Our faculty, staff and trainees are engaged in a range of research to improve the lives of children, adolescents, young adults and families. Below are a few examples.
Healthy Environments for Vulnerable Youth Program
Dr. Marla Eisenberg and colleagues conduct both qualitative and quantitative research on a wide variety of social factors and how they are associated with the well-being of adolescents and young adults, with particular attention to vulnerable groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, those with disabilities, and those who are overweight. Social factors include characteristics of the family and peer group (e.g. bullying experience); school resources, climate, and characteristics (e.g. presence of a gender/sexuality student organization); and features of the neighborhood or community (e.g. political climate, public policy). We capitalize on existing youth surveillance data to create multilevel quantitative datasets for hierarchical analysis. Qualitative methods with youth, parents, and professionals include interviews, focus groups, and other novel techniques.
Shlafer Program for Research on Criminal Justice & Health
Dr. Rebecca Shlafer and colleagues conduct both qualitative and quantitative research on the intersections of criminal justice and health. Our work includes a focus on the impacts of maternal incarceration for child health and development, with an intentional focus on the experiences of pregnant women in prison.
Youth Health & Housing Lab
Led by Principal Investigator Janna R. Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, MPH, the Youth Health and Housing Lab leads community-engaged cross-sector work at the intersection of housing, healthcare and public health to optimize health and bolster resilience among youth experiencing homelessness. Our interdisciplinary team is housed within the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, and partners with youth-serving agencies, governmental public health and healthcare institutions and, most importantly, youth. Our team is committed to a strengths-based, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed approach rooted in Positive Youth Development. We hope to uplift youth voice, and center equity in every aspect of the work.