Our Research Lab

Our Trauma and Grief Research Lab focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of adaptive and maladaptive responses to both trauma and loss in youth. Several of our research studies include:

  • A recent study finds sudden death of a loved one (e.g. parents, grandparents, close friend or relatives) is a common traumatic event experienced by teenagers and can have a profound negative impact on their academic performance and functioning. 

  • An NIMH-funded longitudinal study of parentally bereaved youth, called the CIRCLE (Coping In Response to Childhood Loss Experiences) Project that examines biological, psychological, and environmental risk and protective factors associated with adaptive and maladaptive grief reactions.
  • A multi-site study (funded by the New York Life Foundation) focusing on developing, field-testing, and validating new measures of posttraumatic stress (UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-5; Pynoos & Steinberg, 2014) and grief (Multidimensional Grief Reactions Scale; Layne, Kaplow, & Pynoos, 2011) for use with diverse populations including traumatized and bereaved youth in Houston, San Antonio, and College Station, Texas and Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • A study evaluating the effectiveness of our intervention, Trauma and Grief Component Therapy (Saltzman, Layne, Pynoos, Olafson, Kaplow, & Boat, in press), with youth who have experienced trauma and loss.
  • A multi-site study (with UCLA, University of Texas, and University of Michigan) examining the effectiveness of our assessment proficiency training with psychology, psychiatry, and social work trainees.