Global Health Center

Ellen Johnson Silver, Ph.D.

Contact Info

Dr. Ellen Johnson Silver
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Van Etten, Room 6B32
Bronx, NY 10461

718.862.1752
ellen.silver@einstein.yu.edu  

 

 

Ellen Johnson Silver Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Silver’s primary global health activity at present is “Teen Connections in India,” which is funded by a pilot grant award from the Einstein Global Health Center. Her collaborators at Einstein are Drs. Laurie J. Bauman and Rosy Chhabra, and we are partnering with researchers at the Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation & Research Centre (DAIRRC) in Mumbai, India who are helping refine our measures and collect the study data. In this project they will extend current work on relationships and HIV/STD risk that is being done with Bronx teens and young adults. They intend to survey 400 college students from 2 major cities in India (New Delhi and Mumbai) to assess attitudes and sexual behavior and couple-level factors in relationships (e.g., love, monogamy, permanence, salience, communication, power) that have been shown to affect young people’s risks for HIV/STD. Given that India has a large population in this age range and that the rate of HIV infection is still rising within this group, understanding their own perceptions of sexual risk behavior may help in designing future prevention efforts.

Previously, she was the Project Director of a small study conducted by Dr. Laurie Bauman entitled “Child Caregivers to Parents with HIV/AIDS in Two Countries.” We collaborated with Dr. Geoff Foster and his staff from the Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) in Mutare, Zimbabwe. In this study, surveys were conducted with 8-16 year old children and their mothers in both New York City and Mutare. Its goal was to document and compare the degree to which children take on adult-like household management and caregiving responsibilities when a parent has HIV/AIDS and to describe the potential positive and negative consequences for children. Our results, which were published in Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies in April 2006, showed that children in both areas provided substantial amounts of personal care, and took responsibility for household tasks. Some were their parents' emotional confidants. Children reported performing more tasks than their mothers reported. Almost half of New York and 80% of Mutare children said they had too much responsibility, and most reported reduced after-school and peer activities. Both children and parents felt children were more capable because of their responsibilities. Although depression was relatively high in children from both cities, the type and amount of caregiving they did was unrelated to their adjustment.

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