Youth-Nex Research & Publications

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.

SEED FUNDING: Youth-Nex also provides its own funding for promising research related to positive youth development through a Request for Proposals.


Publications & Funding

  • Publications

    (Full-text access to articles is available to the University of Virginia community and its affiliates. If you cannot access the full-text, please check with your local library for full-text access.)

    Youth-Nex faculty and affiliates engage in research to advance knowledge, improve scholarship, help advance recognition and use of Positive Youth Development in developmental, prevention, and intervention science. 

    Recent examples from 2013-2017 include:

    Aiyer, S. M., Williams, J. L., Tolan, P. H., & Wilson, M. N. (2013). "Predicting desistance in a high-risk sample: Examining the influence of individual and contextual factors." Journal of Community Psychology, 41 (4), 408-424.]

    Bass, Ellen J., Susan E. Bruce, and Douglas W. Lee. "The effect of a birthday card intervention on 21st birthday celebratory drinking behaviors." Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education 57.2 (2013): 47-65.

    Cornell, D.G., Lovegrove, P. J, & Baly, M.W. (2013, November 11). "Invalid survey response patterns among middle school students."  Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0034808.

    Cox D.J., Gonder-Frederick, L., Shepard, J.A., Campbell, L.K., Vajda, KA, (2013) "Driving safety: Concerns and experiences of parents of adolescent drivers with Type 1 Diabetes." (2012).  Pediatric Diabetes. Vol 13 (6) 506-510.

    DeBoer, M.D., Scharf, R.J., Demmer, R.T. (2013) “Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in 2- to 5-year-old children.”  Pediatrics,132:413-420.

    Deutsch, N.L., Lawrence, E., & Henneberger, A. (2013). Social Class. In D. DuBois & M. Karcher (Eds). The Handbook of Youth Mentoring, 2nd Edition (pp 175-187). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Deutsch, N.L., Wiggins, A., Henneberger, A. & Lawrence, E. (2013). "Combining mentoring with structured group activities: A potential after-school context for fostering relationships between girls and mentors." Journal of Early Adolescence, 33, 5-16. First published online September 17, 2012 as doi:10.1177/0272431612458037.

    Durkee, M. I., & Williams, J. L. (2013). "Accusations of acting White: Links to Black students’ racial identity and mental health."  Journal of Black Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0095798413505323.

    Jones, J. N., & Deutsch, N. L. (2013).  "Social and identity development in an after-school program changing experiences and shifting adolescent needs." The Journal of Early Adolescence, 33(1), 17-43.

    Henry, D. B., Dymnicki, A. B., Schoeny, M. E., Meyer, A. L., & Martin, N. C., Multisite Violence Prevention Project. (2013). "Middle school students overestimate normative support for aggression and underestimate normative support for nonviolent problem-solving strategies."  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43 (2), 433-445.

    Hurd, N. M., Varner, F., & Rowley, S. J. (2013).  "Involved-vigilant parenting and socio-emotional well-being among Black youth: The moderating influence of natural mentoring relationships." Journal of Youth and Adolescence,42, 1583-1595. doi: 10.1007/s10964-012-9819-y (first and second authors made equal contributions)

    Kennedy, M. J., & Wexler, J. (2013). "Helping students succeed within secondary-level STEM content—Using the “T” in STEM to improve literacy skills." Teaching Exceptional Children, 45(4), 26-33.

    Matjasko, J. L., Vivolo-Kantor, A., Henry, D. B., Gorman-Smith, D., & Schoeny, M. E., The Multisite Violence Prevention Project. (2013).  "The relationship between a family-focused preventive intervention, parenting practices, and exposure to violence during the transition to adolescence: Testing a mediational model." Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 22 (1), 45-66. doi:10.1080/10926771.2013.743947.

    Merkel, R.L., Nichols, J.Q., Fellers, J.C., Hildago, P., Martinez, L.A., Putzinger, I., Burket ,R.C., Cox, D.J. (2013).  “Comparison of on-road driving between young adults with and without ADHD.” Journal of Attention Disorders, 2013; published on line 02/11/2013.

    Multisite Violence Prevention Project. (2013). "The moderating role of developmental microsystems in selective preventive intervention effects on aggression and victimization of high-risk socially-influential students." Prevention Science, 14, 390-400.

    Patterson, C. J. (2013).  "Schooling, sexual orientation, law and policy: Making schools safe for all students." Theory into Practice, 52, 190 - 195.

    Scharf, R.J., Demmer, R.T., DeBoer, M.D. “Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumption and weight status in preschoolers.” Archives of Disease in Childhood 98:335-340 (2013).

