Building Youth Resilience
Adolescence is a time of exploration, newfound sense of autonomy, and change. This stage of life may be stressful for some youth, particularly those with fewer resources (e.g. personal and cultural assets, ecological resources) which can induce maladaptive coping processes. This work explores the relationship between psychological well-being and academic achievement among youth populations most likely to experience ecological risk factors, and identify factors that lead to youth resilience. The following projects explore effects of schooling and neighborhood experiences on Black children and youth.

Celebrating Strengths of Black Girls: An Intersectionality Approach

Through Celebrating Strengths of Black Girls: An Intersectionality Approach, CSD is working to advance equity for women and girls of color. The primary goal of the current research focuses on building resiliency that involves identifying assets and resources that serve as protective factors.  The project explores culturally relevant interventions and mathematics curricula and the impact on the personal assets (e.g., self-esteem), cultural assets (e.g., racial identity beliefs), and school performance of Black girls.

Strengths-Based Assets of Black Adolescents

The center’s work on Strengths-Based Assets of Black adolescents explores how Black youth draw on personal and cultural resources to thrive despite challenges to their identities from institutional racism. The research considers how youths’ self-efficacy and racial group identity beliefs function to promote academic and psychosocial adjustment. A greater understanding of such processes has the potential to improve Black adolescents’ lives in a variety of tangible ways, from increases in their school grades and higher rates of higher education attainment, to enhanced psychological and socioemotional well-being.

The Criminal Brand: America’s Invisible Class

CSD is working to expand the audience of testimonies from youth and children affected by the cycle of incarceration, violence, and disenfranchisement. To that end, The Criminal Brand project has four goals:

  1. focusing greater attention to the effect mass incarceration on families, youth, and children;
  2. providing a digital interface and interdisciplinary platform to explore the effects of parental incarceration on youth;
  3. compiling a digital archive of sound based testimonials of youth, children, and adult children of incarcerated individuals; and
  4. conducting research forums to develop success strategies that empower and support youth affected by parental incarceration.