• Research Center

What We Do

Youth-Nex is a trans-disciplinary center with a translational approach to scholarship and innovation that is central to its work. 

Our Focus

We focus on three core domains: a) Out-of-School Time; b) Educational Systems: Middle School; and c) Community Engagement: Civic and Political.  

Our Aim

We aim to expand and apply the science of Positive Youth Development to enhance the strengths of youth and to prevent developmental risk such as violence; physical and mental health issues; substance abuse and school failure 


What's New

Check out the latest news and resources this month from Youth-Nex. Click arrows below to scroll to the left or right for more.

Youth sit around a picnic table, talking.
Refugee Youth Voices: Coming to the US and Thriving

This fifth post in the Refugee Youth Voice series, Geeti talks about her life in the USA after being relocated in Kyrgyzstan from her homeland of Afghanistan.

Teen girl sits at a playground.
Adolescence Can Help Unlock Autism Diagnosis in Girls

Why do girls present autism spectrum disorder symptoms differently than boys? And what services and resources are available?

Young students sit with legs crossed, hands resting on legs, with their eyes closed.
School Mental Health Brief on Addressing Anger and Aggression in Middle Schools

This brief summarizes work exploring mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy as an evidence-based practice to help adolescents develop positive coping skills.

11 small boxes of people's headshots
2024 Speaker Bureau

Youth-Nex launches their 2024 speaker bureau highlighting scholars to give upcoming talks and workshops for organizations.

Youth-Nex Initiatives and Projects

Connect with Us

Youth-Nex Research

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

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

Portrait Self-Assessment

This self-assessment can help you reflect on how well your program, setting, or system is supporting thriving in each of the six domains described in the Portrait of a Thriving Youth.


Department or Center Associated

Portrait Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies Overview

This overview offers a starter list of the knowledge, skills, and competencies that adolescents develop over time.


Department or Center Associated

Portrait Infographic Resource

This 1-page flyer introduces the domains of the Portrait of a Thriving Youth.


Department or Center Associated

Remaking Middle School Social and Emotional Learning Resource Guide

This guide provides a set of resources to accompany the SEL Learning Series videos.


Department or Center Associated

Lab or Initiative Associated

Youth-Nex News

Related Labs

  • 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. 

  • 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.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

  • PO Box 400281
    405 Emmet Street South
    Charlottesville, VA 22904