Felton Earls, M.D.
Research Professor of Human Behavior and Development, HSPH, and Professor of Social Medicine, Emeritus, HMS
- Harvard School of Public Health web page
Dr. Earls was principal investigator of a large-scale epidemiological project examining the causes and consequences of children’s exposure to community and family violence. This project was situated in the city of Chicago, where a team of researchers studied the physical health, educational and occupational achievement, and social relationships of children from birth to adulthood. Detailed attention was given to the social and physical characteristics of the neighborhoods in which they lived. The project represents one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of child and youth development ever undertaken.
Dr. Earls is a coauthor of Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy originally published in Science (August 1997). Since publication of this paper, the project’s multilevel, longitudinal design has yielded many important findings related to neighborhood effects on birth weight, childcare, adolescent sexual health, asthma, mental health, and adult mortality.
Dr. Earls and his colleagues also have studied the psychosocial impacts of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on children. Using methods developed for the Chicago study, they conducted an analysis in Tanzania of the role of community attitudes and perceptions about the disease and its impact on children. The project was designed to reduce stigma and increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS at the level of communities and aimed at helping to devise more effective community-based interventions to support the well-being of children. Dr. Earls conceives all of his research from the perspectives of child rights and health promotion.
Felton Earls is Professor of Social Medicine, Emeritus, at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Human Behavior and Development at Harvard School of Public Health. He trained in pediatrics, psychiatry, and public health. Dr. Earls joined the Harvard Medical School faculty in 1974, became the Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Child Psychiatry and director of the Division of Child Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis in 1981, and returned to Harvard in 1989. Dr. Earls is a member of the Committee for Human Rights at the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Across the University, Dr. Earls directs the Behavioral and Social Science Program at the Harvard Center for AIDS Research and is a member of the Committee on African Studies and the Policy Committee of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
All Black People Are Not Alike: Differences in HIV Testing Patterns, Knowledge, and Experience of Stigma Between U.S.-Born and Non-U.S.-Born Blacks in Massachusetts. December 21, 2012. AIDS patient care and STDs.
Differential mental health effects of neighborhood relocation among youth in vulnerable families: results from a randomized trial. December 1, 2012. Archives of general psychiatry.
Gender and crime victimization modify neighborhood effects on adolescent mental health. August 20, 2012. Pediatrics.
Enhancing adolescent self-efficacy and collective efficacy through public engagement around HIV/AIDS competence: a multilevel, cluster randomized-controlled trial. May 24, 2012. Social science & medicine (1982).
Connectedness, social support and internalising emotional and behavioural problems in adolescents displaced by the Chechen conflict. March 23, 2012. Disasters.
Toward a science of citizenship. October 1, 2011. The American journal of orthopsychiatry.
A health promotion curriculum for adolescent young citizens: deliberation and public action for HIV/AIDS-competent communities. October 1, 2011. The American journal of orthopsychiatry.
Prenatal cigarette exposure and infant learning stimulation as predictors of cognitive control in childhood. March 23, 2011. Developmental science.
Community violence and urban childhood asthma: a multilevel analysis. April 22, 2010. The European respiratory journal : official journal of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology.
Darwin and Lincoln: their legacy of human dignity. January 1, 2010. Perspectives in biology and medicine.
Socioeconomic status and HIV seroprevalence in Tanzania: a counterintuitive relationship. September 27, 2008. International journal of epidemiology.
Place matters: multilevel investigation of HIV distribution in Tanzania. March 30, 2008. AIDS (London, England).
Promoting child and adolescent mental health in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. January 21, 2008. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Young citizens as health agents: use of drama in promoting community efficacy for HIV/AIDS. January 2, 2008. American journal of public health.
Firearm violence exposure and serious violent behavior. May 27, 2005. Science (New York, N.Y.).
Neighborhood residence and mental health problems of 5- to 11-year-olds. May 1, 2005. Archives of general psychiatry.
Links between pubertal timing and neighborhood contexts: implications for girls' violent behavior. December 1, 2004. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Behavioral profiles in 4-5 year-old children: normal and pathological variants. January 1, 2004. Child psychiatry and human development.
A multilevel study of neighborhoods and parent-to-child physical aggression: results from the project on human development in Chicago neighborhoods. May 1, 2003. Child maltreatment.
Diverging associations of maternal age with low birthweight for black and white mothers. February 1, 2003. International journal of epidemiology.
Neighborhood support and the birth weight of urban infants. January 1, 2003. American journal of epidemiology.
