Past Core Research Projects

In the past we've investigated:

  • Improving adolescent sexual health outcomes through a clinic-linked intervention (Prime Time),
  • Increasing school connectedness and student engagement through a school-based, service-learning project (Lead Peace) and,
  • Enhancing positive development, healthy sexual decision-making and behaviors among young Latino teens through a teen-parent program co-developed and implemented with partners from the Latino community (¡Encuentro!), and
  • Most recently, investigating the effectiveness of an evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) program aimed at broadening teachers' capacity to incorporate strategies for connecting with and engaging their students in learning (PHSO).


Partnering for Healthy Student Outcomes (PHSO) 2014-2019

The Partnering for Healthy Student Outcomes (PHSO) program investigated the effectiveness of an evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) program for young adults aimed at improving health and academic outcomes while reducing the achievement gap. This program also implemented an augmentation to the SEL program --an innovative teacher professional development (PD) model aimed at broadening teachers’ capacity to incorporate key aspects of healthy youth development into strategies for connecting with and engaging their students in learning.  



¡Encuentro! 2009-2014

¡Encuentro! is a healthy youth development project, created as a partnership between Minnesota's Healthy Youth Development - Prevention Research Center (HYD - PRC) and organizations that support Latino youth and their families.  

The primary goal of ¡Encuentro! is to develop and evaluate a program to build Latino adolescents' life skills and connections with caring adults and support them in adopting healthy behaviors. 

In the Fall of 2009, the HYD - PRC began a new grant year – and a new partnership with youth-serving organizations that support Latino youth and their families. The project name (¡Encuentro!) reflected this collaborative process. The project goal was to reduce health and social disparities among Latino youth, the ¡Encuentro! program enhanced healthy sexual decision-making among young Latino teens through culturally relevant teen-parent activities designed to increase pro-social supports and healthy behaviors.  To accomplish this, a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Latino Community was formed. 

¡Encuentro! used programming developed based on findings from formative research among parents, youth, and Latino-youth-serving professionals.  This 16-week programs was aimed at reaching youth 11-14 years old and their parents/caregivers. Topics such as cultural identity and cultural pride, positive family connectedness and teen-parent communication, puberty and sexuality education, and youth life skills were discussed. 

Please explore below for more information on ¡Encuentro!

"¡Encuentro! outcomes study" manuscript


Lead Peace

Lead Peace 2005-2009

Lead Peace, a youth service learning program involves a partnership between the Minneapolis Public Schools, Hennepin County's Department of Research, Planning, and Development, the HYD - PRC, and the School of Nursing.  Lead Peace aims to prevent violence and promote academic success among middle school students. To strengthen internal assets and external supports that buffer youth from violence and school failure, this program emphasizes opportunities for students to practice social and emotional skills; build caring relationships with peers and adults; and gain real-world experience in school and community leadership. 

Prime Time

Prime Time 2001-2005

Prime Time is a youth development intervention emphasizing the strengths that protect youth from risky behaviors, such as pregnancy or early drop out, while educating and empowering them with social and emotional skills for healthy living. This scientifically-based, cost-effective youth development program for at-risk teens incorporates counseling along with leadership opportunities for youth as peer health educators. Prime Time engages teens in monthly one-on-one meetings with case managers for 18 months, supplemented by weekly involvement as leaders in a peer health educator group for four months. 

Please explore below for more information on Prime Time.

Prime Time Website