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. HYD-PRC investigators have engaged in significant adolescent research efforts – nationally and in Minnesota. We have led analyses of statewide and national youth surveys including: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), Monitoring the Future survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS). The initial research paper from the Add Health study, led by founding HYD-PRC Director Michael Resnick and published by JAMA in 1997, led to widespread recognition 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.

HYD - PRC Investigators

Rebecca Shlafer, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Medical School
[email protected]
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

Christopher Mehus, PhD, LMFT
Research Assistant Professor, Family Social Science
& Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement
Core Research Project Principal Investigator

[email protected]
Mehus Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

  • Parenting and parent-child relationships
  • Parent engagement and parenting interventions
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Behavioral healthcare in primary care

Amy Gower, PhD
Research Associate, Medical School
[email protected]
Gower Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

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

Cathy Jordan, PhD
Professor, Medical School

[email protected]
Jordan Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

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

Barbara McMorris, PhD
Associate Professor, Schools of Nursing and Medicine
[email protected]
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

Renee Sieving, PhD, RN, FAAN, FSAHM
Professor, Schools of Nursing and Medicine
[email protected]
Sieving Experts@Minnesota

Research interests:

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