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Group photo of lab members from 2018 [View Image]

The EMPOWER (Examining and Motivating Positive DevelOpment and Well-Being among Ethnic-Racial) Youth Lab in the Department of Psychology at VCU is directed by Chelsea Derlan, Ph.D., and includes doctoral students and undergraduate students dedicated to understanding positive development and well-being in terms of health, psychological and academic outcomes. The lab focuses on the role of race-related risk experiences (e.g., discrimination, colorism) and cultural resilience and strengths (e.g., ethnic-racial identity/identification, ethnic-racial socialization and cultural values) with a particular emphasis on family contexts. The primary focus is on Black and Latinx youth development across the periods of early childhood through emerging adulthood. Our aim is to conduct meaningful, collaborative, community-engaged research that promotes positive development among youth and families.

If you are interested in learning more about the EMPOWER Youth Lab, please email Dr. Derlan at

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