Active Projects

metabolic-control-photoThe Stress in Obese Adolescents and their Resilience (SOAR) Study
Poor metabolic control puts teens with obesity at risk for a number of serious health complications, and significantly increases health care costs. However, not all youth with obesity develop metabolic complications. Dr. Idia Thurston and Dr. Kathryn Howell were awarded a grant for a study examining differences in stress and resilience among youth with and without obesity-related metabolic complications, in order to develop effective strategies for promoting metabolic health.




PaTH Kids Studychildren
Dr. Idia Thurston and Dr. Kathryn Howell were awarded a grant for this study which examines the relationship between youth resilience and maternal hardships (including: substance use, relationship violence, and risky sexual behaviors). The PaTH Kids Study explores whether maternal mental and physical health affect the relationship between maternal hardships and children’s ability to handle adversity.





Playback Memphis

Playback Memphis’s Be the Peace! Dr. Idia Thurston is collaborating with the theater company Playback Memphis to evaluate a school-based anti-bullying  program called Be the Peace! The program aims to promote kinship, safety, and hope by creating a respectful, trusting, and empathic environment in schools. Students in the Frayser community in Memphis will learn and perform Playback theater techniques to foster an empowering atmosphere of listening and sharing personal stories .



The Identity Exploration Study (TIES)  teensWhat kinds of microaggressions do multi-racial individuals experience? What factors are associated with resilience in the context of microaggressions? Dr. Idia Thurston and Dr. Laura Marks are leading this study examining the relationships between racial/ethnic identity, microaggressions, and resilience among adolescents and adults aged 18-25 years old.





ibisDeveloping the Intersectional Body Ideal Scale (IBIS) for Adolescents  Weight misperception and body satisfaction have important implications for the mental and physical health of adolescents and young adults (AYA) with obesity. However, only a very limited array of body ideals (thinness for women, muscularity for men) have been considered and researched to date. Dr. Idia Thurston, Dr. Kendrin Sonneville (University of Michigan), and Dr. Tracy Richmond (Boston Children’s Hospital) have a grant under review to develop a culturally-relevant body ideal scale for AYA with obesity that takes into consideration the intersection of race/ethnicity, sex, and weight.




Completed Projects

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Weight Reporting from Adolescents’ Perspective (WRAP)
Do younger individuals identify their height and weight correctly, and how do gender and culture play a role? This study intended to assess how accurately adolescents and young adults identify their height and weight and to determine how culture and health-related factors affected their self-reports.


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Parenting through Hardships (PaTH)
Adversity may affect a person’s life, but does it affect parenting? And if so, how? The PaTH study was conducted to explore how experiences of adversity in women primary caregivers of children might affect parenting. In collaboration with Dr. Kathryn Howell, PaTH examined several types of adversity experienced by caregivers, including: relationship violence, risky sexual behaviors, substance use, and challenges associated with mental health and social support.


adolescentsBehaviors, Relationships, and Identity Development (BRAID) 
What are the makings of a person’s identity and how do individuals see themselves? The BRAID study sets out to answer these questions by learning how people think about themselves and what factors contribute to one’s sense of identity. This study was conducted by Ph.D. student Kristina Decker under the supervision of the CHANGE lab’s director, Dr. Idia Thurston.


Emotional Overeating Intervention (EOI) eoi-picture
Food can be a source of comfort, and sometimes people overeat as a way to way to feel better or deal with difficult feelings. These culturally-responsive outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills groups seek to help teens reach their goals of decreasing overeating behaviors by replacing with more skillful behaviors. CHANGE Lab Ph.D. student Rebecca Kamody is assessing the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of these groups, in collaboration with Dr. Idia Thurston and Dr. Thomaseo Burton through the Le Bonheur Health Lifestyle Clinic.