    Sheidow, A., Henry, D., Tolan, P., & Strachan, M. (2013). "The role of stress exposure and family functioning in internalizing outcomes of urban families." Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-15. doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9793-3

    Tolan, P., Lovegrove, P., & Clark, E. (2013).  "Stress mitigating protective factors for development of inner-city African American and Latino young men." Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 2013 Apr-Jul; 83(2 Pt 3):289-98. doi: 10.1111/ajop.12038

    Williams, J. L., Aiyer, S. M., Durkee, M. I., & Tolan, P. H. (2013).  "The protective role of ethnic identity for urban adolescent males facing multiple stressors." Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10964-013-0071-x

    Allen, J. P., Chango, J., & Szwedo, D. E. (2014).  "The adolescent relational dialectic and the peer roots of adult social functioning."  Child Development85(1):192–204. doi:10.1111/cdev.12106

    Baly, M., Cornell, D., & Lovegrove, P. (2014).  "A longitudinal comparison of peer- and self-reports of bullying victimization across middle school." Psychology in the Schools. 51, 217–214. doi:10.1002/pits.21747

    Hurd, N. M., Stoddard, S. A., Bauermeister, J. A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2014).  "Natural mentors, mental health, and substance use: Exploring pathways via coping and purpose." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84, 1-11. doi:10.1037/h0099361

    Lambert, A. E., Simons-Morton, B. G., Cain, S. A., Weisz, S., Cox, D. J. (2014). "Considerations of a dual-systems model of cognitive development and risky driving." Journal of Research on Adolescence. 24(3) 541–550. doi:10.1111/jora.12126

    Patterson, C. J. (2014). "Sexual minority youth and youth with sexual minority parents."  In G. Melton, A. Ben-Arieh, J. Cashmore, G. S. Goodman, and N. K. Worley (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook Of Child Research. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.

    Riskind, R. G., Tornello, S. L., Younger, B., & Patterson, C. J. (2014). "Sexual identity, partner sex, and sexual health among adolescent girls in the United States." American Journal of Public Health104(10) 1957–1963.

    Tolan, P. H. (2014). "Future directions for positive development intervention research." Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 43(4), 686–694. doi:10.1080/15374416.2014.936604

    Tolan, P. H. (2014). "Making and using lists of empirically tested programs: Value for violence interventions for progress and impact." Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences Report, Evidence for Violence Prevention Across the Lifespan and Around the World.

    Tolan, P. H. (2014). "More than afterthoughts and details: Maintenance and booster effects as critical elements of intervention research."  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s10802-013-9839-4.

    Tolan, P. H., Henry, D., Lovegrove, P., Schoeny, M. & Nichols, E. (2014). "Meta-analytic review of the impact of mentoring on high-risk youth delinquency and related behavioral outcomes." Journal of Experimental Criminology.

    Tolan, P. H., & Larsen, R. (2014). "Life satisfaction trajectories during middle school: Relation to developmental-ecological microsystems and student functioning." Journal of Research on Adolescence. doi: 10.1111/jora.12156

    Tornello, S. L., Riskind, R. G., & Patterson, C. J.  (2014). "Sexual orientation and sexual and reproductive health among adolescent young women in the United States." Journal of Adolescent Health54, 160–168.

    Williams, J. L., Anderson, R. E., Francois, A. G., Hussain, S., & Tolan, P. H. (2014).  "Ethnic identity and positive youth development in adolescence males: A culturally integrated approach." Applied Developmental Psychology. 18(2), 110–122. 

    Allen, J. P., Uchino, B. N., and Hafen, C. A. (2015).  "Running with the pack: Teen peer-relationship qualities as predictors of adult physical health." Psychological Science, 1-10. 

    Bradshaw, C.P. (2015).  "Translating research to practice in bullying prevention." American Psychologist, 70 (4), 322–332. doi:10.1037/a0039114

    Bradshaw, C. P., Pas, E., Debnam, K., & Lindstrom Johnson, S. (2015).  "A focus on implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in high schools: Associations with bullying and school disorder." School Psychology Review, 44(4) 480–498.

    Hurd, N., Hussain, S. B., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2015).  "School disorder, school connectedness, and psychosocial outcomes: Moderation by a supportive figure in the school. Youth in Society.

    Jia, Y., Konold, T.R., & Cornell, D. (2015).  "Authoritative school climate and high school dropout rates." School Psychology Quarterly. 31(2), 289–303.

    Kofler, M., Larsen, R. & Darve, D. & Tolan, P. H. (2015).  "Developmental trajectories of aggression, prosocial behavior, and social–cognitive problem solving in emerging adolescents with clinically elevated Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms." Journal of Abnormal Psychology124, 1027–1042.

