SMART Lab

The Social-emotional & Mental health Assessment, Research, and Treatment (SMART) Lab promotes and enhances the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral/mental health of youth, their families, schools and the community through high-quality research and advocacy to assist individuals, families, and communities maximize their full potential. 

The major focus of this research lab is exploring the processes of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Behavioural/Mental Health (B/MH). Within these concepts, we focus on topics such as, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Assessment of SEL and B/MH 
  • Interventions to promote/enhance SEL and/or B/MH 
  • Advancing the understanding, inclusion, and promotion of cultural and linguistic considerations for SEL and/or B/MH for youth and families in schools and communities 

Lab Philosophy & Core Values 

Within this lab, research is conceptualized as not only generating knowledge, but also developing our own learning and skills. Within learning, there will be successes and failures. Learning from both is important to the field of psychology and to understanding ourselves. This could take various forms, such as learning a new research method, tackling an advanced statistical analysis, expanding verbal and written communication skills, and building interpersonal skills within a team. 

Research should inspire and challenge us. We want to ask important questions that will positively impact youth, families, schools, and communities. This lab is interested in applied research that can easily translate into effective, culturally-responsive practice. The lab primarily utilizes quantitative approaches in conducting studies; however, we recognize the importance and value of qualitative research methodologies. 

Team members within the lab are seen as integral to our research endeavors and the learning of others – when you succeed, we all succeed! Given the primary topic of SEL, the lab seeks to put SEL skills into action within our research partnerships, ground our process in community-based participatory methods. 

Additionally, members of the lab should be fully committed to human rights and social justice principles. As such, members recognize the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion – that these must be actions and not just words. The lab welcomes team members committed to learning and growing, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, sexual identity or orientation, body size, political affiliation, religious affiliation, family status, physical and/or mental abilities, or level of experience.  

The lab is inspired by and committed to the following core values: 

  • Human Rights and Social Justice 
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Data-based Decision Making 
  • Connecting with Others 
  • Life-long Learning 

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