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The Montana Positive Youth Development (PYD) Lab conducts research focused on understanding how to best support the health, well-being, education, and engagement of young people. Our central research questions focus on studying early childhood predictors of youth civic engagement (e.g., volunteering, political behaviors, conservation behaviors), examining how emotions motivate civic and political beliefs and action, and elucidating the implications of civic engagement for teens’ physical and psychological health and education.

Our research team uses a variety of different research approaches (daily diary and ecological momentary assessments, longitudinal studies, observational studies) and relies heavily on community partnerships. Our cutting-edge research designs are matched with advanced statistical modeling to provide novel and credible knowledge about positive youth development.

The Montana PYD Lab values scientific transparency, accessibility, and the building of credible knowledge. We value our community and institutions of civic society. We recognize and appreciate the strengths and abilities of all youth, regardless of background and past experiences, and we celebrate the diversity of individuals, families, communities, and cultures.


Meet the Team

Selected Publications

Ongoing Research Projects