Key areas of interest include the study of mindfulness, compassion, belonging, dignity, and agency. Research programs address disparities in mental health, wellness, and education associated with gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, linguistic diversity, geography, income, and other structural and systemic inequities with a focus on access, justice, and dignity.
These research studies engage young people of all ages and are united in their vision of identifying practical ways to grow up with wellness. Each and every project also shares an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and co-design with young people, families, or educators. Their settings are as diverse as the kids they serve, from elementary schools to high schools to college. Together, these studies are building knowledge and evidence-based programs that blend practical social and emotional skills, accessible tools and scalable programs, and youth engagement as a means for both individual wellness and positive, collective change.
Young people thrive when they are surrounded by a network of caring, connected, and responsive adults. Parents and communities want the best for their children, and yet our world provides few resources to support them in promoting their own wellness and caring for kids. These research studies highlight the inherent hopes and strengths of parents and communities. Together, these studies are building knowledge and evidence-based programs and policies that blend practical skills, accessible tools, sources of connection, and transformative policies that promote adult wellness and the contexts kids need to grow and thrive.
Supporting educators is critical if they are going to support young people in becoming prepared to address the challenges faced by our country and our world. Many educators today face high levels of stress at the same time that the social and emotional needs of students and their families have intensified. These research studies strive to address the increasing pressure on educators and schools in ways that recognize their inherent dignity and honor the hopes and dreams that led them to the teaching profession. Together, these studies promote the knowledge and skills that educators need to meet the needs of increasingly diverse groups of students in rapidly changing educational landscapes.