UAB Youth Development Lab

“#Lab4Life!”

The Youth Development Lab at UAB, under the development of Dr. Sylvie Mrug, is interested in a variety of risk factors that can negatively affect development in adolescence.  Their 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, students in the lab 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 kept the lab running like a well oiled machine until it was his own turn to transition out of the lab.  

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.  Others have pursued alternate career paths using the critical thinking and scientific literacy skills learned from studying psychology. You can learn more about individual students here. Since leaving UAB, I still stay up to date with the Youth Development Lab’s current research projects, and I stay in touch with all of my former “labbies”. After all, #Lab4Life!

Selected Youth Development Lab Research:

(Undergraduate and/or Graduate Student Mentees are italicized)

Henry, M. A. & Mrug, S. (April, 2018). “Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Disorder Bite!” Differential Effects of Sleep Duration and Consistency in African American Adolescents. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Minneapolis, MN.

Tindell, C., Henry, M. A., McDonald, K., & Mrug, S. (2017, May). Individual and Family Predictors of Disrespect Sensitivity in Urban Adolescents. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.

Burgess, B. E., Henry, M., & Mrug, S. (2017, April). Parental Monitoring, Religious Commitment, and Adolescent Substance Use. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.

Hakim, S., Henry, M. A., & Mrug, S. (2016, April). Aggression Types as Predictors for Adolescent Substance Use. Poster presented at the OST Undergraduate Research Competition, Birmingham AL.

Henry, M. A. and Mrug. S. (2016, March.). Sleep Problems and Problem Behavior in Adolescence: Complex Relationships. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.

Hirsch, V.C., Henry, M. A., Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2016, March). Bidirectional Relationship Between Parental Nurturance and Child Empathy—Differences Between Parent and Child Reports. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD.

N’tcha, S., Okoro, G. C., Willis, A. S., Henry, M. A., & Mrug, S. (2015, May). Religiosity and Substance Use among Urban Youth: Attendance and Meaning as Distinctive Predictors. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY.

Henry, M. A. and Mrug, S. (2015, March). Puberty Moderates Effects of the Parent-Adolescent Relationship on Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.

Thai, C., Henry, M. A., & Mrug, S. (2014, April). Does Parenting Prevent Hopelessness in Low Income Youth? Poster presented at the OST Undergraduate Research Competition, Birmingham, AL.

Hirsch, V., Henry, M. A., Mrug, S., & Windle, M. (2014, April). Bullying, Academic Performance, and High School Dropout in Adolescence. Poster presented at the OST Undergraduate Research Competition, Birmingham, AL.

Thompson, C., Henry, M. A., & Mrug, S (2014, March). Pubertal Timing and Tempo: Associations with Friends’ Behavior in Early and Middle Adolescence. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence, Austin, TX.

Adams, J., Henry, M. A., & Mrug. S. (2014, March). Peer Victimization and Support of Sexual Minority Children from Preadolescence to Early Adolescence. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Adolescence, Austin, TX.

Henry, M. A. & Mrug, S. (2013, August). Puberty Moderates Effects of the Parent-Child Relationship on Adolescent Delinquency. Symposium presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.

Henry, M. A. & Mrug, S. (2013, May). Puberty Moderates Effects of the Parent-Child Relationship on Adolescents’ Internalizing Symptoms. Poster presented at the meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C

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