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Penn State project to help at-risk youth conquer chronic stress

Associate Professor of Psychology Martha Wadsworth and the Coping and Regulation of Environmental Stress (CaRES) Lab have received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to implement an intervention program that fosters positive youth development through a combination of coping skills and positive identity development.

Stress can cause numerous physical and mental health problems, but for children, stress from problems such as discrimination or poverty are especially harmful because children have little control over these problems. Fortunately, a Penn State intervention program is being expanded for youth facing chronic stress.

Building a Strong Identity and Coping Skills (BaSICS) is a program developed by the Penn State CaRES Lab designed to teach low-income and minority preadolescent youth healthy ways of coping with stress and divert them from negative outcomes.

Martha Wadsworth, director of the CaRES Lab and associate professor of psychology, and her research team were recently awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to expand and evaluate the effectiveness of the BaSICS program. If the team is successful in achieving its goals in the first two years of the project, it will receive an additional $1.7 million from NIMH for the second phase.

More information about Professor Wadsworth and the NIMH grant can be found through Penn State News.

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