Research and Evaluation


For over 20 years, the Research Program at the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has conducted research addressing a wide area of issues relevant to the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults.

  • Our research targets adolescents and young adults seeking care at CHLA as well as youth from communities throughout Los Angeles.  
  • We seek to understand factors that may threaten young people’s health and future as well as the individual, familial, and environmental factors that can serve to support youth to realize their full potential.
  • Our particular interest is to assess new models of interventions designed to support young people, especially those most vulnerable.  
  • Over the past two decades our research teams have conducted studies focusing on such issues as HIV/AIDS, homelessness, substance use, inter-personal and community violence, obesity, living with chronic illness, trauma and access to quality healthcare.
  • Our team has expertise conducting mixed methods research, qualitative research, intervention studies, community needs assessments and formative research, and program evaluation.  We are also dedicated to disseminating findings among stakeholders from academic, healthcare, community and policy arenas, to those who can utilize findings to inform policy and practice designed to improve the health of young people.

Services Provided

In addition to conducting original research, we provide methodological and analytical support to research and evaluation projects targeting adolescents. We work with faculty within CHLA/USC to help them determine the impact of their interventions/services, improve youth programs, and develop best practices. 

Members of the DAYAM Research Program mentor faculty, trainees, and staff in the planning and conduct of research and evaluation activities. We provide assistance with:

  • Required ethics training and CCI application development
  • Generation of research questions and testable hypotheses
  • Literature review
  • Sampling frames, study design, and analytic plans
  • Development of original measures
  • Computer-assisted and online survey programming
  • Data entry, management, and export
  • Statistical analysis and reporting
  • Production of abstracts and manuscripts

Health Outcomes and Services

Community Health Research

  • Research  on Homeless and precariously housed adolescents and young adults concerning their service utilization, health, well-being and progress to self-sufficiency. Related intervention research addresses trauma  and substance use/ HIV risk. 
  • Community Diabetes Initiative 
  • Research around Interventions such as Project AIM
  • Evaluation of AIM 4 Teen Moms

Recent Publications:

The following is a select summary of recent publications:

  1. Wagner, K., Iverson, E., Wong, C., Jackson Bloom, J., McNeely, M., Davidson, P., McCarty, C., & Lankenau, S. Personal social network factors associated with overdose prevention training participation: Herd immunity or social influence? Substance Use and Misuse, 2013 48(1-2): 21-30 September 19 2012 Epub.
  2. Davidson P, Iverson E, Bloom J, Kral AH, Lankenau S, McCarty C, Wagner K, Wong C, Personal Social Network Factors Associated with Overdose Prevention Training Participation  Substance Use & Misuse  2013 Jan;48(1-2):21-30. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2012.720335. Epub 2012 Sep 19
  3. Wilson EC, Iverson E, Garofalo R, Belzer M Parental support and condom use among transgender female youth  J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care  2012 23(4): 306-17 Nov 2011 Epub
  4. Lankenau, S., Schrager, S., Silva, K., Kecojevic, A., Jackson Bloom, J., Wong, C., Iverson, E.  Misuse of prescription and illicit drug use among high-risk young adults in Los Angeles and New York. Journal of Public Health Research, 2012 14:1(1): 22-30.
  5. Clark, LF, Desai, M, Warf, C, Calvo, R, & Rabinovitz, S. (2009). HIV Risk in African American Versus Other Urban Homeless Youth.  Journal of Equity in Health, 2(1): 50-60.
  6. Atkiss, K., Moyer, M., Desai, M., Roland, M. (2011). Positive youth development: integration of the developmental assets theory and the socio-ecological model. Am J Health Educ. 42(3): 171-180. 
  7. Warf C, Clark LF, Desai M, Rabinovitz SJ, Agahi SJ, Calvo R, Hoffman J.  (2013). Coming of age on the streets: Survival sex among homeless young women in Hollywood. J of  Adolesc. 36 (6):1205-13.
  8. Schrager, S., Beharry, M., Olson, J., Belzer, M., Goldsich, K., Desai, M., Clark, L. F.  (2014) "Young menand the morning after: a missed opportunity for emergency contraception provision?" J of Family Planning and Reprod Health Care. doi: 10.1136/jfprhc-2013-100617.
  9. Belzer M, Naar-King S, Olson J, Kohana S, Mussa S, Thornton S, Gaur A, Clark LF. The use of cell phone support for non-adherent HIV-infected youth and young adults: A randomized control intervention. AIDS and Behav. 2013.
  10. Hildago M, Ehrensaft D, Tishbaum A, Clark LF, Garafalo R, Rosenthal S, Spack, N, Olson J.The gender affirmative model: What we know and what we aim to learn. Human Development 2013.
  11. Simons LS, Schrager SM, Clark LF, Belzer M, Olson J. Parental support and mental health among transgender adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2013.
  12. Olson J, Clark LF, Schrager S, Simons L, Belzer M. Baseline characteristics of transgender youth naive to cross sex hormones therapy. J Adol Health. 2013;52(2),S35-S36.
  13. Ruelas V, Iverson EF, Kiekel P, Peters A  The role of farmers’ markets in two low income, urban communities  Journal of Community Health  2012 37(3): 554-62 Sept 16  2011epub