Photo of Professor Linda Richter

Professor Linda Richter

Director: DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, University of the Witwatersrand

Distinguished Research Fellow: Human Sciences Research Council

Elected Fellow: University of KwaZulu Natal

Honorary Professor:School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal

Honorary Research Associate: Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford

Professor Linda Richter
School of Public Health
University of the Witwatersrand
York Road
Parktown
Johannesburg

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T:  +27 (0)31 717 2382

  • 2015     R1.2m over 15 months from the EU Programme to Support Pro-Poor Sustainable Development (PSPPD) Phase II: Longitudinal perspective on violence in the lives of children
  • 2014     R1m over 18 months from the EU Programme to Support Pro-Poor Sustainable Development (PSPPD) Phase II: The impact of poverty and inequality in early childhood on long-term development: Evidence from the Birth to Twenty Study.
  • 2014     ±R10m per annum over 10 years for the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, University of the Witwatersrand
  • 2014     R700 000 over two years from the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund for Impacts of early
  • 2011     R12m over 5 years from the Canadian Institute of Health Research to the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University (co-Investigator). Examining the impact of social policies on health equity: How policies designed to reduce poverty and gender inequality affect morbidity and mortality in children and women.
  • 2010     R10 000 000 over 5 years from the Wellcome Trust for Bt20 Plus: Intergenerational influences on health and wellbeing: Towards dynamic and multidimensional understanding of early development

2015

  1. Richter, L., Mabaso, M., Ranjith, J. & Norris, S. (2015) Early sexual debut: voluntary or coerced? Evidence from longitudinal data in South Africa – the Birth to Twenty Plus study. South African Medical Journal, 105, 304-307.
  2. Richter, L., Louw, J. & Naicker, S. (2015).Training and capacity development: The foundation of interventions to support young children affected by HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 10, 105-117.
  3. Salgin, B., Norris, S., Prentice, P., Pettifor, J., Richter, L., Ong, K., Dunger, D. (2015). Even transient rapid infancy weight gain is associated with earlier puberty and higher BMI in young adults. International Journal of Obesity, Mar 16. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.25.
  4. Lundeen, E.A., Norris, S.A., Adair, L.S., Richter, L.M., Stein, A.D. (2015). Sex differences in obesity incidence: 20-year prospective cohort in South Africa. Pediatric Obesity. May 19. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12039. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25988503
  5. Fall, C., Sachdev, H., Osmond, C., Restropo-Mendez, M., Victora, C., Martorell, R., Stein, A., Sinha, S., Tandon, N., Adair, I., Bas, I., Norris, S., Richter, L. & the COHORTS investigators.  (2015). Associations of young and old maternal age at childbirth with childhood and adult outcomes in the offspring; prospective study in five low and middle-income countries (COHORTS collaboration). Lancet Global Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(15)00038-8.

 

  1. Addo, O., Stein, A., Fall, C.,Gigante, D, Guntapalli, A., Horta, B., Kuzawa, C., Lee, N., Norris, S., Osmond, C., Prabhakarm, P., Richter, L., Sachdev, H., Martorell, R. on behalf of the COHORTS group (2015). Parental growth and offspring birth weight: Pooled analyses from four birth cohorts in low and middle income countries. American Journal of Human Biology, 27, 99-105.
  2. Piwowar-Manning, E., Fogel, J., Richardson, P., Wolf, S., Clarke, W., Marzinke, M., Fiamma, A., Donnell, D., Kulich, M., Mbwambo, J, Richter, L., Gray, G., Sweat, M., Coates, T. & Eshleman, S. (2015). Performance of the fourth-generation Bio-Rad GS HIV Combo Ag/Ab Enzyme Immunoassay for diagnosis of HIV infection in Africa. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 62, 75-79.
  3. Fogel, J., Piwowar-Manning, E. Donohue, K., Cummings, V., Marzinke, ,B., Clark, W., Breaud, A., Fiamma, A., Donnell, D., Kulich, M., Mwambo, J., Richter, L., Gray. G., Sweat, M., Coates, T. & Eshleman, S. (2015).  Determination of HIV status in African adults with discordant HIV rapid tests. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, DOI:
  4. Hosegood, V., Richter, L. & Clarke, L. (2015) “…I should maintain a healthy life
  5. now and not just live as I please...”: Men’s health and fatherhood in rural South Africa. American Journal of Men’s Health, DOI:10.1177/1557988315586440.
  6. Yousafzai, A., Britto, P., Daelmans, B. & Richter, L. (2015). Positioning early child
  7. development in the post-2015 agenda. Archives of Disease in Childhood, http://adc.bmj.com/content/current.
  8. Richter, L., Mabaso, M., Ranjith, J. & Norris, S. (2015). Early sexual debut: voluntary or coerced? Evidence from longitudinal data in South Africa – the Birth to Twenty Plus study. South African Medical Journal, 105, 304-307. http://doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.8925.

