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Adaptation and Implementation of the Modular Act & Adapt Program (AIM)

Project AIM is a collaboration between DePaul University and Chicago Public School's (CPS) Office of Social and Emotional Learning. Act & Adapt is a group-based cognitive behavioral intervention geared towards 5th-8th grade youth of predominantly low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds who are at risk for depression. The Act & Adapt program teaches coping skills through the use of video-guided vignettes, discussions, and group activities to help students manage stress and improve their mood. Since 2017, we have trained over 180 school-based providers across 90 elementary schools.

More information on Act & Adapt can be found on the following website:

Act & Adapt - Implementation

The goal of this implementation study is to train and support mental health providers (social workers, counselors, psychologists) in delivering the Act & Adapt intervention in their schools. We assess eligibility, provider and group member fidelity, and student outcomes.

Act & Adapt - Sustainability

In partnership with the Chicago Public School’s Office of Social and Emotional Learning, this project focuses on supporting mental health providers trained in Act & Adapt who have previously facilitated the program at one or more schools across the city. We assess eligibility, provider and group member fidelity, and student outcomes.

Act & Adapt - Replication

In collaboration with Children-Youth-Cabinet (CYC) this project is a replication of Act & Adapt in Providence, