We are data-driven

Rigorous scientific research that honors the cultures of the communities where we work guides our decision-making

our research is the foundation of our impact

Data with a heart, research with a purpose

We are a data-driven organization. Our social science research not only forms the basis of our interventions but also refines how we disseminate and scale up interventions.

Our research goals

The goal of our research is to: develop interventions that can help youth actualize their life outcomes, identify which interventions work and why, and develop and test novel and accessible approaches to dissemination and scaling in order to maximize our impact.

Because we do research for impact, our research is currently focused on identifying the challenges that youths face and developing solutions for these challenges.

  • We believe in open science: all our data and study protocols are made publicly available
  • We believe in multi-cultural collaboration that amplifies the communities that we serve
  • We believe that social science research can not only shape our future but also make us better people
Learn more?
Read Our Science

Some of our current research projects

Long-term health outcomes of character strength interventions

  • A growing body of recent evidence suggest that simple and brief character strength interventions can improve health, developmental, and education outcomes in youths
  • Our team has shown that these interventions improve mental health, well-being, and academic grades among kenyan youths
  • Now we are testing whether these brief character strength interventions decrease the long-term risk of adverse health and academic outcomes

This will be the first study to test the effects of character strength interventions on such a rich range of health outcomes over  an extended period (3 years).

Digital mental health interventions

  • Brief digital interventions have been shown to improve youth mental health, but little is known about which digital interventions are most effective
  • We are evaluating the effectiveness of digital cognitive behavioral therapy and digital character strength interventions

Our findings will help us evaluate two digital single-session interventions with different theoretical foundations. If effective, such interventions could be disseminated to reduce the public health burden of common mental health problems

An arts-based approach to youth  innovation, literacy, citizenship & wellbeing

  • Because humanistic pedagogies show that decision-making in art induces self-efficacy and mobilizes internal resources to face adversity, we are testing if an arts-based after-school program (called Pre-Texts) can improve youth literacy, innovation, literacy, citizenship & wellbeing

Findings from a pilot RCT will inform future studies into efficacy and possible dissemination strategies

Improving character strengths, wellness, social functioning and academic achievement in youths

  • Building on the encouraging findings from our past research, we are undertaking a rigorous evaluation of three character strengths (growth, gratitude, and value affirmations)
  • We hope to identify the effect of each individual strength on adolescent mental health, social and academic outcomes

Findings will help inform dissemination strategies for character strength interventions