Child abuse and performance task assessments of executive functions in boys. November 1, 2001. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Community factors supporting child mental Health. October 1, 2001. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America.
Youth exposure to violence: prevalence, risks, and consequences. July 1, 2001. The American journal of orthopsychiatry.
Trends in adolescent suicide: misclassification bias? January 1, 2001. American journal of public health.
The social ecology of child health and well-being. January 1, 2001. Annual review of public health.
Assessing exposure to violence using multiple informants: application of hierarchical linear model. November 1, 2000. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Relations of age to cognitive and motivational elements of impulse control in boys with and without externalizing behavior problems. December 1, 1999. Journal of abnormal child psychology.
Children at the margins of society: research and practice. January 1, 1999. New directions for child and adolescent development.
Positive effects of prenatal and early childhood interventions. October 14, 1998. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association.
The era of health promotion for children and adolescents--a cross-sectional survey of strategies and new knowledge. June 1, 1998. American journal of public health.
The adolescent with conduct disorder. June 1, 1998. Adolescent medicine (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Executive and motivational control of performance task behavior, and autonomic heart-rate regulation in children: physiologic validation of two-factor solution inhibitory control. May 1, 1998. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Assessing exposure to violence in urban youth. February 1, 1998. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Tricyclic antidepressants and cardiac autonomic control in children and adolescents. January 1, 1998. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy. August 15, 1997. Science (New York, N.Y.).
Anxiety, antisocial behavior, and heart rate regulation in adolescent males. May 1, 1997. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Psychological and neuroendocrinological sequelae of early social deprivation in institutionalized children in Romania. January 15, 1997. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Relationship of aggression and anxiety to autonomic regulation of heart rate variability in adolescent males. September 20, 1996. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Infants and young children in orphanages: one view from pediatrics and child psychiatry. April 1, 1996. Pediatrics.
Person and environment in HIV risk behavior change between adolescence and young adulthood. May 1, 1995. Health education quarterly.
Psychometric properties of impulsivity measures: temporal stability, validity and factor structure. May 1, 1995. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Longitudinal patterns of heart rate and fighting behavior in 9- through 12-year-old boys. March 1, 1995. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Father involvement and cognitive/behavioral outcomes of preterm infants. January 1, 1995. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
The test-retest stability of the five minute speech sample in parents of disadvantaged, minority children. July 1, 1994. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Evaluating a community intervention to reduce the risk of child abuse: methodological strategies in conducting neighborhood surveys. May 1, 1994. Child abuse & neglect.
The association of physical and sexual abuse with HIV risk behaviors in adolescence and young adulthood: implications for public health. March 1, 1994. Child abuse & neglect.
Violence and today's youth. January 1, 1994. The Future of children / Center for the Future of Children, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Testosterone and aggression in children. November 1, 1993. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Psychopathology in children of alcoholics. September 1, 1993. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Diagnostic decision making in psychiatry. February 1, 1993. The American journal of psychiatry.
Early determinants of delinquency and violence. January 1, 1993. Health affairs (Project Hope).
The influence of mental health problems on AIDS-related risk behaviors in young adults. May 1, 1992. The Journal of nervous and mental disease.
Changes in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related risk behavior after adolescence: relationships to knowledge and experience concerning human immunodeficiency virus infection. May 1, 1992. Pediatrics.
Ethical principles governing research in child and adolescent psychiatry. May 1, 1992. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Psychosocial factors in Tourette syndrome. January 1, 1992. Advances in neurology.
Not fear, nor quarantine, but science: preparation for a decade of research to advance knowledge about causes and control of violence in youths. December 1, 1991. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.
Prevention of psychiatric disorders in early childhood. January 1, 1991. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Understanding and controlling violence. January 1, 1991. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved.
Interviewing adolescents by telephone: is it a useful methodological strategy? May 1, 1990. Comprehensive psychiatry.
Behavioral risks for human immunodeficiency virus infection in adolescent medical patients. March 1, 1990. Pediatrics.
Comprehensive health care for high-risk adolescents: an evaluation study. August 1, 1989. American journal of public health.
Epidemiology and child psychiatry: entering the second phase. April 1, 1989. The American journal of orthopsychiatry.
Studying adolescent suicidal ideation and behavior in primary care settings. January 1, 1989. Suicide & life-threatening behavior.
Life style and patterns of health and social behavior in high-risk adolescents. October 1, 1988. ANS. Advances in nursing science.
Psychopathology in children of alcoholic and antisocial parents. August 1, 1988. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research.
