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Adolescent Health Research

Faculty and students at the Center for Adolescent Health are committed to exploring and evaluating new and better ways to promote the health and wellbeing of young people in Baltimore and beyond.  

 Our research priorities are shaped by our community partners and youth advisors. 

Get Involved

Are you a graduate student interested in launching or working on a research project with our faculty? Find opportunities here. 

Explore Our Research

We invite you to learn about our latest research projects and reach out to our investigators to get involved or tap their expertise.  

Process Evaluation of Grads2Careers (Baltimore's Promise)

Baltimore’s Promise Career Pathways Demonstration Model (Grads2Careers) is a new program that aims to connect recent high school graduates to careers by providing career readiness training, occupational training, and wraparound supports. Through this demonstration model, the project is expecting to not only reduce the proportion of youth who are disconnected, but also to improve the high unemployment rate among Baltimore youth and increase wages for those who have graduated in Baltimore City. At a systemic level, Grads2Careers seeks to establish a pathway for high school graduates to well-paying jobs in high-growth employment sectors in Baltimore City and the nearby region. To understand how Grads2Careers is implemented across different occupational sites, researchers from the Center for Adolescent are conducting a three-year, mixed methods process evaluation to measure feasibility, acceptability, fidelity, systems change and institutional alignment, as well as overall sustainability and scalability.

Center researchers: Kristin Mmari:, Beth Marshall:

Better Together

Better Together is a multiphase research project designed to prevent injury and early substance use among Black youth affected by parental drug abuse. We are partnering with youth affected by parental drug abuse and community organizations to develop and test an intervention to improve health outcomes for youth ages 10-13 who are affected by parental drug abuse. Learn more on their website

Center Contact: Terri Powell:


Thrivology is a collaboration between the CAH and Healthy Team Network establishing a Research-to-Practice Center to equip youth-supporting professionals with the information, skills, and products needed to implement trauma-informed and inclusive sexual and reproductive health care and programming.

Center researchers: Beth Marshall:, Terri Powell:, Annie Smith:

Or click here for more info.

Project POWER

This 5-year randomized controlled trial assesses the impact of a trauma-informed coping skills program (RAP Club) as compared with a health education program (Healthy Topics) on the emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning of 8th graders in Baltimore City Public Schools. Quantitative and qualitative data are being gathered from students, teachers, and academic records at multiple points across 8th grade, with follow up data collected in 9th grade. Programs are delivered by trained clinicians and other staff members and are co-facilitated by young adult community members; school personnel are trained to deliver programming so that schools can continue to implement the programs following the study. The programming targets 8th graders in order to promote a positive transition into high school.

Center Contact: Tamar Mendelson:; Kristin Mmari:

Effects of Mindfulness on Stress Physiology in High School Students

This study will evaluate the impact of a 40-session mindfulness program on heart rate variability, an index of stress response, in ninth grade students in Baltimore City Public Schools. Mindfulness interventions hold promise for enhancing the body’s capacity to respond effectively to stress and may be particularly helpful for promoting stress management in chronically-stressed populations, such as youth in low-income urban communities. We currently lack adequate data on how mindfulness impacts key aspects of physiological stress responses in youth. Study findings will provide valuable information about the effects of mindfulness on youth physiology and which youth may benefit most from mindfulness practices. Findings have potential to help improve the way mindfulness interventions are delivered and which youth are targeted so as to produce maximum benefits.

Center Contact: Tamar Mendelson:

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