Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences

Positive Youth Development Lab

National Research Projects (State/ Local) 

Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Grant-Peer Support Implementation
mental health
Partnership with Lubbock Police Department and TTU Department of Psychology with Dr. Megan Thoen and Dr. Brandy Pina-Watson to focus on improving the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement. Funded by U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services' (COPS Office). Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program.

Resilience and Juvenile Justice in Lubbock Youth and Families
Partnership with the Office of Dispute Resolution for Lubbock
County (ODR) to evaluate, develop, implement, and advance resilience strategies and prevention/intervention efforts to support the wellbeing and resilience of youth and families in Lubbock.

Between Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System: Understanding the Challenges of Multi-Systems Youth & Caregivers
Partnership with The Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department aiming to explore the challenges and opportunities of current or former foster youth and young adults involved with the juvenile justice system that might enhance or inhibit resiliency and positive development, supported by a qualitative methodological approach.

Animation Duo - PYD Lab Collaboration: Supporting Resilience in At-Risk Youth
Partnership with Dr. Jorgelina Orfila and Dr. Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo, aiming to support resilience and psychosocial well-being among at-risk youth using animated story-telling as an expression tool so that they can construct/de-construct their personal stories and reflect on their life experiences. Drs. Ortega and Orfila are the founders and directors of The Animation-Making Workshops aiming to scientifically validate the animation-making process as a transformational tool for positive change across different populations.


International Research Projects

Evidence-Based Practices and Engagement with Organizations: Building Research/TrainingCapacity and Knowledge touni of gothenburgstockholm uni Enhance Positive Outcomesfor Vulnerable Youth and Families

Collaboration with the University of Stockholm-Departments of Psychology, and Special Pedagogy and the University of Gothenburg-Department of Social Work supported by an international exchange grant from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education. This project will involve an interdisciplinary research collaboration, scientific training, and educational development activities focused on understanding how scientists can support and engage front line practitioners as they work to foster the positive development of vulnerable youth in Sweden and the U.S. as well as internationally (e.g., youth in child welfare systems, at-risk populations). 


International Multisystem Youth (IMY) 
This study aims to give voice to Multisystem Youth—involved in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems—across different countries and contexts to inform research, practitioners, professionals, policymakers, and the public in general about the strengths, challenges, and needs of these underserved population and the caregivers working with them. Currently, international partners include colleagues in USA, Brazil, India, and Colombia, among others. Additional collaborators are encouraged to join this effort; if interested, please contact Dr. Trejos at elizabeth.trejos@ttu.edu

Youth Exposed to Violence: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Emotional and uniCognitive Indicators, and Neuropsychological / uniFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Evidence

Partnership with Universidad de Antioquia, Department of Cognitive Psychology (Medellin, Colombia) and Universidad CES, Department of Psychology (Medellin, Colombia) to examine the neuropsychological, emotional, and cognitive effects on children and adolescents exposed to violence.

Juvenile Justice: Prevention, Policies and Practices 
Partnership with State University of Ponta Grossa (UEPG, Paraná, Brazil) and the Estado, Políticas Públicas e Práticas Sociais Research Team directed by Dr. Silmara Carneiro e Silva to examine vulnerable youth and young adults' involvement with foster care and justice systems in Brazil and USA.

Health Disparities in Sexual Minority and Transgender Youth and Adults

Partnership with Dr. Dedsy Yajaira Berbesi Fernández, Dean of School of Nursing at Universidad CES (Medellin, Colombia) to examine health disparities and adverse outcomes (e.g., HIV, Hepatitis C, substance use, mental health, reproductive health, behavioral health) among sexual minority and transgender Colombian and immigrant youth and adults.

Positive Youth Development in A Cross-National Perspective

Partnership with Dr. Nora Wiium (PI), University of Bergen, Norway to examine the uniextent to which developmental assets are available and accessible to the youth and emerging adults in different national contexts, and how these assets in turn relate to thriving and positive outcomes and subsequently, to young people's contribution to the development of self and the society they are part of. This cross-national project was initiated in 2014 and currently involves partner researchers from over 20 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the US and Latin America, and represents expertise in a diverse range of scientific fields, such as health psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, cross-cultural psychology, public health, environmental science, sociology, health promotion, speech-language pathology, and family studies.