Professor Lucie Cluver

Lucie Cluver
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Lucie Cluver is a Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Professor in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. She works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and with other international NGOs, to provide evidence that can improve the lives of children and adolescents affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Lucie is lucky to work with an incredible and dedicated team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and colleagues. Together they lead large-scale longitudinal surveys and randomised controlled trials of interventions, combined with participatory qualitative research.

Lucie is a PI on several ongoing trials in Southern and Eastern Africa, all part of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Initiative – a collaboration between the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and academics to provide evidence-based non-commercialised child violence prevention programs for LMIC These include the Sinovuyo Teen trial (with Dr Franziska Meinck and Dr Jenny Doubt) – a cluster randomised trial (n=1100, 40 sites) of a program for families with adolescents, the Sinovuyo Kids trial (with Prof Cathy Ward at University of Cape Town and Dr Jamie Lachman) for caregivers of 3-9 year olds, and the Mphatlalatsane trial (with Prof Mark Tomlinson and Prof Lorraine Sherr) for parents of toddlers in Lesotho.

Working with a large and dedicated team in close collaboration with policymakers, Lucie has pioneered research on ‘cash plus care’ – examining the impacts of social protection and psychosocial care on adolescent health She has led three major longitudinal studies: the ‘Young Carers Study’ (2008-2012, with Dr Mark Boyes) was the world’s largest study of risk and resilience amongst AIDS-affected children, following 6000 children longitudinally in South Africa, the ‘Orphan Resilience Study’ (2005-2009 with Prof Frances Gardner) followed 1000 children over four years to identify impacts of orphanhood. Currently, she leads the first community-based large panel of HIV-positive adolescents and community controls, including 1500 adolescents in South Africa (with Dr Elona Toska), which integrates qualitative research led by Dr Rebecca Hodes (University of Cape Town). 

The team’s work has won a number of awards, including the ESRC Outstanding International Impact Prize (2017), the Philip Leverhulme Prize (2015), the International AIDS Society Young Investigator Award (2014), and the Discovery Clinical Excellence Award (2013). They have published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Lancet Global Health, AIDS, JAIDS, J Child Psychiatry and Psychology, Social Science and Medicine, AIDS Care and Prevention Science. 

Funders: European Research Council 'Horizon 2020', The Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, DFID and SIDA-Norad, the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the Johnson and Johnson Global Health Programme, UNICEF, USAID-PEPFAR, Ilifa Labantwana, the Claude Leon Foundation, the National Department of Social Development South Africa, the World Health Organisation, the John Fell Fund, RIATT, and the International AIDS Society.

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, M, Yakubovich, A, Sherr, L (2016) Can Social Protection Improve Sustainable Development Goals for Adolescent Health?. PLOSOne. 11(10): e0164808 

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Shenderovich, Y, Ward, C, Herrero Romero, R, Redfern, A, Lombard, C, Doubt, J, Steinert, J, Catanho, R, Wittesaele, C, De Stone, S, Salah, N, Mpimpilashe, P, Lachman, J, Loening, H, Gardner, F, Blanc, D, Nocuza, M, Lechowicz, M (2016). A parenting programme to prevent abuse of adolescents in South Africa: a study protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials. 17. 328.

Cluver, L, Meinck, F, Yakubovich, A, Doubt, J, et al (2016). Reducing child abuse amongst adolescents in low- and middle-income countries: A pre-post trial in South Africa. BMC Public Health. 13;16(1):567 

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Yakubovich, A, Sherr, L (2016). Combination social protection for reducing HIV-risk behaviour amongst adolescents in South Africa. JAIDS. 72: 96-104    

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Meinck, F, Boyes, M and Sherr, L (2016). Structural drivers and social protection: Mechanisms of HIV-risk and HIV-prevention for South African adolescents. Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). 19. 2064-6.    