Problems and help seeking in high-risk adolescent patients of health clinics. July 1, 1988. Journal of adolescent health care : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.
A comparison of the home and social environments of children of alcoholic and non-alcoholic parents. July 1, 1988. British journal of addiction.
Patterns of substance use and abuse in inner-city adolescent medical patients. May 1, 1988. The Yale journal of biology and medicine.
The importance of regressive changes in the development of the nervous system: towards a neurobiological theory of child development. January 1, 1988. Psychiatric developments.
Investigating psychopathological consequences of a disaster in children: a pilot study incorporating a structured diagnostic interview. January 1, 1988. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
A comparison of clinical and psychological effects of fentanyl and nalbuphine in ambulatory gynecologic patients. December 1, 1987. Anesthesia and analgesia.
Rules for making psychiatric diagnoses in children on the basis of multiple sources of information: preliminary strategies. December 1, 1987. Journal of abnormal child psychology.
On the familial transmission of child psychiatric disorder. November 1, 1987. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Adolescent sexual activity and pregnancy: socioenvironmental problems, physical health, and mental health. October 1, 1987. Journal of youth and adolescence.
Temperament and home environment characteristics as causal factors in the early development of childhood psychopathology. July 1, 1987. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Sex differences in psychiatric disorders: origins and developmental influences. January 1, 1987. Psychiatric developments.
Treatment-seeking for depression by black and white Americans. January 1, 1987. Social science & medicine (1982).
Epidemiological perspectives on maternal depression and the young child. January 1, 1986. New directions for child development.
The child behavior checklist as a screening instrument for young children. January 1, 1985. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry.
The relation of temperament and social factors to behavior problems in three-year-old children. January 1, 1984. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
The epidemiology of depression in children and adolescents. January 1, 1984. Pediatric annals.
An application of the pictorial scale of perceived competence and acceptance within an epidemiological survey. September 1, 1983. Journal of abnormal child psychology.
Life events and social supports in families with a two-year-old: methods and preliminary findings. September 1, 1983. Comprehensive psychiatry.
Play observations of three-year old children and their relationship to parental reports of behavior problems and temperament characteristics. January 1, 1983. Child psychiatry and human development.
The future of child psychiatry as a medical discipline. September 1, 1982. The American journal of psychiatry.
Cultural and national differences in the epidemiology of behavior problems of preschool children. March 1, 1982. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.
Application of DSM-III in an epidemiological study of preschool children. February 1, 1982. The American journal of psychiatry.
Attachment to a special object at the age of three years: behavior and temperament characteristics. January 1, 1982. Child psychiatry and human development.
Concurrent validation of a behavior problems scale to use with 3-year-olds. January 1, 1982. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry.
Epidemiology and child psychiatry: future prospects. January 1, 1982. Comprehensive psychiatry.
Temperament characteristics and behavior problems in three-year-old children. June 1, 1981. The Journal of nervous and mental disease.
Parenting in urban America. February 1, 1981. Journal of the National Medical Association.
Prevalence of behavior problems in 3-year-old children. A cross-national replication. October 1, 1980. Archives of general psychiatry.
Precocious fathers. July 1, 1980. The American journal of orthopsychiatry.
The prevalence of behavior problems in three-year-old children of West Indian-Born parents. April 1, 1980. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
Behavior problems in pre-school children of West Indian-born parents: a re-examination of family and social factors. April 1, 1980. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines.
The prevalence of behavior problems in 3-year-old children. January 1, 1980. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry.
Experience in primary mental health care. August 1, 1979. Journal of the National Medical Association.
Epidemiology and child psychiatry: historical and conceptual development. May 1, 1979. Comprehensive psychiatry.
Training early childhood care givers. March 1, 1978. The American journal of psychiatry.
The social reconstruction of adolescence: toward an explanation for increasing rates of violence in youth. January 1, 1978. Perspectives in biology and medicine.
A failure of constituency. November 1, 1977. Journal of the National Medical Association.
The fathers (not the mothers): their importance and influence with infants and young children. August 1, 1976. Psychiatry.
Complete unilateral section of the pyramidal tract at the medullar level in Macaca mulatta. May 12, 1972. Brain research.
Projection of visual field on superior colliculus of ground squirrel (Citellus tridecemlineatus). February 1, 1971. Vision research.
Cortical representation of the ipsilateral chorda tympani nerve in the cat. December 1, 1969. Brain research.
Harvard School of Public Health
Dept. of Society, Human Development and Health
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Boston MA 02115