Harkness Project Title: Multinational comparisons of Health Status and Youth Risk Behavior in Alternative Education School Students
Mentors: Robert W. Blum, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael D. Resnick, Ph.D.
Placement: Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Simon J. Denny, M.B.Ch.B., a 2000-01 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is a pediatrician and research fellow at the Center for Youth Health in Papatoetoe, New Zealand. Previously he was chief resident at the Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland. Denny is a member of the Adolescent Health Research Group, which has developed an innovative multimedia computer-based tool for administering health questionnaires to young people. This tool was successfully piloted in 1999 and has received international recognition for its innovation and relevance in questionnaire research with young people. Denny is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and studied medicine at the University of Auckland. Based at the University of Minnesota, Denny’s Harkness Fellowship project compares data on risk behaviors, protective factors, health care utilization, and barriers to health care for adolescents in the United States, New Zealand, and other countries.
Project: Denny’s project compared the prevalence in the U.S. and New Zealand of health-risk behaviors (e.g., drug use or violence) among students enrolled in alternative education schools. He compared data from a survey of students in 36 alternative education schools in New Zealand with data from U.S. Youth Risk Behavior Survey. For a further comparison, he contrasted these findings with data from the WHO Portrait of Adolescent Health in the Caribbean.
Career Activity Since Fellowship
Current Position: Senior Lecturer in Youth Health, School of Population Health, University of Auckland. (Updated 1/2014)
Szabo A, Milfont TL, Merry SN, Robinson EM, Crengle S, Ameratunga SN, Denny SJ. Equivalence of the Short Form of the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale across Groups. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2013 Nov 18.
Areai DM, Thomson WM, Foster Page LA, Denny SJ, Crengle S, Clark TC, Ameratunga SN, Koopu PI. Self-reported oral health, dental self-care and dental service use among New Zealand secondary school students: findings from the Youth 07 study. N Z Dent J. 2011 Dec;107(4):121-6.
Copland RJ, Denny SJ, Robinson EM, Crengle S, Ameratunga S, Dixon R. Self-reported pregnancy and access to primary health care among sexually experienced New Zealand high school students. J Adolesc Health. 2011 Nov;49(5):518-24.
Di Cosmo C, Milfont TL, Robinson E, Denny SJ, Ward C, Crengle S, Ameratunga SN. Immigrant status and acculturation influence substance use among New Zealand youth. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2011 Oct;35(5):434-41.
Denny SJ, Robinson EM, Utter J, Fleming TM, Grant S, Milfont TL, Crengle S, Ameratunga SN, Clark T. Do schools influence student risk-taking behaviors and emotional health symptoms? J Adolesc Health. 2011 Mar;48(3):259-67.
Denny SJ, Grant S, Utter J, Robinson EM, Fleming TM, Milfont TL, Crengle S, Clark T, Ameratunga SN, Dixon R, Merry S, Herd R, Watson P. Health and well-being of young people who attend secondary school in Aotearoa, New Zealand: what has changed from 2001 to 2007? J Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Apr;47(4):191-7.
Denny SJ, Milfont TL, Utter J, Robinson EM, Ameratunga SN, Merry SN, Fleming TM, Watson PD. Hand-held internet tablets for school-based data collection. BMC Res Notes. 2008 Jul 26;1:52.
Fleming TM, Merry SN, Robinson EM, Denny SJ, Watson PD. Self-reported suicide attempts and associated risk and protective factors among secondary school students in New Zealand. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2007 Mar;41(3):213-21.
Denny SJ, Clark TC, Watson PD. The health of alternative education students compared to secondary school students: a New Zealand Study. New Zealand Medical Journal 2004, 117:1205.
Denny S, Clark TC, Fleming T, Wall M. “Emotional Resilience: Risk and Protective Factors for Depression among Alternative Education Students in New Zealand.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Vol 74(2) Apr 2004, 137-149
Denny, S.J., Clark, T.J., and Watson, P.D. "Comparison of health-risk behaviours among students in alternative high schools from New Zealand and the USA." Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 39; January/February 2003:33–9.
Watson P, Denny S, et al. "Adolescents' perceptions of a health survey using multimedia computer assisted self-administered Interview (M-CASI)," Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2001 Dec;25(6):520–4.