Project SHARP

Adolescents are at great risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Compared to the general adolescent population, adolescents involved with the criminal justice system are younger at first intercourse, have a greater number of sexual partners, and report lower rates of condom use, resulting in high rates of unintended pregnancy and STD/HIV. Similarly, alcohol use and abuse is widespread, with an estimated 88.7% of incarcerated adolescents reporting current use of alcohol. We have shown that an intervention that targets the reduction of alcohol use in the context of sexual activity is more effective than an HIV/STD information only control intervention (Schmiege et al., 2009; Bryan et al., 2009). The goal of the proposed study is to replicate those effects by evaluating the effectiveness of targeted sexual risk and alcohol risk reduction intervention on risk behaviors among a different sample of adolescents and, importantly, to examine genetic and neurocognitive moderators of intervention efficacy. In this project adolescents complete a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan as part of their participation, and we hope to understand how normal variation in these responses to tasks involved in impulsive responding and risky decision making, as well as genetic variants associated with impulsivity, may influence response to our intervention.
Primary Investigator Angela Bryan