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Child and Adolescent Development

Understanding curiosity and motivation, reimagining middle school, discovering new insights into autism and neuroscience, and more – at UVA EHD, we are working to understand every facet of how young people become healthy, thriving adults.

of students say a teacher or school counselor has had an indelible impact on their success

Positive Youth Development

With a strengths-based focus, our research and services engage directly with youth and explore the possibilities of a future that is built around youth and their developmental needs.

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At Youth-Nex: the UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, we're applying the science of positive youth development to address fundamental challenges facing societies around the world. 

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Youth Violence Project

With leading experts in youth violence prevention and school safety, we offer research, training and consultation.

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Remaking Middle School

What would it look like if we completely reimagined middle school – this time, around the developmental science of what adolescents actually need?

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Supporting Transformative Autism Research

The STAR initiative, led by UVA EHD in partnership with colleagues across the University, aims to improve the lives of individuals with autism through groundbreaking research and innovative models for intervention and training.

Visit STAR

Related News: Child & Adolescent Development

Research: Child & Adolescent Development

Explore the latest EHD research and resources related to Child and Adolescent Development.

Portrait Resource for Educators

This resource provides tips and takeaways for educators using the Portrait of a Thriving Youth framework of developmental domains.


Department or Center Associated

YN YPAR Youth and YPAR Adult: Dissemination Avenues

This resource, for both adults and youth, is about how to research ideas and key findings with a wide range of audiences.

A Portrait of a Thriving Youth

The full Portrait provides an overview of adolescent development and describes the six key domains of adolescent development.


Department or Center Associated

Research Labs: Child & Adolescent Development

  • Research Lab

Motivate Lab

The Motivate Lab is driven to improve people’s lives through rigorous motivation research and to understand the mindsets that promote learning, growth, and well-being.

  • Research Lab

Preventive Interventions Team: Collaborative Research on Engagement and Wellbeing

We are a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research lab with a focus on prevention interventions that optimize implementation of evidence-based practices to improve behavior, classroom, and school experiences for youth and school personnel, and/or reduce risk for behavioral and mental health problems. 

  • Research Lab

Relationships, Ecologies and Activities for Developing Youth Lab

We are interested in how settings and interactions can be optimized to best meet adolescents’ developmental needs. In particular, we are focused on the role that relationships (with peers, mentors, non-familial adults) and activities play in adolescent development.

  • RMS
  • Research Lab

Remaking Middle School

Remaking Middle School is a multi-phase initiative, elevating the innovation that is present in middle schools across the country and soliciting national input on how we ensure all students thrive in, and grow from, their experience in the middle grades. 

  • REAL
  • Research Lab

Research in Education and Learning Lab

The Research in Education and Learning Lab at UVA, directed by Jamie Jirout, focuses on questions related to STEM learning and motivation from a cognitive developmental perspective. 

Visit the Full REAL Lab website.

  • Research Lab

UVA Social Development Lab

The UVA Social Development Lab, directed by Sara Rimm-Kaufman, addresses pressing questions in education science from an interdisciplinary perspective. Learn more at our full website.

UVA Social Development Lab

  • YVP
  • Research Lab

Youth Violence Project

The Virginia Youth Violence Project is a research group composed of faculty and graduate students in the UVA School of Education and Human Development. We conduct research on youth violence prevention and school safety and provide training and consultation on topics such as threat assessment, bullying prevention, and forensic psychology. Through our work, we have developed strong evidence in support of school threat assessment as a school violence prevention strategy and alternative to zero tolerance discipline.

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