Skip to main content

Patrick H. Tolan

« Employee directory
Patrick H. Tolan
Phone: 434-243-9551
Location: Ruffner Hall 218
Curriculum vitae: PatrickTolan_CV_021417
Department: Human Services; Youth-NEX
Mailing Address: PO Box 400281, Charlottesville, VA 22904

[high resolution photograph]


Charles S. Robb Professor of Education
Director, Youth-Nex | The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development


  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1983
  • M.A., University of Tennessee, 1980
  • B.A., Temple University, 1978

Personal Statement


Patrick H. Tolan is the Charles S. Robb Professor of Education at the University of Virginia in the Curry School of Education and in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine.

He is director of the cross-university multidisciplinary center, Youth-Nex: The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. Established in 2009, Youth-Nex is a transdisciplinary, nexus, focusing on the capabilities of young people in connection to health, communities, schools, and relationships engaging over 30 faculty across grounds. He leads the center’s mission to promote healthy youth development, to enhance the potential of youth as productive citizens and to reduce developmental risk, through focused research, training, and service. Youth-Nex collaborates at the local, state, and national levels to help apply innovations and best practices and engages in international collaborations on measuring and promoting youth development. It is now recognized nationally as a leading voice in research for direction in optimizing development of our children.

Over the past 30 years Professor Tolan has conducted many research studies on youth development, programs to affect youth development and prevent problems, and to understand and affect 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. This unique project tests a curriculum to bring “21st century health and wellness skills” to elementary school children to face the health and personal and social demands of the coming world with the intent to improve behavior, achievement, readiness for responsible and engaged citizenship, and contribution of this next generation. The goal is to provide a usable curriculum that can be implemented in schools across this country.

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). Among his awards are the Star of Science Award from the Children’s Brain Research Foundation (2007), the American Psychological Association Presidential Citation (2008) for his contributions to theory and empirical understanding of youth violence, and the Nicholas Hobbs Award from the Society for Child and Family Practice and Policy (APA).


Connect With Us On: