Over the past 34 years Professor Tolan has conducted research studies and programs promoting youth development, preventing problems, and understanding and affecting youth violence. His studies have provided insights and innovations for how families managed the challenges of under-resourced schools and unsafe neighborhoods, the complex determinants of violence, and how neighborhoods affect risk for school failure, delinquency, and mental health problems. At present, he heads up the 7-year $11.75 million group randomized trial, the Compassionate Schools Project, a collaboration with the City of Louisville and the Jefferson County Public Schools. The Compassionate Schools Project is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum in an elementary or secondary school setting. Facilitating the integrated development of mind and body, the project interweaves support in academic achievement, mental fitness, health, and compassionate character. The research aims to have a major impact on children’s education Nationwide in terms of academic performance, physical education, character development, and child health policies due to its extraordinary scale of 50 schools and 20,000 children over the project’s seven years.
Professor Tolan is a frequent contributor to the scientific literature. His latest book is, Gene-Environment Transactions in Developmental Psychopathology: The Role in Intervention Research, a volume in the Brain Research Foundation Symposium Series he edits. (Springer, 2017). He also was the lead editor on Preventing Youth Substance Abuse: Science-based Programs for Children and Adolescents (American Psychological Association, 2007). His 200 plus articles include, "Children's mental health as a primary care and concern: A system for comprehensive support and service," published in 2005 in American Psychologist and “Future directions for positive development intervention research” published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.
Among the recognitions for his contributions are the Presidential Award, a “lifetime achievement” award in recognition of a major specific contribution to prevention science research which has had a broad impact on the field from the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) (2018), the Nicholas Hobbs Award from the Society for Child and Family Practice and Policy (APA) (2016); the American Psychological Association Presidential Citation (2008) for his contributions to theory and empirical understanding of youth violence; and the Star of Science Award, from the Children’s Brain Research Foundation (2007) for his contributions to theory and empirical understanding of youth violence.
- Compassionate Schools Project
- Measurement of Mentoring Processes
- Promoting Effective Teaching Methods by New Teachers: Good Behavior Game + My Teaching Partner
- GREAT Schools and Families
- Boys of Color Collaboration - Studying What Goes Right
- Classroom Connections
- Developmental-Ecological Studies of Development & Prevention in City Settings Secondary Data Analyses
- Faculty Earn Top Honors
- Patrick Tolan Appointed Endowed Chair, Charles S. Robb Professor of Education
- Deutsch Edits Special Journal Issue Based on Youth-Nex Conference
- Faculty Kudos
- Compassionate Schools Project Offers new Take on PE/Health Curriculum
- Youth-Nex Receives $550,000 to Study Reducing Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Academic Achievement
- The Science of Helping Children Flourish
- Tolan Paper Asserts Health Equity as a Matter of Justice
- Two SURP Interns Describe How They are Preparing for Grad School at U.Va.
- Student Spotlight: Katherine Ross Creates a Social Emotional and Mindfulness Research Agenda
- U.Va. Partners with Louisville Schools to Study Health and Wellness Curriculum
- Patrick Tolan Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from SPR
- Q&A: Understanding Adolescence in 2019
- Mentoring: Expert Voices on New Research and Best Practices
- Pioneering The Notion of Positive Youth Development