Alan Stein

Alan Stein

Professor Alan Stein is a member of faculty at AHRI, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Oxford and honorary professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Witwatersrand. Alan’s main area of research concerns the development of children and adolescents in the face of adversity. His group is interested in a range of adversities which might potentially affect children’s development, including parental physical conditions (HIV and cancer), parental psychological disorders, as well as poverty and malnutrition. A key aspect of this work is to elucidate the mechanisms underlying child and adolescent development and to identify risk and protective processes. Ultimately the priority is to develop interventions, especially in resource limited settings. Alan has led three Lancet series: on the mental health of refugees and internally displaced children; perinatal mental health; and communicating the diagnosis of life-threatening conditions to children.

Work at AHRI  

Insika Yomama is a randomised control treatment trial investigating whether a home-based intervention for HIV-positive women with perinatal depression leads to better cognitive development in children at 24 months and also reduces perinatal depression in HIV-positive women at 12 months, compared to a control arm. The intervention combines a psychological treatment, known as behavioural activation, for depression with a parenting programme, adapted from the UNICEF/WHO Care for Child Development programme. It is a home-based intervention providing 10 home visits delivered by lay-counsellors, (four antenatal and six postnatal sessions) and a booster session at 16 months postnatal. The control arm is an enhanced standard of care (ESoC). The ESoC arm receives two antenatal and two postnatal counselling support and advice telephone calls.

This study is funded by the Joint Global Health Trials Panel: DfID, MRC UK, and Wellcome.

Selected Recent Publications

Rochat TJ, Stein A, Cortina-Borja M, Tanser F & Bland RM. The Amagugu Intervention for Disclosure of Maternal HIV to Uninfected Primary School-Aged Children in South Africa: A Randomised Controlled Trial. The Lancet HIV, vol. 4, no. 12, Dec. 2017, pp. e566–76.

Rochat TJ, Houle B, Stein A, Coovadia H, Coutsoudis A, Desmond C, Newell ML & Bland RM. Exclusive Breastfeeding and Cognition, Executive Function, and Behavioural Disorders in Primary School-Aged Children in Rural South Africa: A Cohort Analysis. PLOS Medicine, edited by James K. Tumwine, vol. 13, no. 6, June 2016, p. e1002044.

Stein, Alan, et al. Effects of Perinatal Mental Disorders on the Fetus and Child. The Lancet, vol. 384, no. 9956, Nov. 2014, pp. 1800–19.

Wray C, Kowalski A, Mpondo F, Ochaeta L, Belleza D, DiGirolamo A, Waford R, Richter L, Lee N, Scerif G, Stein A, Stein A. Executive Functions Form a Single Construct and Are Associated with Schooling: Evidence from Three Low- and Middle- Income Countries. PLOS ONE, edited by Angel Blanch, vol. 15, no. 11, Nov. 2020, p. e0242936.