• 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.

Text in photo reads "participate in research studies" with two people sitting in chairs, one is holding a clipboard
Research Studies Recruiting

Learn more about the active research studies at Youth-Nex that you could participate in!

High school aged students sit in a classroom. Some are raising their hands.
Refugee Youth Voices: Strategies for Youth-Serving Professionals

In the seventh post in a the Refugee Youth Voices series, grad student Jieun Sung shares strategies and approaches for developing and conducting research, youth programming, and other initiatives with and for refugee and immigrant youth.

Portrait of a Thriving Adolescent logo next to the words Tips, Takeaways, & Resources for Educators
New Resource for Educators to Support Adolescent Development

Teachers and school staff in all positions play a key role for thriving youth, and this one-pager provides tips using the Portrait of a Thriving Youth framework (PDF).

Logo: VPSMH written on a silhouette of the state of Virginia
School Mental Health Research in Brief Series

Check out all the research briefs from our 2023-24 series for school mental health professionals!

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.

  • CTL
  • Research Lab

Contemplative Teaching and Learning Lab

The Contemplative Teaching and Learning Lab applies the contemplative sciences to informing our understanding of life-span development and education.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

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