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  • Marina Tolou-Shams, PhD

  • Marina Tolou-Shams, PhD

    • Staff Psychologist, Rhode Island Hospital

    • Assistant Professor (Research), The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

    • Director, RI Family Court Mental Health Clinic

    Background information

    Marina Tolou-Shams, Ph.D., has training in pediatric and forensic psychology and has many years of clinical experience with assessing and treating high-risk adolescents and their families. She serves as the director of the Rhode Island Family Court's Juvenile Mental Health Clinic and acts in both clinical and research capacities within that setting. Her clinical research focuses on developing evidence-based mental health, substance abuse and HIV risk reduction interventions for juvenile offenders.

    Tolou-Shams is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. She earned her master's degree and doctorate, both in Clinical Psychology, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed her postdoctoral clinical and research training through the Brown University Psychology Training Consortium.  She has also completed a yearlong fellowship Certificate Program in Forensic Mental Health through the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Law and Psychiatry Program.

    Research interests

    Tolou-Shams specializes in adolescent HIV prevention and is an active researcher on the subject for the BHCRC.  With funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), she is currently developing a family-based HIV prevention program for substance abusing offenders. This program emphasizes teaching young offenders and their parents how to regulate their emotions and improve parenting skills to reduce adolescent substance abuse and the co-occurrence of other high-risk behaviors, such as unprotected sexual activity.


    • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award (2006)

    • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award (2004)

    • NIMH Prevention Research Predoctoral Fellowship (2002)

    • Honorable Mention, APA Minority Fellowship Program (2002)

    • American Psychological Association Graduate Student (APAGS) Outstanding Professional Development Program Award (2002)

    • Doctoral Candidacy, departmental commendation, University of Illinois at Chicago (2002)

    • National HIV Prevention Conference Scholarship (2001)

    • Citation Award Recipient, Society of Behavioral Medicine (2001)

    Selected publications

    • Tolou-Shams, M., Stewart, A.,  Fasciano, J. & Brown, L.K. (2010).  A review of HIV prevention interventions among juvenile offenders. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(3), 250-262 . PMID 19741021.

    • Tolou-Shams, M., Guy, L., & Grisso, T. (2010).  Extended commitment for juvenile offenders: A case review. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law 38 (3):415-417.

    • Tolou-Shams, M., Houck, C., Conrad, S.,  Tarantino, N., Stein, L.A.R.,  & Brown, L.K. (2011).  HIV Prevention Intervention for Juvenile Drug Court Offenders:  A Randomized Controlled Trial Focusing on Affect Management. Journal of Correctional Health Care. epub ahead of print doi: 10.1177/1078345811401357. PMID 21474529

    • Hadley, W., Hunter H.L., Tolou-Shams, M., Lescano, C.,  Brown, L.K. Thompson, A., Donenberg, G., DiClemente, R., & Project STYLE Study Group (2011). Monitoring challenges: A closer look at parental monitoring, maternal psychopathology, and adolescent sexual risk. Journal of Family Psychology 25 (2), 319-323.  PMID 21417519

    • Tolou-Shams, M., Hadley, W., Conrad, S. & Brown, L.K., (2011).  The role of family affect in juvenile offenders’ substance use and HIV risk. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25 (2), 319-323. PMID 21417519. 

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