- Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1983
- M.A., University of Tennessee, 1980
- B.A., Temple University, 1978
As director of Youth-Nex, Patrick H. Tolan champions the center’s mission to promote healthy youth development to enhance the potential of youth as healthy, productive citizens, and reduce developmental risk through focused research, training, and service.
Youth-Nex is a University-wide nexus for innovative and translational research that bridges to practice. It is the only center in the country accommodating work on diverse aspects of youth development including mental health, educational functioning, citizenship, social functioning and physical health.
Biography and Research Interests
In the 10 years before assuming his role as director of Youth-Nex, Tolan directed the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Juvenile Research,
a multidisciplinary center involving collaborations of more than 50 faculty, focusing on child mental health and adolescent behavior problems.
Tolan is a frequent consultant to agencies, government groups and foundations advising and presenting at hearings, meetings, and institutions around the country. He has been the Principal Investigator on multiple National Institute of Health (NIH) and other funded projects and he has authored over 160 publications.
For the past 25 years he has conducted research with multiple collaborators on development of youth within inner-city communities and supported efforts to assist and protect healthy development of families in high-risk communities.
His extensive research has also focused on issues affecting adolescents; tested prevention efforts to lower rates of problems; and worked to increase reliance on scientifically tested prevention efforts by government, funders, and communities.
Tolan is co-editor of a special issue of Child Development (2011)—the flagship journal for child development research. He is also co-editor of the book, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, part of the Advances in Development and Psychopathology: Brain Research Foundation Symposium Series (Springer, 2013). Other writings include “Children’s mental health as a primary care and concern: A system for comprehensive support and service,” published in 2005 in American Psychologist. Tolan was chair of the American Psychological Association’s Working Group on Children’s Mental Health (1999-2001). He has been a member of several commissions and boards related to youth development including the Blueprints for Violence Prevention, a project of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado.