In order to generate new understanding and provide direction about the most useful practices and appropriate policies for youth development, the center focuses on multi-investigator, cross-disciplinary systematic research efforts. These research projects represent the current and on-going work at Youth-Nex in the area of avoiding risk.

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.

Avoid Risk

  • Research Project

Boys of Color Collaboration - Studying What Goes Right

The Boys of Color Collaboration is a multi-university collaboration focused on engaging developing scholars to focus on positive youth development approaches to studying effective development of boys of color. 

  • Research Project

GREAT Schools and Families

This preventive intervention study examines the impact on lowering violence perpetration and victimization in middle school. It analyzes data from a multisite longitudinal random assignment (of 36 schools) which focused on 9000 middle-school children, and compares a universal or whole-population approach and a selective or high-risk group focused approach. Data collection is complete and the data set is available for normative developmental analyses, intervention impact modeling, and related questions of population effects. 

  • Research Project

Success 360

This is a developing evaluation effort and tool for a community collaboration to provide support for positive youth development of middle school students in Richmond. The evaluation will focus on determining what aspects of these programs is important in explaining effects and will examine how collaborations can be built for success.

  • Research Project

Motivating Youth Through the Humanities

Pilot Study of Community-Based Model of Teaching Literature to University Students and High-Risk Youth

  • Research Project

Driving Safety: Asperger’s and Autism

This work explores the use of virtual reality driving simulators to train and evaluate driving skills of teens with Asperger's and autism.

  • Research Project

Developmental-Ecological Studies of Development & Prevention in City Settings Secondary Data Analyses

Developmental-Ecological Studies of Effective Development and Prevention in Inner-City Communities: Secondary Data Analyses

This project is comprised of several longitudinal data sets, and all but one include a randomized control prevention trial. Each focuses on issues of effective development of children and family, applying a developmental ecological model and longitudinal data collection.

  • Research Project

Effects of Physical Activity, Executive Function, and Risk-taking in Life and Behind the Wheel

Researchers will investigate the impact of cognitive motor function that impairs driving safety, medical self-management, social functioning and quality of life, and the extent to which such impacts can be reversed with specific and specialized rehabilitation using virtual reality driving simulation.