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Joel E. Milam, PhD
Associate Professor of Research Preventive Medicine
Head of Health Behavior Research Postdoctoral Program
Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
SSB 312D 2001 N. Soto Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 8243


Dr. Milam's research focuses on the psychological and behavioral adaptation to stress and disease. This includes behavior change and prevention activities among at risk populations. He is involved with several research projects examining behavioral and quality of life interventions among people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and asthma. His interests also include positive psychology and his research emphasizes the role of positive and protective psychosocial and behavioral factors that can influence health and wellbeing.


Adams LM, Wilson TE, Merenstein D, Milam J, Cohen J, Golub ET, Adedimeji A, Cook JA. Using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale to Assess Depression in Women With HIV and Women at Risk for HIV: Are Somatic Items Invariant? Psychol Assess. 2017 Feb 23. View in: PubMed

Miller KA, Wojcik KY, Ramirez CN, Ritt-Olson A, Freyer DR, Hamilton AS, Milam JE. Supporting long-term follow-up of young adult survivors of childhood cancer: Correlates of healthcare self-efficacy. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 Feb; 64(2):358-363. View in: PubMed

Westreich D, Cates J, Cohen M, Weber KM, Seidman D, Cropsey K, Wright R, Milam J, Young MA, Mehta CC, Gustafson DR, Fischl MA, Adimora AA. Smoking, HIV, and risk of pregnancy loss. AIDS. 2016 Nov 29. View in: PubMed

Ludema C, Cole SR, Eron JJ, Edmonds A, Holmes GM, Anastos K, Cocohoba J, Cohen M, Cooper HL, Golub ET, Kassaye S, Konkle-Parker D, Metsch L, Milam J, Wilson TE, Adimora AA. Impact of Health Insurance, ADAP, and Income on HIV Viral Suppression Among US Women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study, 2006-2009. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Nov 1; 73(3):307-312. View in: PubMed

Milam J, Slaughter R, Meeske K, Ritt-Olson A, Sherman-Bien S, Freyer DR, Kuperberg A, Hamilton AS. Substance use among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. Psychooncology. 2016 Nov; 25(11):1357-1362. View in: PubMed

Wilson TE, Weedon J, Cohen MH, Golub ET, Milam J, Young MA, Adedimeji AA, Cohen J, Fredrickson BL. Positive Affect and Its Association With Viral Control Among Women With HIV Infection. Health Psychol. 2016 Sep 29. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Li MJ, Ihenacho U, Nguyen NT, de Fatima Reyes M, Milam J, Pentz MA, Figueiredo JC. Shared health characteristics in Hispanic colorectal cancer patients and their primary social support person following primary diagnosis. Psychooncology. 2016 Sep; 25(9):1028-35. View in: PubMed

Milam J, Morris S, Jain S, Sun X, Dubé MP, Daar ES, Jimenez G, Haubrich R. Randomized Controlled Trial of an Internet Application to Reduce HIV Transmission Behavior Among HIV Infected Men Who have Sex with Men. AIDS Behav. 2016 Jun; 20(6):1173-81. View in: PubMed

Hu X, Harman J, Winterstein AG, Zhong Y, Wheeler AL, Taylor TN, Plankey M, Rubtsova A, Cropsey K, Cohen MH, Adimora AA, Milam J, Adedimeji A, Cook RL. Utilization of Alcohol Treatment Among HIV-Positive Women with Hazardous Drinking. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 May; 64:55-61. View in: PubMed

Rubin LH, Pyra M, Cook JA, Weber KM, Cohen MH, Martin E, Valcour V, Milam J, Anastos K, Young MA, Alden C, Gustafson DR, Maki PM. Post-traumatic stress is associated with verbal learning, memory, and psychomotor speed in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. J Neurovirol. 2016 Apr; 22(2):159-69. View in: PubMed

Arpawong TE, Rohrbach LA, Milam JE, Unger JB, Land H, Sun P, Spruijt-Metz D, Sussman S. Stressful Life Events and Predictors of Post-traumatic Growth among High-Risk Early Emerging Adults. J Posit Psychol. 2016 Jan 1; 11(1):1-14. View in: PubMed

Rubin LH, Cook JA, Weber KM, Cohen MH, Martin E, Valcour V, Milam J, Anastos K, Young MA, Alden C, Gustafson DR, Maki PM. The association of perceived stress and verbal memory is greater in HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected women. J Neurovirol. 2015 Aug; 21(4):422-32. View in: PubMed

Arpawong TE, Sussman S, Milam JE, Unger JB, Land H, Sun P, Rohrbach LA. Post-traumatic growth, stressful life events, and relationships with substance use behaviors among alternative high school students: A prospective study. Psychol Health. 2015 Apr; 30(4):475-94. View in: PubMed

Milam JE, Meeske K, Slaughter RI, Sherman-Bien S, Ritt-Olson A, Kuperberg A, Freyer DR, Hamilton AS. Cancer-related follow-up care among Hispanic and non-Hispanic childhood cancer survivors: The Project Forward study. Cancer. 2015 Feb 15; 121(4):605-13. View in: PubMed

