TUCSON, Ariz. –– March 12, 2012 –– Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D., director of the University of Arizona’s Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, which is a catalyst for research addressing critical social, emotional and physical issues facing families today, was named president of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) organization at the 2012 biennial SRA Conference in Vancouver, Canada last week. Dr. Russell plans to use his leadership position to attract a more diverse global membership across fields, to share research more broadly with the public, and to exert greater influence on public policies dealing with the needs of contemporary youths.
SRA focuses on the theoretical, empirical and policy-research issues related to adolescence, promotes the dissemination of research on adolescents, and serves as a network and forum for its members. It started at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1986, and in 1991, launched the Journal of Research on Adolescence, for which Russell serves as associate editor. SRA is also about to launch an interactive Web site for researchers, professionals, students, and the public, which will include blogs focused on current topics encompassing public policy, research and teaching.
Russell says he will continue the current leadership's focus on generating public awareness of the contributions of the SRA and its members -- especially in regard to the urgent needs of youths. "I'm personally interested in the links between research, policy and programs for young people, and I am impatient with the slow pace and occasional disconnect between research and relevant policies and programs," Russell said. "I'd like to use my time as president to emphasize the pressing needs of contemporary young people."
The Frances McClelland Institute focuses on collaborative, multidisciplinary research and community outreach involving four initiatives: Fathers, Parenting, and Families; Adolescent Health and Development, Early Childhood: Typical & Atypical Development; and an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students at the University of Arizona engaged in the scientific study of Health, Emotion, and Relationships.
Russell, who was conference co-chair for the 2010 SRA conference in Philadelphia, says the geographical and professional diversity of participants was a strong indicator that the time is right for the SRA not only to strengthen communications among its members, but also to share information about their work with the public and policy makers.
The Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families serves as a catalyst for cross-disciplinary research on children, youth, and families at the University of Arizona. Its research initiatives address questions important to the development and well-being of contemporary children, youth, and families, with the goal of improving basic understanding to enhance the lives of the people of Arizona and the world. For more information, visit http://mcclellandinstitute.arizona.edu/