2014

  1. Casale, D., Richter, L. & Desmond, C. (2014). The association between stunting and psychosocial development among preschool children: A study using the South African Birth to Twenty cohort. Child: Care, Health and Development, 40 (6), 900-910. http://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12143.
  2. Cluver, L., Sherr, L., Grimwood, A., Richter, L., Phelps, R., Bachman, G., Desmond, C., Behnam, N., Fatti, G. & Coovadia, H. (2014). Assembling an effective paediatric HIV treatment and prevention toolkit. Lancet Global Health, 2(7), 395-396.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70267-0.
  3. Coates, T., Kulich, M., Celentano, D., Zelaya, C., Chariyalertsad, S., Chingono, A., Gray, G., … NIMH Project Accept (HPTON 043) Study Team (2014). Effect of community-based voluntary counseling and testing on HIV incidence and social and behavioual outcomes (NIMH Project Accept, HPTN 043): A cluster-randomized trial. Lancet Global Health, 2(5), 267-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70032-4.
  4. Daniels, J., Komárek, A., Makusha, A., Van Heerden, A., Gray, G., Chingono, A., Mbwambo, J., Coates, T And Richter, L. (2014). Effects of a community intervention on HIV prevention behaviors among men who experienced childhood sexual or physical abuse in four African settings: Findings from NIMH Project Accept (HPTN 043). Plos One, 9(6): e99643. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0099643.
  5. Desmond, C. & Richter, L. Child vulnerability: Priority and responsibility. (2014). In T. Mayiwa, M. Nkondo, M. Chitiga-Mabugu, M.Sithole & F. Nyamnjoh (Eds). State of the Nation 2014. South Africa 1994-2014: A twenty year review (pp 337-346). Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  6. Desmond, C. & Richter, L. (2014). Child development. In H. Bhorat, A. Hirsch, R.
  7. Kanbur & M. Ncube (Eds). Oxford Companion to the Economics of South Africa (pp 336-340). Oxford University Press.
  8. Evangeli, M., Newell, M-L., Richter, L. & Mcgrath, N. (2014). The association between self-reported stigma and loss to-follow-up in treatment eligible HIV positive adults in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. PloS One, 9, 2, e88235. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088.
  9. Knight, L., Mcgrath, N., Van Rooyen, H., Humphries, H., Van Heerden, A. & Richter, L. (2014). Characteristics of sexually experienced HIV testers aged 18 to 32 in rural South Africa: Baseline results from a community-based trial, NIMH Project Accept (HPTN 043). BMC Public Health, 14:1164, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-1164.
  10. Knight, L., Roberts, B., Aber, L., Richter, L. & The Size Study Team (2014). Household shocks and coping strategies in rural and peri-urban South Africa. Journal of International Development. http://dx.doi.org/.
  11. Lundeen, E., Stein, A., Adair, L., Behrman, J., Bhargava, A., Dearden, K., Gigante, D., Norris, S., Richter, L., Fall, C., Martorell, R., Sachdev, H. & Victora, C. (2014). Height-for-age x-scores increase despite increasing height deficits among children in five developing countries. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100, 821-825.
  12. Madhavan, S., Richter, L. & Norris, S. (2014). Father involvement trajectories following union dissolution for low income children in urban South Africa. Journal of Family Issues, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0192513X14532255.