Blumenthal J, Haubrich R, Jain S, Sun X, Dube M, Daar E, Milam J, Morris S. Factors associated with high transmission risk and detectable plasma HIV RNA in HIV-infected MSM on ART. Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Sep; 25(10):734-41. View in: PubMed

Hessol NA, Weber KM, D'Souza G, Burton D, Young M, Milam J, Murchison L, Gandhi M, Cohen MH. Smoking cessation and recidivism in the Women's Interagency Human Immunodeficiency Virus Study. Am J Prev Med. 2014 Jul; 47(1):53-69. View in: PubMed

Milam J, Slaughter R, Verma G, McConnell R. Hair Cortisol, Perceived Stress and Dispositional Optimism: A Pilot Study among Adolescents. J Trauma Stress Disord Treat. 2014 Mar 18; 3(3):1000126. View in: PubMed

Arpawong TE, Oland A, Milam JE, Ruccione K, Meeske KA. Post-traumatic growth among an ethnically diverse sample of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. Psychooncology. 2013 Oct; 22(10):2235-44. View in: PubMed

Meeske KA, Sherman-Bien S, Hamilton AS, Olson AR, Slaughter R, Kuperberg A, Milam J. Mental health disparities between Hispanic and non-Hispanic parents of childhood cancer survivors. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Sep; 60(9):1470-7. View in: PubMed

Sussman S, Milam J, Arpawong TE, Tsai J, Black DS, Wills TA. Spirituality in addictions treatment: wisdom to know…what it is. Subst Use Misuse. 2013 Sep; 48(12):1203-17. View in: PubMed

Meyer VJ, Rubin LH, Martin E, Weber KM, Cohen MH, Golub ET, Valcour V, Young MA, Crystal H, Anastos K, Aouizerat BE, Milam J, Maki PM. HIV and recent illicit drug use interact to affect verbal memory in women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 May 1; 63(1):67-76. View in: PubMed

Arpawong TE, Richeimer SH, Weinstein F, Elghamrawy A, Milam JE. Posttraumatic growth, quality of life, and treatment symptoms among cancer chemotherapy outpatients. Health Psychol. 2013 Apr; 32(4):397-408. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sussman S, Johnson CA, Milam J. Trait mindfulness helps shield decision-making from translating into health-risk behavior. J Adolesc Health. 2012 Dec; 51(6):588-92. View in: PubMed

Patel P, Bush T, Mayer K, Milam J, Richardson J, Hammer J, Henry K, Overton T, Conley L, Marks G, Brooks JT. Routine brief risk-reduction counseling with biannual STD testing reduces STD incidence among HIV-infected men who have sex with men in care. Sex Transm Dis. 2012 Jun; 39(6):470-4. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Sussman S, Johnson CA, Milam J. Psychometric Assessment of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) Among Chinese Adolescents. Assessment. 2012 Mar; 19(1):42-52. View in: PubMed

Jean-Louis G, Weber KM, Aouizerat BE, Levine AM, Maki PM, Liu C, Anastos KM, Milam J, Althoff KN, Wilson TE. Insomnia symptoms and HIV infection among participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Sleep. 2012 Jan 01; 35(1):131-7. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Milam J, Sussman S, Johnson CA. Testing the indirect effect of trait mindfulness on adolescent cigarette smoking through negative affect and perceived stress mediators. J Subst Use. 2012; 17(5-6):417-429. View in: PubMed

Islam T, Urman R, Gauderman WJ, Milam J, Lurmann F, Shankardass K, Avol E, Gilliland F, McConnell R. Parental stress increases the detrimental effect of traffic exposure on children's lung function. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Oct 1; 184(7):822-7. View in: PubMed

Shankardass K, Jerrett M, Milam J, Richardson J, Berhane K, McConnell R. Social environment and asthma: associations with crime and No Child Left Behind programmes. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2011 Oct; 65(10):859-65. View in: PubMed

Gandhi M, Ameli N, Bacchetti P, Anastos K, Gange SJ, Minkoff H, Young M, Milam J, Cohen MH, Sharp GB, Huang Y, Greenblatt RM. Atazanavir concentration in hair is the strongest predictor of outcomes on antiretroviral therapy. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 May; 52(10):1267-75. View in: PubMed

Kyser M, Buchacz K, Bush TJ, Conley LJ, Hammer J, Henry K, Kojic EM, Milam J, Overton ET, Wood KC, Brooks JT. Factors associated with non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy in the SUN study. AIDS Care. 2011 May; 23(5):601-11. View in: PubMed

Okamoto J, Johnson CA, Leventhal A, Milam J, Pentz MA, Schwartz D, Valente TW. Social Network Status and Depression among Adolescents: An Examination of Social Network Influences and Depressive Symptoms in a Chinese Sample. Res Hum Dev. 2011; 8(1):67-88. View in: PubMed

