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The Risky Adolescent Pathways lab is a team of researchers dedicated to understanding youth wellbeing and mental health. We examine factors and settings that protect youth from or propel them towards problematic long-term trajectories. Our translational work is dedicated to informing intervention and prevention programs and public policy.

Recent & Upcoming
Research Events


Phone use by parents and teens is not so simply as being "good" or "bad." In a follow-up interview with ABC Breakfast Sydney, Modecki discussed the state of the science, and where future research needs to go. June 2022

00:00 / 07:21

Many young adults today grew up on the "edge" of heavy cell phone-use.  Modecki discusses adolescence, desire for social connections and privacy from parents, with National Public Radio's Undisciplined program. Things have changed, but teens are still teens. 

late 2021.



When we think about smartphones and families, there is a strong narrative of risk in the media and some scholarship. But these studies are largely cross-sectional and the jury is still out on whether smartphones are really a cause for alarm. Modecki gave a video abstract for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, discussing the lab's recent exploratory multiverse study, using data from the ModernLife Study.

JRA special issue.png
 Journal of Research on Adolescence
Oct. 2019
Ambulatory assessment (AA) is an increasingly popular method among developmental scientists. But what is really involved when it comes to implementing AA in the field? What developmental questions can this method help us answer? A group of guest editors sponsored by the Jacobs Foundation brought to together a Special Section on Ambulatory Assessment
Menzies Centre for Applied Health Economics Seminar Series 

Big data but cross-sectional, what are our options for providing a robust picture of family well-being and tech?

When we think about adolescents' externalizing-and how to prevent it-should we be thinking beyond building "discrete skills?" Modecki argues for why bolstering intertwined skills for resilience renders a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.  

Are peers perhaps the "best medicine?" Doctoral Candidate Uink discusses research from our "How do you feel study?" This write-up was originally featured by the Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley.


What happens when a diverse group of scholars, program developers, and educators debate whether we should be alarmed about potential Digital Harms? A robust discussion! Sponsored by Something Digital, and part of the Night Nomad Series, March 17 was a sold-out crowd. Modecki argues that privacy and baked-in discrimination are the real culprits worth concern, not smartphone "addiction."

 Society for Community Research in Action 
(Div. 27 APA)
How can we best understand the experiences of young people involved in the juvenile justice system? A recent blog post for wonders--What if we considered rehabilitation in terms of helping to enhance youths' views and trust in the legal system? Based on data from over 130 incarcerated adolescents, Modecki examines youths' experiences of legal fairness and related emotions. 
AIATSIS National Indigenous Research Conference 

What are emerging best practices for inclusive ambulatory assessment methods with "at risk" youth? Lab alumna Dr. Uink shares research strategies.

It is bedtime-do you know where your teen's mobile phone is located? Recent YAPS-lab graduate Dr. Vernon discusses her lead-authored research published in Child Development.

In order to understand how best to support families experiencing stressful events, including those experiencing 

parental divorce, studies need to consider the inter-related nature of the family context. A discussion in the Washington Post featuring Modecki's research with ASU colleagues highlights the need for continued longitudinal research in this arena.

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