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Dr. Latoya Small

Latoya SmallLatoya Small’s research focuses on health disparities, specifically at the intersection of mental health, treatment adherence, and HIV among poverty-impacted women and children in the U.S. and South Africa. She examines the specific needs and resources available to low-income families.

Dr. Small has been Project Director of a five-year, NIH-funded R01, the VUKA Family Program: Supporting Perinatally Infected Youth in South Africa. She is also Principal Investigator of VUKA EKHAYA: A Take-Home Family Intervention to Improve and Reduce Behavioral Risk among Perinatally HIV-Infected Youth. Both studies are culturally informed and aim to examine the effectiveness of cartoon-based family interventions, targeting the mental health and behavioral risks for underserved seropositive youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. VUKA EHKAYA also aims to enhance family support and reduce the burden of care on service providers in resource-limited settings. Dr. Small is also Principal Investigator for the study HIV Treatment Adherence and Trauma Exposure for Poverty-Impacted African American Women in the Rural South.

The primary aim is to examine the intersection of complex trauma, HIV medication, and care utilization for poverty-impacted African American women. Dr. Small engages in community-based participatory research to develop interventions for people living with HIV. She has developed cross-cultural, bi-directional partnerships with researchers, hospital staff, and community stakeholders in South Africa. She takes a collaborative approach in her scholarship, recognizing that traditional intra-disciplinary boundaries can impede the development of effective and sustainable research interventions. Her work aims to produce accessible, evidence-informed interventions that bolster youth development and maternal health, to thereby strengthen families. Her research can be found in peer-reviewed journals including Global Social Welfare, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Research on Social Work Practice, Child Abuse and Neglect, AIDS Care, and Children and Youth Services Review.