Black DS, Milam J, Sussman S. Sitting-meditation interventions among youth: a review of treatment efficacy. Pediatrics. 2009 Sep; 124(3):e532-41. View in: PubMed

Shankardass K, McConnell R, Jerrett M, Milam J, Richardson J, Berhane K. Parental stress increases the effect of traffic-related air pollution on childhood asthma incidence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 28; 106(30):12406-11. View in: PubMed

Milam J, McConnell R, Yao L, Berhane K, Jerrett M, Richardson J. Parental stress and childhood wheeze in a prospective cohort study. J Asthma. 2008 May; 45(4):319-23. View in: PubMed

Berg J, McConnell R, Milam J, Galvan J, Kotlerman J, Thorne P, Jones C, Ferdman R, Eggleston P, Rand C, Lewis MA, Peters J, Richardson J. Rodent allergen in Los Angeles inner city homes of children with asthma. J Urban Health. 2008 Jan; 85(1):52-61. View in: PubMed

Shankardass K, McConnell RS, Milam J, Berhane K, Tatalovich Z, Wilson JP, Jerrett M. The association between contextual socioeconomic factors and prevalent asthma in a cohort of Southern California school children. Soc Sci Med. 2007 Oct; 65(8):1792-806. View in: PubMed

Milam J. Posttraumatic growth and HIV disease progression. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Oct; 74(5):817-27. View in: PubMed

Milam J, Richardson JL, Espinoza L, Stoyanoff S. Correlates of unprotected sex among adult heterosexual men living with HIV. J Urban Health. 2006 Jul; 83(4):669-81. View in: PubMed

Tatalovich Z, Wilson JP, Milam JE, Jerrett ML, McConnell R. Competing definitions of contextual environments. Int J Health Geogr. 2006; 5:55. View in: PubMed

Milam J, Richardson JL, McCutchan A, Stoyanoff S, Weiss J, Kemper C, Larsen RA, Hollander H, Weismuller P, Bolan R. Effect of a brief antiretroviral adherence intervention delivered by HIV care providers. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2005 Nov 1; 40(3):356-63. View in: PubMed

Diamond C, Richardson JL, Milam J, Stoyanoff S, McCutchan JA, Kemper C, Larsen RA, Hollander H, Weismuller P, Bolan R. Use of and adherence to antiretroviral therapy is associated with decreased sexual risk behavior in HIV clinic patients. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2005 Jun 1; 39(2):211-8. View in: PubMed

Marks G, Richardson JL, Milam J, Bolan R, Stoyanoff S, McCutchan A. Use of erectile dysfunction medication and unsafe sex among HIV+ men who have sex with men in care. Int J STD AIDS. 2005 Mar; 16(3):271-2. View in: PubMed

Ritt-Olson A, Unger J, Valente T, Nezami E, Chou CP, Trinidad D, Milam J, Earleywine M, Tan S, Johnson CA. Exploring peers as a mediator of the association between depression and smoking in young adolescents. Subst Use Misuse. 2005; 40(1):77-98. View in: PubMed

Richardson JL, Milam J, Stoyanoff S, Kemper C, Bolan R, Larsen RA, Weiss JM, Hollander H, Weismuller P, McCutchan A. Using patient risk indicators to plan prevention strategies in the clinical care setting. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Oct 1; 37 Suppl 2:S88-94. View in: PubMed

Richardson JL, Milam J, McCutchan A, Stoyanoff S, Bolan R, Weiss J, Kemper C, Larsen RA, Hollander H, Weismuller P, Chou CP, Marks G. Effect of brief safer-sex counseling by medical providers to HIV-1 seropositive patients: a multi-clinic assessment. AIDS. 2004 May 21; 18(8):1179-86. View in: PubMed

Richardson JL, Milam JE, Galvan J, Jones C, McConnell R. Knowledge of skin test results among parents of asthmatic children. J Asthma. 2004 Apr; 41(2):199-204. View in: PubMed

Ritt-Olson A, Milam J, Unger JB, Trinidad D, Teran L, Dent CW, Sussman S. The protective influence of spirituality and "Health-as-a-Value" against monthly substance use among adolescents varying in risk. J Adolesc Health. 2004 Mar; 34(3):192-9. View in: PubMed

McConnell R, Jones C, Milam J, Gonzalez P, Berhane K, Clement L, Richardson J, Hanley-Lopez J, Kwong K, Maalouf N, Galvan J, Platts-Mills T. Cockroach counts and house dust allergen concentrations after professional cockroach control and cleaning. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003 Dec; 91(6):546-52. View in: PubMed

Marks G, Richardson JL, Crepaz N, Stoyanoff S, Milam J, Kemper C, Larsen RA, Bolan R, Weismuller P, Hollander H, McCutchan A. Are HIV care providers talking with patients about safer sex and disclosure?: A multi-clinic assessment. AIDS. 2002 Sep 27; 16(14):1953-7. View in: PubMed

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