De Baets, A., Murugi, J. & Okero, O. (2012).  Caregiver’s HIV disclosure to children 12 years and under: A review and analysis of the evidence.  AIDS Care.​

Krauss, B., Letteney, S., De Baets, A., Murugi, J. & Okero, O.  (November, 2011).  Guideline on HIV disclosure counseling for children of ages up to 12 Years.  World Health Organization.  Geneva.

Letteney, S., Krauss, B., & Kaplan, R.. "Examining HIV Positive Parents’ Disclosure to Their Children: A Biopsychosocial Approach." Journal of Social Work in Public Health. 4/12: 25.

Letteney, S. "Fathers' with HIV Disease and Disclosure to Children: Reported Experiences and Unique Characteristics." Journal of Human Behavior and the Social Environment. 1/12: 24.

Letteney, S. "Disrupted Caregiving and Maternal HIV Disease: A Proposed Model for Evaluating HIV-Affected Children's Psychosocial Adjustment." Social Work in Health Care. 49 2010: 753-763.

Letteney, S. "Social Workers' Self-Efficacy and Comfort Providing Care for HIV-Affected Children." Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work. 15 2010: 47-60.

Letteney, S. "Disclosure of Maternal HIV Status to Children: Key Psychosocial Correlates." Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. 5 2006: 67-84.

Letteney, S. & Heft LaPorte, H.. "Deconstructing Stigma: Perceptions of HIV Seropositive Mothers and Their Disclosure to Children." Social Work in Health Care. 38 2004: 105-123.

Letteney, S. "Issues Confronting HIV-Affected Families." Social Work Today. February 2002: 22-23.

Letteney, S. "How Do I Tell My Children?." The Counselor. March/April 2000: 13-17.​

LeVasseur, M.T., Kelvin, E.A., & Grosskopf, N.A. "Intersecting Identities and the Association Between Bullying and Suicide Attempt among New York City Youth: Results from the 2009 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Survey." American Journal of Public Health. (in press, accepted July 2012).

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