The Pediatric Health and Development Lab in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University is directed by Cecelia Valrie, Ph.D., and includes graduate and undergraduate students. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of youth and young adults at high risk for poor health outcomes, with a focus on youth with sickle cell disease (SCD), Black youth, and youth living in low resource environments.  We strive to understand the unique risk and protective factors and processes that lead to health outcomes for these youth, and then to partner with various stakeholders (e.g., health care providers, community leaders and groups, public health agencies, and youth and their families) to disseminate and implement interventions to improve the lives of these youth. Our work is grounded in health psychology and developmental theories, and uses a mix of methodologies, including survey, interviews, and mobile health (mhealth) technology (e.g., ecological momentary assessments and sleep actigraphy) that allows for time-sensitive assessments in the environments youth live in. It also spans the range of bio-behavioral research (e.g., focused on individual factors and processes) to community-engaged research (e.g., informed by, in partnership with, or lead by community members).   

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