Welcome to our website!
The Youth Substance Use and Risky Behavior Lab is headed by Dr. Nora Charles, a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The overarching goals of the Youth Substance Use and Risky Behavior Lab are 1) to understand why children and adolescents engage in behaviors that put themselves and others at risk for harm, and 2) to determine the best ways to reduce the occurrence of these behaviors. To achieve these goals, Dr. Charles and her students study externalizing behaviors in children and adolescents, risk-taking during adolescence and young adulthood, the development of substance use disorders and juvenile delinquency, the effects of stress on children and adolescents, and community-based interventions for at-risk and delinquent youth.
Most of our projects recruit participants from the local community. We also work with several agencies that serve youth and families in south Mississippi (see Current Research for details). These relationships allow us to better understand the lives and experiences of people who engage in the types of behaviors we study, and they also provide opportunities for our research to have an impact on people in the local area. We believe that community-based "research in the real world" is vitally important to the advancement of clinical psychological science because it promotes research innovation and shortens the science-into-practice process.