    Marshall, J., Lawrence, E. C., Williams, J. L, & Peugh, J. (2015).  "Mentoring as service-learning: The relationship between perceived program support and outcomes for college women mentors." Studies in Educational Evaluation, 47, 38–46.

    Tolan, P. H. (2015). When you come to a fork in the road—Take it: My developmental pathway in child and family psychology. The Advocate2, 10–11.

    Tolan, P. H., & Deutsch, N. L. (2015).  Mixed methods in developmental science. In W.F. Overton, & P.C. Molenaar (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science, Vol. 1: Theory and method. (7th ed.). (pp. 713-757). Editor-in-chief: R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

    Williams, J.L. & Deutsch, N.L. (2015).  "Beyond between-group differences: Considering race, ethnicity, and culture in research on positive youth development programs." Applied Developmental Science20(3). 203–213. doi:10.1080/10888691.2015.1113880 

    Bottiani, J.H., Bradshaw, C.P., & Mendelson, T. (2016).  "Inequality in Black and White high school students' perceptions of school support: An examination of race in context." Journal of Youth and Adolescence45 (6), 1176–1191. doi:10.1007/s10964-015-0411-0

    Deutsch, N. L., Reitz-Krueger, C., Henneberger, A., Futch, V., & Lawrence, E. C. (2016). "It gave me ways to solve problems and ways to talk to people:" Outcomes from a combined group and one-on-one mentoring program for early adolescent girls. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1–32.

    Ehrlich, V.F., Deutsch, N.L., Fox, C., Johnson, H., & Varga, S. (2016).  "Leveraging relational assets for adolescent development: A qualitative investigation of youth-adult ‘connection’ in positive youth development. Qualitative Psychology, 3(1), 59–78.

    Gregory, A., Hafen, C. A., Ruzek, E. A., Mikami, A. Y, Allen, J. P., &., Pianta, R. C. (2016).  "Closing the racial discipline gap in classrooms by changing teacher practice."  School Psychology Review, 45, 171–191.

    Henry, D., Tolan, P. H., Gorman-Smith, D., Schoeny, M. (2016). "Alternatives to randomized control trial designs for community-based prevention evaluation." Prevention Science. 1­–10. doi:10.1007/s11121-016-0706-8

    Kansky, J., Allen, J. P., & Diener, E. (2016).  "Early adolescent affect predicts later life outcomes." Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 1–21. doi:10.1111/aphw.12068

    Kibler, A., & Valdés, G. (2016). “Conceptualizing language learners: Socio-institutional mechanisms and their consequences.” Modern Language Journal, 100, 96–116. doi:10.1111/modl.12310

    Palacios, N., & Kibler, A. (2016). Development of oral English language proficiency and reading mastery: The role of home language and school supports. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(2), 122–136. doi:10.1080/00220671.2014.927341

    Tolan, P. H. (2016). Introduction to special issue: "Positive youth development interventions: Advancing evaluation theory and practice." Applied Developmental Science20(3) 147–149.

    Tolan, P. H., Ross, K., Arkin, N. Godine, N. & Clark, E. (2016). Toward an integrated approach to positive development: Implications for intervention. Applied Developmental Science20(3) 214–236.

    Williams, J. L. (2016).  "Building 'Ladders of Opportunity' for Boys and Young Men of Color Requires Attention to Gender, Race, and Racism." Society for Research in Child Development Social Policy Report, 29(3), 22-24.

    In Press
    Deutsch, N.L., Blyth, D.A., Kelley, J., Tolan, P.H., & Lerner, R.M. (in press).  "Let’s talk after-school: The promises and challenges of positive youth development for after-school research, policy, and practice." Advances in Child and Family Policy and Practice.

    Multisite Violence Prevention Project. (in press).  "Universal versus selective approaches to school-based violence prevention: a randomized trial of ecological effects on middle school students." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

    Sangwon, K., Orpinas, P., Martin, R., Horne, A., Sullivan, T. N. & Tolan, P. (in press).  "The multisite violence prevention project: A typology of behavior adjustment among early adolescents." Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment.

    Williams, J. L., & Hussain, S. (in press). Bullying and cultural considerations. In C. P. Bradshaw (Ed.), Handbook of bullying prevention: A lifecourse perspective. National Association of Social Workers Press.

  • Seed Funding

    ​In addition to the funded research conducted by the center, Youth-Nex also provides seed funding for promising ideas and scholars. To that end, the center institutes a Request for Proposals which emphasizes the need for focus on topics related to positive youth development and reduction of risk. A clear and direct plan for external funding as a result of the seed funding must also be included. Proposals must be innovative in methods, collaboration or approach to youth development.

