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Completed Research Projects

Recruitment and Kin Connections Project

Unfortunately, when youth enter the child welfare system, it is common for them to lose contact with their relatives. The Recruitment and Kin Connections Project hired a team of highly experienced child welfare professionals and trained them in the state-of-the-art methods for how to locate family members, and how to engage these family members to play vital roles in youths’ development while in the child welfare system (e.g., as a foster parent, mentor, support). Our lab is conducting an evaluation of the the project. For the evaluation, we are comparing an intervention group (n=250) and a control group (n=250) across outcomes that include placement permanency, mental health, strengths, attachment, and self-esteem. To achieve these evaluation goals, we conduct home visits across three time points and conduct intensive file reviews.

Psychiatric Hospital Outcome Study

In 2010, we completed a longitudinal study of 800 youth during their stays in psychiatric hospitals. By measuring their psychiatric acuity on a daily basis, we have been able to study youths’ patterns of recovery in treatment and the ways in which these patterns vary across hospital units. Our published work indicates that outcomes can be statistically modeled and that hospitals vary in effectiveness across children’s intake presenting problems (Leon, Dunleavy, Lyons et al., 2013). Using a Group-Based Trajectory Model, we recently identified seven unique patterns of recovery among the sample of children (Leon, Miller, Dunleavy, 2014).

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