American Psychological Foundation
Yale's Meade receives 2003 Husted Award
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) and APA's Science Directorate have presented the sev enth annual Todd E. Husted Memorial Dissertation Award to Christina Meade, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Yale University, for her work in the area of HIV/AIDS. The $1,000 award recognizes outstanding dissertation research demonstrating strong potential to improve mental health services for those with severe mental illnesses. APA's Science Directorate administers the honor, and its awards committee recommends a winner to the APF Board of Trustees for approval.
Meade's dissertation explores the social contexts that might influence HIV-risk behavior among adults with severe mental illnesses. Past research has found that 4 to 23 percent of adults with severe mental illnesses are infected with HIV, compared with less than 1 percent of the general population. Meade hopes her research will reduce the "double burden" of the mental and physical illnesses that affect this diverse population.
"We don't fully understand the link between mental illnesses and HIV risk," Meade says. "The aim of my study is to examine how aspects of psychiatric illness might be related to HIV-risk behavior."
For her dissertation, Meade interviewed 150 people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses who were receiving services at a respite center, outpatient clinics and supportive housing programs. In structured 90-minute interviews, she asked participants about their psychiatric history and current symptoms, past sexual and physical abuse, social support networks, substance use and sexual behavior.
The $1,000 Husted Award, which she received in December, allowed her to add an extra 50 people to her original sample of 100.
Meade's research efforts began after her graduation from Brown University--when she worked as a research assistant at a psychiatric hospital in Providence, R.I. She currently complements her scholarly work with clinical training at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, where she treats patients with severe mental illnesses.
Apply for the 2004 Husted award
APF and APA's Science Directorate invite proposals for the 2004 Todd E. Husted Memorial Dissertation Award. The $1,000 award supports dissertation research on mental illness services with great potential to improve services for those with severe and persistent mental illnesses by, for example:
Developing interventions that prevent the deterioration, homelessness and premature deaths of those with serious mental illness.
Improving the medication and treatment compliance of those with schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder.
Improving the identification, diversion and treatment of people who enter the criminal justice system as a result of their mental illness.
Educating professionals in the criminal justice system about the role of serious mental illnesses in the behaviors of mentally ill offenders.
Increasing access to and use of services and supports for the most treatment-resistant and severely mentally ill individuals.
--COMPILED BY APF STAFF