  13. Madhavan, S., Richter, L., Norris, S. & Hosegood, V. (2014). Fathers’ financial support of children in urban South Africa. Journal of Family Economic Issues, 35(4), 452-463. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-013-9385-9.
  14. Makusha, T. & Richter, L. (2014). The role of Black fathers in the lives of children in South Africa. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 982-992. http://doi.org/.
  15. Richter, L. & Mofenson, L. (2014). Children born into families affected by HIV. Editorial. AIDS, S3, S241-243. http://doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000000361.
  16. Richter, L., Komárek, A., Desmond, C., Celentano, D., Morin, S., Sweat, M., Chariyalertsak, S., Chingono, A., Gray, G., Mbwambo, J. & Coates, T. (2014). Reported physical and sexual abuse in childhood and adult HIV risk behaviour in three African countries: Findings from Project Accept (HPTN-043). AIDS & Behavior, 18, 381-389. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-013-0439-7.
  17. Richter, L., Lonroth, K., Desmond, C., Jackson, R., Jaramillo, E. & Weil, D.  (2014). Economic support to patients in HIV and TB grants in Rounds 7 and 10 from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. PLoS One. 9(1): e86225. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086225.
  18. Richter, L., Rotheram, M., Stein, A., Van Heerden, A., Omlinson, M., Rochat, T., Van Rooyen, H., Tang, Z., Harwood, J. & Comulada, W. (2014). Pregnant women living with HIV (WLH) supported at clinics by a peer WLH: A cluster randomized trial. AIDS and Behavior, 18(4), 706-715. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-014-0694-2.
  19. Rotheram-Borus, M. J., Richter, L.M., Van Heerden, A., Van Rooyen, H., Tomlinson, M., Harwood, J. Comulada, S. & Stein. A. (2014). A cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of peer mentors to support South African women living with HIV and their infants. PLOS One. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084867.
  20. Sherr, L., Cluver, L., Betancourt, T., Kellerman, S., Richter, L. & Desmond, C. (2014). Evidence of impact: Health, psychological and social effects n children. AIDS, S3, S251-259. http://doi.org/.
  21. Stein, A., Desmond, C., Garbarino, J., Van Ijzendoorn, M., Barbarin, O., Black, M., Stein, A., Hillis, S., Kalichman, S., Mercy, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., Rapa, E., Saul, J., Dobrova-Krol, N. & Richter, L. (2014). Predicting long-term outcomes for children affected by HIV and AIDS: Perspectives from the scientific study of children’s development. AIDS, S#, S261-268. http://doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000000328.
  22. Van Heerden, A., Norris, S., Tollman, S. & Richter, L. (2014). Collecting health research data: Comparing data quality, availability, and costs of paper-and-pen versus mobile phone interviews. Field Methods. 27, 2014. http://doi.org/10.1177/1525822X13518184.
  23. Van Heerden, A;, Norris, S., Tollman, S., Stein, A. & Richter, L. (2014). Field lessons from the delivery of questionnaires to young adults using Mobile Phones. Journal of Social Science Computer Review, 32, 105-112. http://doi.org/.
  24. Verkuijl, N., Richter, L., Norris, S., Stein, A. Avan, B. & Amchandani, P. (2014). Postnatal depressive symptoms and child psychological development at 10 years: A prospective study of longitudinal data from the South African Birth to Twenty cohort. Lancet Psychiatry, 1, 454-460. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70361-X.

