Evaluation Research, Resilience Research, and Transdisciplinary Team Science

Project Theme(s): Vulnerable Populations & Communities; Mental Health & Substance Abuse; Prevention & Health Promotion; Trauma; Community-Engaged Research & Evaluation; Training, Consultation, and Capacity Building; Systems Change; Trauma

Faculty Collaborators: Cindy A. Crusto, PhD, Evaluation Consultant; Joy S. Kaufman, PhD, Former Evaluation Consultant

Area Description: Primary scholarly interests include community-based research to promote resilience and/or prevent adolescent substance use, the integration of cultural approaches into practice, research, and policy, the evaluation of service systems, and examining the processes and impact of transdisciplinary team science. This research is collaborative and often carried out in partnership with community-based organizations, state and municipal agencies, colleagues, and other community stakeholders. This work is conceptualized from a social justice perspective, examines multiple levels (such as the individual, the family, peers, the school, the neighborhood or community, and the broader culture), and takes place in various community contexts that involve mostly at risk, traumatized, or clinical populations. Examples of some of these population groups are: bereaved young adults; "sandwiched generation" women caregivers; children of mothers with serious mental illness; maltreated children or children in foster care; urban, low-income adolescents; and persons in recovery from mental illness or addiction. Some of the research involves randomized controlled trials and some involves evaluations of programs or services carried out by public agencies or community-based organizations. In the evaluation research, the operations and effectiveness of programs and services designed for vulnerable populations is examined. To the extent possible, the research is intended to inform professional practice, the design of new programs, the transformation of settings and communities, or the development of data-driven and effective policy. Other research interests include philosophy of science, community research methodology, and program evaluation. In this work, we have proposed principles for conducting research in community settings, developed innovative approaches to assess community-based phenomena, helped define the emerging field of community science, and examined the characteristics of transdisciplinary research, including transdisciplinary team science.

The Rhode Island Data Analytic Center is a public-academic partnership between the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and Yale University that includes monitoring of services for children, adolescents, and families; examining processes and outcomes of services; using data to inform best practices, service enhancement, and policy development; and conducting field research and administrative studies to answer questions that can lead to improvements in the lives of children and families. Aspects of this work includes identifying risk and protective factors for resilience and substance use, and examining the effectiveness of community-based interventions.

The Porch Light Evaluation/Philadelphia Community Health Project is a comprehensive, multi-level, evaluation of the impact of public murals on distressed neighborhoods and on the individuals who create them. The project is a collaborative endeavor of leadership and staff from two city of Philadelphia departments (Mural Arts Program and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services [DBHIDS]), artists, behavioral health consumers, service providers, family members, neighborhood residents, and community-based researchers from Yale University. The project embeds community-based participatory research within a comparative outcome trials across agencies and neighborhoods in Philadelphia. More information about the project can be found emptyhere:

The Team Science Consortium Evaluation is a comprehensive mixed methods evaluation of the Interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Stress, Self-Control, and Addiction (IRCSSA) that includes an assessment of interdisciplinary team science among a consortium of over 50 scientists from almost 20 disciplines.


Meet the Team

Emily Cook
Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale (now at Rhode Island College)

Susan Florio
Administrative Associate, Yale

Erin Hoffman
Evaluation Assistant, The Consultation Center

Samantha Matlin
Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale (now at Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation)

Carolyn Mazure
Principal Investigator, IRCSSA Research & Education Program, Yale

Roy Money
Data Analyst, Yale

Rajita Sinha
Principal Investigator, IRCSSA, Yale

Nghi Thai
Assistant Professor, Central Connecticut State University