Yzette Lanier


Yzette Lanier Headshot

Yzette Lanier

Assistant Professor

1 212 998 5803

433 First Ave
New York, NY 10010
United States

Accepting PhD students

Yzette Lanier's additional information

Yzette Lanier, PhD, is an assistant professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. As a developmental psychologist, her research broadly centers on health promotion and disease prevention in communities of color, with a special focus on preventing HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy among African American adolescents. Using health equity and strengths-based lenses, her research seeks to understand how individual, social, and cultural factors influence adolescents’ sexual decision-making. Lanier’s current research examines how adolescent romantic relationships influence sexual behaviors. Her long-term goal is to develop effective developmentally-appropriate, culturally tailored interventions that promote healthy romantic relationships and protective sexual behaviors among adolescents. In June 2016, Lanier was awarded $1.2 million from the CDC for HIV behavior intervention based on young black heterosexual couples' dynamics.  

Lanier earned her PhD and MS in developmental psychology at Howard University. She completed a T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Health Equity Research at the University of Pennsylvania and a postdoctoral research fellowship in HIV prevention in communities of color at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Health Equity Research - University of Pennsylvania
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for HIV Prevention in Communities of Color - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
PhD, Developmental Psychology - Howard University
MS, Developmental Psychology - Howard University
BS, Psychology - Howard University

Infectious disease
Community/population health
Vulnerable & marginalized populations

American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Association of Black Psychologists
Society for Research on Adolescence

Faculty Honors Awards

Visiting Scholar, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University


A Dyadic Analysis Exploring the Mediating Role of Relationship Quality on Discrimination and HIV/STI Risk Among Young Black and Latino Expecting Couples

Lanier, Y., Cornelius, T., Morillo, C., Lavarin, C., Brawner, B. M., & Kershaw, T. (2023). AIDS and Behavior, 27(4), 1269-1276. 10.1007/s10461-022-03863-7
Encounters with discrimination are a normative experience for many Black and Latino adolescents and young adults (AYAs); these experiences may be even more common for expecting AYAs. While the harmful effects of discriminatory experiences on mental and physical health have been well explored, relatively little is known regarding the impact of discrimination on relationship quality and sexual health—specifically HIV/STI risk. Using the Actor Partner Interdependence Model, we examined both actor and partner effects of discrimination on relationship quality and willingness to be non-monogamous in a sample of 259 pregnant adolescent and young adult couples. There was a significant indirect actor effect, such that one’s own discrimination was associated with a decrease in their own relationship quality which, in turn, was associated with their own greater willingness to be non-monogamous. The partner effect for the association of one’s partner’s discrimination on one’s own relationship quality was not significant. Findings highlight the need for more attention to the implications of discrimination on relational and sexual health.

Utilizing Community Based Participatory Research Methods in Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx Communities in the US: The CDC Minority HIV Research Initiative (MARI-Round 4)

Evans, K. N., Martinez, O., King, H., Van Den Berg, J. J., Fields, E. L., Lanier, Y., Hussen, S. A., Malavé-Rivera, S. M., Duncan, D., Gaul, Z., & Buchacz, K. (2023). Journal of Community Health, 48(4), 698-710. 10.1007/s10900-023-01209-5
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Minority HIV Research Initiative (MARI) funded 8 investigators in 2016 to develop HIV prevention and treatment interventions in highly affected communities. We describe MARI studies who used community-based participatory research methods to inform the development of interventions in Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx communities focused on sexual minority men (SMM) or heterosexual populations. Each study implemented best practice strategies for engaging with communities, informing recruitment strategies, navigating through the impacts of COVID-19, and disseminating findings. Best practice strategies common to all MARI studies included establishing community advisory boards, engaging community members in all stages of HIV research, and integrating technology to sustain interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementing community-informed approaches is crucial to intervention uptake and long-term sustainability in communities of color. MARI investigators’ research studies provide a framework for developing effective programs tailored to reducing HIV-related racial/ethnic disparities.

Applying a Nursing Perspective to Address the Challenges Experienced by Cisgender Women in the HIV Status Neutral Care Continuum: A Review of the Literature

Bond, K. T., Chandler, R., Chapman-Lambert, C., Jemmott, L. S., Lanier, Y., Cao, J., Nikpour, J., & Randolph, S. D. (2021). Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 32(3), 283-305. 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000243
The field of HIV research has grown over the past 40 years, but there remains an urgent need to address challenges that cisgender women living in the United States experience in the HIV neutral status care continuum, particularly among women such as Black women, who continue to be disproportionately burdened by HIV due to multiple levels of systemic oppression. We used a social ecological framework to provide a detailed review of the risk factors that drive the women's HIV epidemic. By presenting examples of effective approaches, best clinical practices, and identifying existing research gaps in three major categories (behavioral, biomedical, and structural), we provide an overview of the current state of research on HIV prevention among women. To illustrate a nursing viewpoint and take into account the diverse life experiences of women, we provide guidance to strengthen current HIV prevention programs. Future research should examine combined approaches for HIV prevention, and policies should be tailored to ensure that women receive effective services that are evidence-based and which they perceive as important to their lives.

