Research

Our faculty, staff, and students are involved in several research projects.  Be sure to visit the tabs to the left for specifics on each project and selected publications.

Most of our research falls within the following three areas:

Prevention interventions

Our prevention intervention research is aimed at developing, implementing and evaluating culturally congruent prevention interventions. Several of our ongoing projects fit within this category. Our prevention interventions primarily target ethnic minority youth, young adults, and older adults who may be a risk for substance use, HIV, teen pregnancy, violence, academic failure, or other poor psychosocial and health outcomes. Our approach is to address risk factors while enhancing protective factors that enable youth (and adults) to achieve optimal well-being within their environment.

Family, culture and context in promoting positive youth outcomes

This research examines the role of the family and the community in promoting youth outcomes (making positive choices regarding drugs, violence, sex, academic achievement, health screenings, etc.). This research also considers cultural values to be protective and examines the ways in which cultural variables such as ethnic and racial identity, racial socialization, and spirituality promote positive youth development.

Female and gender issues

This research considers core values such as relational orientation, gender roles, and other female attributes when conducting research and when implementing interventions for girls and women. An example of this research is our study on ways in which gender role beliefs are linked to sexual health. Another example is our cultural curriculum for African American girls. Other research focuses on African American males. An example of this research is our cultural curriculum for African American males.

"Colored Girl" by Austin Miles (VCU Class of '16, Communication Arts)