Research News Featured

NIMH Loan Repayment Grant Supports Study on Gender Minority Youth Mental Health

Associate Professor Meg Paceley has been awarded a National Institute of Mental Health/National Institute of Health Loan Repayment grant of $29,111 to study the relationship between gender minority youth’s social environments and mental health disparities.

This study utilizes data from the 2022 LGBTQ National Teen Survey to conduct regression analyses and identify risk probability profiles to explicate the complex relationships between transgender youth's family, school, and community and their disordered eating behaviors. Using this data, Paceley will develop a longitudinal mixed-method study to explore the relationships between transgender youth's disordered eating behaviors and their social environments.

“This study is particularly timely and important given the national backlash against transgender people, particularly youth,” says Paceley. “Understanding how factors in transgender youth’s communities, schools, and families impacts their wellbeing will help us identify strategies to intervene within these systems to promote positive change.”

Read more about Paceley’s research.

NIDA Grant Funds Research on Family Care Plans and Prenatal Substance Use

Associate Professor Margaret Lloyd Sieger has been awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse K01 research career development grant of $881,147. Her five-year study will examine the effect of family care plans, or safety and wellness plans for infants affected by prenatal substance use and for their mothers’ treatment and recovery.

“Connecticut is a model in implementing public health policy to support families affected by prenatal substance exposure,” says Lloyd Sieger. “The purpose of this research is to test whether the policy is having its intended effects—including improving maternal access to treatment and infant access to developmental supports—and to monitor any unintended consequences, such as adverse child experiences and race disparities. Long-term, our hope is to inform the national policy conversation with rigorous evidence on public health approaches to reducing harms associated with substance use in pregnancy.”

Read more about Lloyd Sieger's research.

Bureau of Justice Supports Study of Restorative Justice Diversion Programs

To understand best practices and challenges associated with developing and implementing restorative justice diversion (RJD), Assistant Professor Sukhmani Singh, in partnership with Impact Justice, is a sub-awardee of a Bureau of Justice Category 2 Award. Over the course of this project, Dr. Singh and team are seeking to understand the training and technical assistance experiences of what it means to deliver Restorative Justice Diversion programming. Lessons learned from this collaborative study will be translated into an innovative technical and training assistance curriculum by the Restorative Justice Project team, Impact Justice. Dr. Singh is leading the research efforts of the process evaluation.

“Restorative Justice Diversion programming — deep engagement in practices that offer healing and repair to the very human experience of committing and receiving harm — has resurged in the United States particularly as states contend with what it means to develop, implement, and maintain community-based solutions to advancing care and justice,” says Singh. “The purpose of this project is to engage in dialogue with community-based organizations and their juvenile legal system counterparts — across 10 different jurisdictions in the country — in understanding lessons learned from having received training and technical assistance in working through the praxis of restorative justice diversion programming over the last decade. Lessons learned will inform the development and process evaluation of an innovative, cohort-based training and technical assistance model to new sites interested in exploring pre-prosecution restorative justice diversion for youth.”

Read more about Singh's research.

Read about her presentation at the Connecticut Sentencing Commission Meeting.


Improving Outcomes for Infants and Children with Disabilities

With a U.S. Department of Education CDFA 84.325C grant of $191,653, Professor Cristina Mogro-Wilson will focus on improving outcomes for infants and young children with disabilities by increasing the number of early childhood personnel and faculty from racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and enhancing equity content within early childhood preparation programs.

“In order to start providing more equitable services to kids and families with disabilities that come from diverse cultural backgrounds, we need a diverse workforce to meet those needs,” says Mogro-Wilson. “One of the aims of the Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Development Equity Center is to recruit and retain graduate students and faculty in institutes of higher education that are from diverse backgrounds.”

Read more about this research in UConn Today.

Read more about Mogro-Wilson's research.