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Current Research Projects

By Youth, For Youth: Digital Supported Peer Navigation for Addressing Child Mental Health Inequities

Clinical trial of navigation app to support youth mental health through school-based mental health services and navigation support of youth peer mental health ambassadors.

Role: Co-Investigator; Sponsor: NIMH

GAIN: Gamified Incentives Treatment Justice-Involved Homeless Adults with Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder

Pilot for app-based contingency management treatment intervention for methamphetamine addicted clients with housing instability and criminal justice involvement. Project will include refinement of the SPROKIT app and assessment of implementation of treatment.

Role: Director of Evaluation; Sponsor: Private Donor

Cognitive Diversity in Californian Juvenile Offenders: Impact of Language-Based Learning Disorders on Life Trajectories 

The  Cognitive Diversity in Californian Juvenile Offenders  study  will  collect data on the prevalence of language-based learning disorders (LLDs) among youth offenders in California.  Multiple research approaches include a review of administrative policy data paired with comprehensive neurological testing from a small pilot sample of justice-involved youth;  semi-structured qualitative interviews will gather personal accounts of life experiences affected by LLD. Results from this study will  inform intervention development and support policymakers in developing solutions to increase literacy in justice-involved youth populations. This study is part of a larger research program designed to improve understanding of the cognitive, academic, and social consequences of LLD that will help reduce stigma and improve life trajectories of this specific vulnerable population.

Role: Co-PI; Sponsor: Schwab Innovation Funds

Completed Projects

“Kids FACE FEARS: Kids Face-to-Face and Computer-Enhanced Formats Effectiveness Study for Anxiety and Related Symptoms”

Responsible for the qualitative component of the study, interviewing clinical providers to assess organizational capacity for implementation for evidence-based treatment, and interviewing patients and parents to assess barriers and facilitators of treatment using face-to-face and web-based modalities.

Role: Co-Investigator; Sponsor: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

“Evaluation of Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative’s (TLPI’s) Inquiry-Based Process”

The evaluation assesses cultural and climate change in five schools that implement the TLPI’s inquiry-based process for becoming trauma-informed, and further, how becoming trauma-informed influences practices with students. Analyses are conducted on deidentified qualitative data collected in the third year of implementation.

Role: Co-PI; Sponsor: Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative

“Hingham Middle School Special Education Evaluation”

Assessment of services provided to students through primary data collection and review of existing records. Specific areas of investigation include resource allocation, the role of para-educators, current collaboration between general and special education teachers, and review of Specialized Programs.

Role: Principal Investigator; Sponsor: Hingham Public School System

“Evaluation of School-Based Trauma-Informed Sports Intervention”

The evaluation investigates educational supports and barriers for a vulnerable population of students who have experienced adversity and maltreatment, and who are receiving treatment in a sports-based group therapy program that uses a strength-based approach to clinical care. Primary aims are to investigate (1) the impact of the therapeutic process on reduction of symptoms, socio-emotional learning, and academic outcomes; and (2) program satisfaction for students and their parents.

Role: Principal Investigator; Sponsor: The Sudbury Foundation

“Curriculum for Transition Aged Youth Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder”

Provided videography, website development, and content contribution to curriculum developed in collaboration with faculty at Boston Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for medical student and resident training. Collaborated with faculty on curriculum dissemination.

Sponsor: Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (subcontract from BMC Dept. of Psychiatry)

“Co-morbid Physical and Mental Health Care Needs for Children and Youth at Risk for Obesity”

This secondary data analysis of the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) investigates prevalence of co-morbid chronic physical and mental health care needs that put youth at risk for overweight and obesity, and for poor academic performance in school, as mediated by physical activity and moderated by child, family, and neighborhood characteristics.

Role: Principal Investigator; Sponsor: Bureau of Maternal and Child Health  R40MC26825-01-01

“Evaluation of the Open Circle Implementation in the Boston Public Schools”    

This mixed-methods evaluation of the Open Circle curriculum is designed to document change in students’ socio-emotional learning and improved school climate related to the roll out of the program across the district.

Role: Principal Investigator; Sponsor: NoVo Foundation

“Gender, Social Learning and Adversity: Factors in Adolescent Development of Substance Use Disorders”

Using chart reviews, in-depth qualitative interviews, and brief clinical measures with adolescents in a 30-day detox and stabilization unit, this study examines differential trajectories and narratives leading to substance abuse for girls vs. boys, and for specific types of substances.

Role: Co-Principal Investigator; Sponsor: The McManus Foundation

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