Inequities along the Depression Care Cascade in African American Women: An Integrative Review

Perez, N. B., Lanier, Y., & Squires, A. (2021). Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 42(8), 720-729. 10.1080/01612840.2020.1853289
Depression represents a growing health problem and African American women (AAW) disproportionally experience increased risk and broad disparities in health care. This integrative review examines what is known about the equity of depression care provided to AAW. PubMed, PsychINFO, and Web of Science were searched through April 2020 for studies in peer-reviewed journals from 2015 to 2020. Across the studies (n = 7), AAW received inequitable care across a depression care cascade including lower rates of screening, treatment initiation, and guideline-concordant care. Here we explore individual-, relational-, and structural-level factors related to these disparities and implications for research, practice, and education.

Interpartner Concordance on Relationship Quality and Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Young Pregnant and Parenting Couples

Lanier, Y., Amutah-Onukagha, N., Cornelius, T., Lavarin, C., & Kershaw, T. (2021). Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 48(2), 123-127. 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001281
Background This study examined agreement between partners on perceptions of relationship quality and its impact on later (sexually transmitted infection [STI]) diagnosis in a sample of pregnant (adolescents and young adults [AYAs]) couples. Methods Two hundred ninety-six AYA couples completed structured surveys on relationship quality (satisfaction, cohesion, consensus, affectional expression) and STI diagnosis. An actor-partner interdependence model was used to assess actor effects (whether an individual's perceived relationship quality influenced their getting STI), partner effects (whether a partner's perceived relationship quality influenced the individual getting an STI), and interactive effects (whether an individual's perceived relationship quality interacted with a partner's perceived relationship quality and influenced in the individual getting an STI). Results No significant actor or partner effects were observed for positive STI screen. However, there was a significant interaction between actor and partner satisfaction (B = -0.47, exp(B) = 0.63 [95% confidence interval, 0.43-0.93], P = 0.020). When actor satisfaction was high, greater partner satisfaction was associated with lower odds of a positive STI screen at 12 months. A significant interaction between actor and partner affectional expression was also found (B = -4.40, exp(B) = 0.01 [95% confidence interval, 0.00-0.87], P = 0.043). When partner affectional expression was high, greater actor affectional expression was associated with lower odds of a positive STI screen at 12 months. Conclusions Findings suggest that concordant reports of relationship satisfaction and affectional expression are protective against future STI risk. Strengthening romantic relationships may be a promising strategy for preventing STIs in pregnant/parenting AYA couples.

Mental health burden among Black adolescents: the need for better assessment, diagnosis and treatment engagement

Opara, I., Weissinger, G. M., Lardier, D. T., Lanier, Y., Carter, S., & Brawner, B. M. (2021). Social Work in Mental Health, 19(2), 88-104. 10.1080/15332985.2021.1879345
This study examines mental health symptoms among Black adolescents who were currently in mental health treatment and those who were not in treatment. The study uses a sample of Black adolescents (N= 154) and logistic regression was performed to determine which psychological factors were associated with exhibiting mental health symptoms. Both groups experienced high amounts of trauma exposure history, recent suicidality, substance use, and depressive symptoms. Nearly one in four adolescents in the out of treatment group met diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders. Implications include better screening for mental health symptoms to ensure Black adolescent have access to mental health treatment.

Nurses at the frontline of public health emergency preparedness and response: lessons learned from the HIV/AIDS pandemic and emerging infectious disease outbreaks

Guilamo-Ramos, V., Thimm-Kaiser, M., Benzekri, A., Hidalgo, A., Lanier, Y., Tlou, S., De Lourdes Rosas López, M., Soletti, A. B., & Hagan, H. (2021). The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 21(10), e326-e333. 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30983-X
The years 2020–21, designated by WHO as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, are characterised by unprecedented global efforts to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons learned from successful pandemic response efforts in the past and present have implications for future efforts to leverage the global health-care workforce in response to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Given its scale, reach, and effectiveness, the response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic provides one such valuable example, particularly with respect to the pivotal, although largely overlooked, contributions of nurses and midwives. This Personal View argues that impressive achievements in the global fight against HIV/AIDS would not have been attained without the contributions of nurses. We discuss how these contributions uniquely position nurses to improve the scale, reach, and effectiveness of response efforts to emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential; provide examples from the responses to COVID-19, Zika virus disease, and Ebola virus disease; and discuss implications for current and future efforts to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response.

