The Youth Development Lab at UAB, under the development of Dr. Sylvie Mrug (gamely holding the poster and escaping with us, above), is interested in a variety of risk factors that can negatively affect development in adolescence. Our primary funding comes from two long-term longitudinal studies–the Birmingham Youth Violence Study (BYVS) and the Coping with Violence (CVV) Study–that look at violence exposure in at-risk families in the Birmingham area. However, our students are able to explore a wide variety of research topics according to their interests, from sleep to spiritual coping, sexual minority status to substance use. As the lab manager from 2013-2016, it was my job to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the lab and our data collections ran smoothly for both our research assistants and the families we work with. I also had the privilege of helping our students develop their independent research skills, guiding them as they begin to pursue their own research projects. I then had the bittersweet pleasure of handing over the reins to my mentee and good friend, Jonathan Adams, who continues to ably keep the lab running like a well oiled machine. Since graduating with my Ph.D., I maintain a presence in the lab and its current research projects. After all, #Lab4Life!
To date, several of my mentees from the Youth Development Lab have had success presenting and discussing their research at local, regional, and national conferences. Some of them chosen to continue pursuing psychological research at the graduate level since their graduation. You can learn more about individual students here.