2013

  1. Addo, Y, Stein, A., Fall, C., Gigante, D., Gantapalli, A., Horta, B., Kuzawa, C., Lee, N., Norris, S., Prabhakaran, P., Richter, L., Sachdev, H. & Martorell, R. (2013). Maternal height and child growth patterns from birth to adulthood. Journal of Pediatrrics, 163, 549-554.
  2. Chikovore, J., Makusha, T. & Richter, L. (2013) Father involvement in young children’s care and education in southern Africa. In J. Pattnaik (Ed). Father/male involvement in young children's lives: National and international contexts (pp 261-278). Netherlands: Springer.
  3. De Kadt, J., Norris, S., Fleisch, L., Richter, L. & Alvanides, S. (2013). Children’s daily travel to school in Johannesburg-Soweto, South Africa: geography and distance in the Birth to Twenty Cohort Study. Children’s Geographies, 12, 170- 188. http://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2013.812304.
  4. Ginsburg, C., Griffiths, P., Richter, L. & Norris, S. (2013). Residential mobility, socioeconomic context and body mass index in a cohort of urban South African adolescents. Health and Place, 19, 99-107.
  5. Horta, B.L., Das, A., Bhargava, S., Fall, C., Feranil, A., De Kadt, J., Martorell, R., Richter, L., Stein, A. & Victora, C. (2013) Infant feeding and school attainment in five cohorts from low- and middle-income countries. PLoS ONE, 8(8): e71548. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071548.
  6. Hsiao, C. & Richter, L. (2013).  Early mental development as a predictor of preschool cognitive and behavioral development in South Africa: The moderating role of maternal education in the Birth to Twenty Cohort. Infants and Young Children, 27, 74-87. http://doi.org/10.1097/IYC.0000000000000002.
  7. Makusha, T., Richter, L., Knight, L., Van Rooyen, H. & Bhana, D. (2013). “The good and the bad?”: Childhood experiences with fathers and their influence on women’s expectations and men’s experiences of fathering in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Fathering, 11, 1380158.
  8. McGrath, N., Richter, L. & Newell, M-L. (2013). Sexual risk after HIV diagnosis: A comparison of early- and late-presenters in an HIV treatment and care programme in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 16, 18048.
  9. Mendenhall, E., Richter, L., Stein, A. & Norris, S. (2013). Psychological and physical co-morbidity among urban South African women. PlosONE, 8, e78803. http://doi.org/.
  10. Parul, C., Lee, S., Angel, M., Adair, S., Alho, L., Arifeen, S.,  Ashorn, S., … Zeng, L. (2013). Risk of childhood undernutrition related to small-for-gestational age and preterm birth in low and middle income countries. International Journal of Epidemiology, 42 (5), 1340-1355. http://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyt109.
  11. Richter, L. (2013). Growing up in South Africa: Science, politics and policy  In Brooks-Gunn, J., Lerner, R., Petersen, A., Silbereisen, R. (Eds).  The developmental science of adolescence: History through autobiography (393-401). New York: Psychology Press.
  12. Richter, L. (2013). Psychological factors in child health. In M. Kibel, T. Westwood & H. Saloojee (Eds), Child health for all 5th Edition.  New York: Oxford University Press.
  13. Richter, L., De Kadt, J., Ginsburg, C., Makusha, T. & Norris, S. (2013). The South African Birth Cohort Project. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Childhood Studies. http://doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791231-0064.
  14. Shonkoff, J. & Richter, L. (2013). The powerful reach of early childhood development: A science-based foundation for sound investment. In P. Britto, P. Engle & C. Super (Eds), Handbook of early childhood development research and its impact on global policy (pp. 24-34). New York: Oxford University Press.
  15. Stein, A., Barros, F., Bhargava, S., Lee, N. Horta, B., Kuzawa, C., Martorell, R., Ramjul, S., Stein A. & Richter, L. on behalf of the COHORTS Group. Birth status, child growth and adult human capital in low- and middle-income countries. The Journal of Pediatrics, 163, 1740-1746.
  16. Van Heerden, A., Norris, S., Tollman, S., Richter, L. & Rotheram-Borus, M. (2013). Collecting maternal health Information from HIV positive pregnant women using mobile phone assisted face-to-face interviews in Southern Africa. Journal of Medical Internet Research.  http://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.2207.