A Qualitative Investigation of Facilitators to Black and Latino Adolescent and Young Adults’ Participation in a Couple-Based HIV Prevention Study

Lanier, Y., Goldstein, A., Lavarin, C., Choi, E., Bond, K., & Riascos, K. (2021). American Journal of Health Promotion, 35(6), 809-817. 10.1177/0890117121997040
Purpose: Recruitment and retention of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) in couple-based HIV prevention research can be difficult. This study’s primary objective is to identify factors that influenced Black and Latino AYAs to participate in couple-based HIV/STI prevention research. Design: In-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews. Setting: Face-to-face interviews with couples recruited from the South Bronx, New York. Participants: Twenty-three heterosexual couples (46 individuals) aged 16-28 (M = 20.1, SD = 3.01). Methods: Participants completed 60 to 90-minute individual and dyadic interviews. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify key themes. Results: Two levels of influence emerged from participants’ interviews regarding their reasons for study participation: 1) individual factors (interest in the study topic, study incentives, opportunity to help their community, and opportunity to learn something new), 2) interpersonal factors (positive interactions with the research team, partner’s desire to participate and relationship strengthening). There were key differences by gender and recruitment order. Conclusion: Black and Latino AYAs report multiple reasons for participating in couple-based research. Highlighting the benefits of study participation to themselves, their relationships, and their communities may be an important strategy for engaging AYAs in couple-based research.

Vital Voices: HIV Prevention and Care Interventions Developed for Disproportionately Affected Communities by Historically Underrepresented, Early-Career Scientists

Sutton, M. Y., Martinez, O., Brawner, B. M., Prado, G., Camacho-Gonzalez, A., Estrada, Y., Payne-Foster, P., Rodriguez-Diaz, C. E., Hussen, S. A., Lanier, Y., Van Den Berg, J. J., Malavé-Rivera, S. M., Hickson, D. M. A., & Fields, E. L. (2021). Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 8(6), 1456-1466. 10.1007/s40615-020-00908-2
BACKGROUND: HIV prevention interventions which support engagement in care and increased awareness of biomedical options, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), are highly desired for disproportionately affected Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) populations in the United States (US). However, in almost 40 years of HIV research, few interventions have been developed directly by and for these priority populations in domestic counties most at risk. We submit that interventions developed by early-career scientists who identify with and work directly with affected subgroups, and which include social and structural determinants of health, are vital as culturally tailored HIV prevention and care tools.METHODS: We reviewed and summarized interventions developed from 2007 to 2020 by historically underrepresented early-career HIV prevention scientists in a federally funded research mentoring program. We mapped these interventions to determine which were in jurisdictions deemed as high priority (based on HIV burden) by national prevention strategies.RESULTS: We summarized 11 HIV interventions; 10 (91%) of the 11 interventions are in geographic areas where HIV disparities are most concentrated and where new HIV prevention and care activities are focused. Each intervention addresses critical social and structural determinants of health disparities, and successfully reaches priority populations.CONCLUSION: Focused funding that supports historically underrepresented scientists and their HIV prevention and care intervention research can help facilitate reaching national goals to reduce HIV-related disparities and end the HIV epidemic. Maintaining these funding streams should remain a priority as one of the tools for national HIV prevention.

Methodological strategies to engage young black and Latino heterosexual couples in sexual and reproductive health research

Lanier, Y., Campo, A., Lavarin, C., Toussaint, A., Gwadz, M., & Guilamo-Ramos, V. (2020). BMC Health Services Research, 20(1). 10.1186/s12913-020-05202-9
Background: Approaches that move beyond individuals and target couples may be an effective strategy for reducing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) disparities among adolescents and young adults (AYA). However, few researchers have attempted to recruit couples due to feasibility and methodological issues. This study aims to enhance implementation and methodological approaches to successfully engage heterosexual Black and Latino adolescent and young adult (AYA) couples in sexual reproductive health (SRH) research. Methods: We developed a four-step approach to systematically engage AYA couples in a qualitative study examining factors that influence uptake of combination HIV prevention methods: 1) understanding barriers and facilitators to engaging AYA couples, (2) identifying AYAs living in geographic areas of HIV vulnerability, (3) recruiting and screening AYA couples, and (4) scheduling and completion of the interview session. Results: Black and Latino youth aged 16 to 24 and their opposite sex romantic were recruited in the South Bronx, New York from September 2017-May 2018. Three hundred and seventy-two men and women completed screening procedures to determine eligibility for the index participant; 125 were eligible and enrolled into the study. Forty-nine nominated partners (NPs) participated in screening procedures and enrolled into the study. A total of 49 couples enrolled into the study; 23 couples completed study activities. Conclusions: Developing a systematic recruitment plan aided in successfully engaging Black and Latino heterosexual youth. Nevertheless, barriers to study enrollment remained including locating eligible IPs and screening of the NP. Targeting both young men and women was an effective recruitment strategy. Moreover, dyadic strategies that allow for simultaneous interaction with both couple members may be a beneficial strategy to couples' study enrollment and completion of study activities.