    The following projects are being funded in 2018:

    Roots and Wings: Promoting Positive Youth Development and Educational Equity in Charlottesville Middle Schools through Integrated Music Programming

    Engaging Conflict-affected Youth in Thailand’s Deep South for the Promotion of Peace and Wellbeing

    The Voice Project: Facilitating Youth Voice & Critical Social Analysis Among Black Boys in their Transition to High School

    Evaluating the Impact of Youth-Police Dialogues on Police: A Seed Funding Proposal for Survey Development

    See details on all 2018 projects here.


    The following projects were funded in 2012:

    Impact of School Architecture on School Practices and Healthy Eating

    Engaging Students in Environmental Service: Development and Early Phase Research on a Community Service Learning Intervention

    Understanding and Supporting Safe Driving of ADHD Teenagers with Auditory Feedback

    Original 2012 RFP application details.


    The following projects were funded in 2011:

    Reducing Risky Behaviors Associated With 21st Birthdays

    The Role Executive Function Plays in the Driving-specific Risk Behaviors of Novice Drivers

    Languages Across Borders (LAB): Building Positive Cross-Linguistic and Cross-Cultural Networks in High Schools

    Reproductive Health Among Sexual Minority Youth

    A Study of Positive Youth Development Among High School Students

    Press release about funded studies.


    The following projects were funded in 2010:

    Supporting Food and Exercise Counseling for Overweight and Obese Children

    Improving Nutrition and Exercise Competence in Obese Schoolchildren via SALUD

    Vascular Disease in Adolescent Type 1 Diabetic (DM1) Subjects

    Statutory Rape or ‘Normal’ Teen Love?

    Motivating Youth Through the Humanities

  • Grant Resources

    The following are resources to help identify grant funding for researchers.  This list is not exhaustive, but we hope that it proves helpful.

    The Ford Foundation

    The Ford Foundation focuses on grants that promote the reduction of poverty and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement.

    A compilation of federally funded grants from sources including:

         National Institute on Drug Abuse  (NIDA)
         National Institute on Child Health and Human Development  (NICHD)
         The National Institutes of Health Extramural Research

         National Resource Center for Youth Development        

    The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
    Provides 1-2 year grants in the range of $15,000 to $40,000 per year for humanities, natural, or social sciences research that investigates various aspects of violence and aggression. Topics must have relevance to understanding human problems.

    Institute for Education Sciences (IES)
    IES’s main priority in research funding is to ensure that the research advocates school readiness and improved academic achievement for students. In particular, research that aids those whose education is obstructed by things such as conditions associated with poverty, race/ethnicity, disability, and family circumstance. Topics span a wide range and can be found at the link above.

    The Jacobs Foundation
    Offers funding for research and intervention projects in Child and Youth Development. 

    MacArthur Foundation
    Funds a range of topics, including, but not limited to: education, community development, population, science and youth. Does not accept unsolicited submissions.

    National Institutes of Health  (NIH)
    The NIH has a very extensive list of federally funded grants that it funds, including research grants, career award grants, and program/project center grants. 

    National Institute of Justice  (NIJ)
    Provides solicited grants in physical and social sciences research, developmental and evaluation projects about criminal justice. 

    The National Science Foundation  (NSF)
    Funds roughly 11,000 grants a year in engineering and the sciences, including education and human resources, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. 

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    Issues grants to projects that improve health and healthcare in the US. Topics include childhood obesity, vulnerable populations, and public health. They fund through both CFPs and unsolicited proposals.

    Spencer Foundation
    The Spencer Foundation provides funding for the improvement of education, with specific focus on: The relation between education and social opportunity; Organizational learning in schools, school systems, and higher education institutions; Teaching, learning, and instructional resources; and, purposes and values of education. Additionally, the Spencer Foundation also allows for field-initiated proposals outside these areas.

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    SAMHSA offers grants in mental health and substance abuse.

    Target Store
    Offers grants in education, including early childhood reading and the arts.

    US Department of Education  (ED)
    Funds education related grants through federal funding.

    William T. Grant Foundation (WTGF)
    Current topics include:
    1) Youth settings: how they work, how they affect youth development, and how they can be improved, and
    2) When, how, and under what conditions research evidence is used in policy and practice that affect youth, and how its use can be improved.

    Websites listing agencies that provide funding:

    The Foundation Center

    Fundsnet Services

        By state
        By topic:

        Children, Youth and Family

        Education and Literacy

    Violence Prevention Works, through the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program:

    Grants with deadlines

    Grants without deadlines