Ethnic Youth Risk & Resilience Lab

The Ethnic Youth Risk & Resilience Lab

Alvin Thomas, Ph.D.

The Ethnic Youth Risk & Resilience Lab fits research interests that fall within the Child Emphasis and Community Mental Health. The goal of the Lab is to create research that informs our understanding of how multiple factors assail and contribute to positive outcomes among youth, but especially those exposed to greater risk. The Ethnic Youth Risk & Resilience Lab also explores father-child relationships as an under examined resource in the lives of families and youth.  We are interested in the development of research skills and expanding research interests, thus we encourage students to seek avenues to share their work and develop professional relationships beyond the university context.

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Current areas of research activity:

  • Positive Youth Development:  Youth development can easily go awry, however, there are many areas from which resources and assets can emerge to help increase the possibility of positive yout development.  Our lab explores several of these to determin pathways of influence for encouraging positive youth development for youth most at-risk for negative trajectories.  We are interested in outcomes including violence, suicide related behaviors, trauma, and academic outcomes.
  • Parenting Skills:  We explore parenting practices in relation to child outcomes, often investigating how these practices may differ based on cultural and ethnic factors.  We are also one of few labs exploring the role of fathers, especially nonresident fathers, and their impact on youth outcomes and family functioning.
  • Social Media Effects:  Our soical media work investigates cultural differences in social media use and effects on specific ethnic and demographic characteristics.  We think of social media as a resource that could aid in encouraging positive youth development, but one that could be harmful if not used carefully.
  • Father Involvement in Therapy:  We are interested in examining multiple facots that are related to fathers' decision to be included in the treatment of their children in clinical settings.  Clinician preparedness to engage fathers in therapy has a major influence on fathers' involvement, thus we are also interested in the training that clinicians receive to meet this challenge.

Desired skills:

  1. A commitment to exploring issues and research related to serving under-represented and underserved populations. 

  2. Data analysis and data management skills .

  3. A demonstration of great writing skills. 

  4. Ability to work independently (but a good team player) and good time management. 

  5. A strong desire to publish work in professional journals and to attend conferences. 

Lab members have opportunities for building research skills such as study design, literature reviews, subject recruitment, data entry, data management and analysis, professional presentations, and the possibility of manuscript reviewing, construction, and submission. All students are encouraged to conduct their own research projects and possibly collaborate on others. Students are strongly encouraged to compete for student awards and seek opportunities to serve in local, regional or national psychological associations.

Apply: Please submit the following to Dr. Alvin Thomas via email at Applicants, please use: Lab Application 2018 as the subject line to bypass spam.

  1. Curriculum Vitae 

  2. Unofficial transcript 

  3. Research interest statement or cover letter (no more than 2 pages) discussing research interests 
and your individual potential contribution to the lab

  4. Brief interview required 

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