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Center for Research on Adolescent Health & Development

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The Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development integrates research, training, and advocacy in adolescent sexual health and rights with two primary goals. First, we promote better sexuality education and communication for youth and parents, with special attention to the sexual health needs and rights of foster youth and other underserved populations. Second–providing a critical foundation for the first–we work to enhance the field’s understanding, appraisal, and appropriate use of social science theory, research evidence, and rigorous scientific inquiry.


Completed Projects

Sexual Education Initiative Formative and Randomized Evaluation

The Center, in collaboration with the University of Southern California Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, continues to work on the formative, developmental, and randomized evaluation of the Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles Sexuality Education Initiative Demonstration Project.

Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project

This grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation provides support for the Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project to enhance the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in California and the United States through policy-oriented research, research critique, and policy advocacy.

No Time for Complacency

No Time For Complacency is a research and policy advocacy initiative to educate California policy makers and opinion leaders about teen pregnancy prevention and other adolescent sexual health outcomes and policies and to provide strategic research-based advocacy materials to local and state level advocates for adolescent sexual health policy. Funding is provided by The California Wellness Foundation.

Sexuality, Health and Rights Among Youth in the United States: Transforming Public Policy and Public Understanding Through Social Science Research

This project provides research, graduate training and strategic communications to promote (1) a more scientific view of evidence and its use among researchers, policy shapers and curriculum developers; (2) a reconceptualization of sexuality education within a holistic sexual health and rights framework; and (3) further analysis, development and dissemination of existing and new models of sexuality education. Funding is provided by the Ford Foundation.



Breast Feeding to Reduce Breast Cancer: Investigating multi-level barriers and facilitators with diverse young

This study will look at the barriers to and motivators of breastfeeding that young mothers encounter during their child’s first year.  The researchers hypothesize that there are multiple, intersecting factors that influence breastfeeding by adolescent mothers, in the families, romantic relationships, peer groups, schools, communities, and institutions that they belong to or are influenced by.  Specific Aims: 1) To identify and describe the structural and social factors that influence breastfeeding among low-income young mothers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties; 2) To design an intervention based on findings from Aim 1 that will be piloted in a subsequent study; 3) To strengthen and sustain an equitable, productive partnership between CAHC, BB, and the communities they represent.

Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project

The Adolescent Sexual Health Policy Project works to enhance the social science theory, research evidence and rigorous scientific inquiry in the field of sexuality education and communication for youth and parents.  This project focuses on critical appraisal of research and research use; reconceptualization of sexuality education into a developmental and holistic sexual health and rights framework; and analysis and testing of sexuality education approaches, concepts, and content. 

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