Healthy Youth Development Research

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Our long-standing research tradition is hallmarked by an interweaving of research and the translation of research to improve the health and well-being of young people. Led by Resnick, Sieving, and colleagues, the PRC research team has engaged in some of the most significant adolescent research efforts – nationally and in Minnesota. These include: The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS), and the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health).

In fact, Resnick had lead responsibility for crafting the initial published research paper from the Add Health study. That landmark research was released by JAMA in 1997 with Resnick as lead author. This seminal article has been cited more than nearly any other publication in the field of adolescent health and led to widespread prominence of the influence of connectedness on adolescent health, resilience, and well-being.

In recent years, University of Minnesota PRC investigators have partnered with youth-serving organizations in the Twin Cities and elsewhere to develop and test innovative programs and services for various groups of young people.

Renee Sieving, PhD, RN, FAAN, FSAHM

Renee Sieving, PhD, RN, FAAN, FSAHM

Professor, Schools of Nursing and Medicine
Director, Healthy Youth Development • Prevention Research Center

sievi001@umn.edu
Sieving Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Youth health promotion
  • Prevention of health risk behaviors (sexual risks, violence involvement, school drop-out) among adolescents

Read full bio

Annie-Laurie McRee, PrPH

Annie-Laurie McRee, PrPH

Assistant Professor, School of Medicine
Deputy Director, Healthy Youth Development • Prevention Research Center

almcree@umn.edu

Research interests:

  • HPV vaccination
  • Parental influences on adolescent health
  • Adolescent health care utilization
  • Parent-child communication
  • Adolescent sexual behaviors

Barbara McMorris, PhD

Barbara McMorris, PhD

Associate Professor, Schools of Nursing and Medicine
Core Research Project Principal Investigator

mcmo0023@umn.edu
McMorris Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescence
  • Promotion of health among vulnerable populations
  • Program evaluation, research methods, and statistical modeling

Amy Gower, PhD

Amy Gower, PhD

Research Associate, Medical School

gowe0009@umn.edu
Gower Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Multi-level research
  • Health issues of LGBT adolescent population
  • Environmental and social contexts of adolescent health

Michael Harwell, PhD

Michael Harwell, PhD

Professor, Educational Psychology, College of Education & Human Development

harwe001@umn.edu
Harwell Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Development of meta-analytic effect sizes and tests
  • Roles and impact of conceptual and empirical models for socioeconomic status (SES)
  • Nonparametric estimators and tests for complex statistical models 

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Cathy Jordan, PhD

Cathy Jordan, PhD

jorda003@umn.edu

Research interests:

  • Community-based participatory research
  • Community-engaged scholarship
  • Nature-based education
  • Developmental impact of outdoor experiences on youth

Michael Resnick, PhD, FSAHM

Michael Resnick, PhD, FSAHM

Professor, Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health
Gisela and E. Paul Konopka Chair in Adolescent Health and Development
Director, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Fellowship Program

resni001@umn.edu 
Resnick Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Adolescent health and risk behaviors
  • Resiliency and protective factors in young people
  • Youth sexual behaviors and violence prevention

Rebecca Shlafer, PhD

Rebecca Shlafer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medical School

shlaf002@umn.edu
Shlafer Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Developmental outcomes of children and families with multiple risk factors 
  • Programs and policies impacting children and families affected by incarceration