2015

Fall, C., Sachdev, H., Osmond, C., Restropo-Mendez, M., Victora, C., Martorell, R., Stein, A., Sinha, S., Tandon, N., Adair, I., Bas, I., Norris, S., Richter, L. & the COHORTS investigators.  (2015). Associations of young and old maternal age at childbirth with childhood and adult outcomes in the offspring; prospective study in five low and middle-income countries (COHORTS collaboration). Lancet Global Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(15)00038-8

2014

Coates, T., Kulich, M., Celentano, D., Zelaya, C., Chariyalertsad, S., Chingono, A., Gray, G., … NIMH Project Accept (HPTON 043) Study Team (2014). Effect of community-based voluntary counseling and testing on HIV incidence and social and behavioual outcomes (NIMH Project Accept, HPTN 043): A cluster-randomized trial. Lancet Global Health, 2(5), 267-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70032-4.

2013

Parul, C., Lee, S., Angel, M., Adair, S., Alho, L., Arifeen, S.,  Ashorn, S., … Zeng, L. (2013). Risk of childhood undernutrition related to small-for-gestational age and preterm birth in low and middle income countries. International Journal of Epidemiology, 42 (5), 1340-1355. http://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyt109.

Early child development, family functioning and adversity (poverty and HIV)

Linda has conducted both basic and policy research in the fields of child, youth and family development as applied to health, education, welfare and social development, and has published more than 400 papers and chapters in the fields of child, adolescent and family development, infant and child assessment, protein-energy malnutrition, street and working children, and the effects of HIV and AIDS on children and families. Her papers have appeared in, amongst others, Science, the Lancet and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). She is the author of several books and monographs - Mandela’s Children: Growing up in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Routledge, 2001), The Importance of Caregiver-Child Interactions for the Survival and Healthy Development of Young Children (World Health Organization, 2004), and Baba: Men and Fatherhood in South Africa (HSRC Press, 2006).  Linda sits on the Editorial Board of nine professional and disciplinary journals: African Journal of AIDS Research, Children’s Geographies, Ethnicity and Health, Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Journal of Child Health Care, Journal of the International AIDS Society, Perspectives in Education, and Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies; she is the Regional Editor for Africa of International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation. In addition, Linda has guest edited four special journal issues on issues related to children and HIV: AIDS Care (2009), Journal of the International AIDS Society (2010), Journal of the International AIDS Society (2012) and AIDS (2014). She is currently the co-guest editor of the special issue of the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease to be launched in November 2015, on the determinants of health and human capital in Africa.

Linda is the Principal Investigator of several large-scale, long-term collaborative projects, including Birth to Twenty Plus, a birth cohort study of 3 273 children with follow up to age 24 years, and a member of the Consortium of Health Oriented Research in Transitioning Societies (COHORTS), a network of birth cohort studies in low and middle income countries. She is currently leading a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning initiative funded by the Conrad N Hilton Foundation for 16 international organizations working to improve early childhood development  in countries in southern and eastern Africa that are heavily impacted by AIDS. Linda was the co-chair of Learning Group 1: Strengthening Families in the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and AIDS (JLICA), and part of evaluation team that reviewed PEPFAR’s programmes for orphans and vulnerable children in 26 countries. For three years until 2014 she was a member of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board, and she currently chairs the Technical Steering Committee of the SPRING Trial in India and Pakistan, and a WHO Steering Committee to produce a Lancet series on scaling up early child development programmes. She is the lead author of South Africa’s National Early Child Development Policy and Programme.