Cluver, L, Toska, E, Orkin, M, Yakubovich, A, Hodes, R, Sherr, L (2016). Achieving equity in HIV-treatment outcomes: Can social protection improve adolescent ART-adherence in South Africa? AIDS Care Equity Special Issue. Suppl  2 73-82

Cluver, L, Hodes, R, Toska, E, Kidia, K, Orkin, M, Sherr, L, Meinck, F (2015). ‘HIV is like a tsotsi. ARVs are your guns’: Associations between HIV-disclosure and adherence to antiretroviral treatment among adolescents in South Africa. AIDS. 29. Suppl 1. S57-65. 

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma, Sherr, L (2014) Cash plus care: social protection cumulatively mitigates HIV-risk behaviour among adolescents in South Africa. AIDS. S389-97

Cluver, L, Boyes, Ma, Orkin, M, Pantelic, Mc, Molwena, T & Sherr, L (2013) Child-focused state cash transfers and adolescent HIV-infection risks: A prospective multi-site study in South Africa. The Lancet: Global Health. 1. E362-70

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma, Sherr, L, Nikelo, J & Makhasi, D (2013). Pathways from parental AIDS to child psychological, educational and sexual risk: Developing an empirically-based interactive theoretical model. Social Science and Medicine, 87. 185-193

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma & Gardner, F (2012) ‘AIDS-orphanhood and caregiver HIV/AIDS sickness status: effects on psychological symptoms in South African youth’ Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes,a M & Gardner, F (2012) Persisting mental health problems among AIDS-orphaned children in South Africa. Journal of Child Psychiatry & Psychology. 53 (4) 363-370.

Cluver, L, Orkin, M, Boyes, Ma, Gardner, F, & Meinck, Fc (2011) ‘Transactional Sex amongst AIDS-orphaned and AIDS-Affected Adolescents Predicted by Abuse and Extreme Poverty’. JAIDS 58 (3) 336-43   

Cluver, L, Bowes, L & Gardner, F (2010) Risk & protective factors for bullying victimisation amongst AIDS-affected & vulnerable children in S.Africa. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34 793-803 

Cluver, L, Gardner, F & Operario, D (2007). Psychological distress amongst AIDS-orphaned children in urban South Africa Journal of Child Psychiatry & Psychology & Allied Disciplines 48(8) 755-763

  • How frontline healthcare workers respond to stock-outs of essential medicines in the Eastern Cape

  • Parenting for Lifelong Health: A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of a non-commercialised parenting programme for adolescents and their families in South Africa

  • ‘They Say HIV is a Punishment from God or from Ancestors’: Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Psychometric Assessment of an HIV Stigma Scale for South African Adolescents Living with HIV (ALHIV-SS)

  • Process Evaluation of a Parenting Program for Low-Income Families in South Africa

  • Can cash break the cycle of educational risks for young children in high HIV-affected communities? A cross-sectional study in South Africa and Malawi.

  • Integrating disclosure support into family HIV care.

  • Negotiations of Blame and Care among HIV-positive Mothers and Daughters in South Africa's Eastern Cape.

  • Bureaucracies of Blood and Belonging: Documents, HIV-positive Youth and the State in South Africa

  • Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa

  • Development of a Parenting Support Program to Prevent Abuse of Adolescents in South Africa: Findings From a Pilot Pre-Post Study

  • More

Lucie's previous DPhil students have gone on to be successful in academia, policy and practice:

  • Caroline Kuo (2010) - is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University
  • Lena Saleh (2012) - is the Director of Program Planning in HIV Prevention in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Tyler Lane (2013) - is a research fellow in the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University
  • Franziska Meinck (2014) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Beth Vale (2015) - is a researcher in humanities at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)
  • Jamie Lachman (2016) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Elona Toska (2017) -  is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town

Lucie would welcome applications for D.Phils from students who are committed to policy and programming-relevant research and to helping mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS and family distress on children in sub-Saharan Africa.

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