The Human Development and Social Justice (HD&SJ) Lab is led by Dr. Celia B. Fisher, Professor in the Fordham University Applied Developmental Psychology program and Director of both the Center for Ethics Education and the NIDA funded HIV/Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Institute.
In the HD&SJ lab, our research is at the intersection of developmental science and social justice. We apply developmental theory and research methods, as well as contemporary research ethics frameworks, to examine the experiences that promote equity and wellbeing among under-researched populations. Our current projects focus on issues of stigma, identity, health disparities and the role of personal and systemic experiences in daily life. We explore these experiences within underserved adolescent groups: ethnic minorities, LGBT and individuals with a history of mental health and substance-use conditions. We are committed to conducting and promoting research that enhances the responsible conduct of research by looking at issues such as informed consent, motivations and implications of research participation and facilitators and barriers to health care services.
Genomics, Big Data and Broad Consent: A New Ethics Frontier for Prevention Science: Prevention scientists embarking on gene-by-intervention (GxI) and other research involving biospecimens are faced with a new frontier of ethical challenges regarding the use of biospecimens with a prolonged life course coupled with increased data sharing with unknown future investigators for possibly radically different purposes. The purpose of this project is to examine the upcoming changes to the federal regulations that guide the ethical research of human subjects and implications for prevention science. A forthcoming manuscript tackles the rationale for changes in the informed consent process and how these changes may shape research practices for current and future prevention scientists.
Influence of internalized stigma, psychological needs, and identity status on well-being for young women with a history of adolescent inpatient psychiatric hospitalization: For almost half of adolescents, progress toward developing a health identity and transitioning to adulthood is complicated by a mental health condition, most dramatically when removed from their community during periods of hospitalization. Deborah is designing an online survey study to be launched in Summer of 2018 which explores the extent to which internalized stigma, and basic psychological needs of autonomy, social connectedness, and self-perception of competency is predictive of a positive identity status among young women with a history of adolescent inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. Further, Deborah hypothesizes that positive identity status predicts well-being, as measured by self-assessed recovery and current emotional distress. Under the supervision of Dr. Fisher, this project will serve as Deborah’s thesis project.
Predictors of Sexual Health in Young Lesbian and Bisexual Black Women who have Sex with Men: Currently, there is a lack of research on sexual health predictors in ethnic and sexual minority women. The purpose of this Masters's Thesis project is to increase understanding of the personal, familial, cultural and systemic risk and protective factors associated with sexual and reproductive health in Black sexual minority females. This online, quantitative study will survey adolescent and young adult Black lesbian and bisexual women who have sex with men between the ages of 16 and 21 living in the US. We hope that the findings of this project will inform future efforts to reduce sexual health inequalities. This project will be funded by GLMA.
“They are an adult, they know the risks:” Investigators confront the benefits and challenges of online HIV research: Online research has become a critical modality for research aimed at reducing health disparities among hidden populations most at risk for HIV infection. Social media has provided a recruitment vehicle to reach large and diverse samples of participants from these groups. This study drew on the experiences of principal investigators (PIs) to illuminate benefits and challenges of online HIV research.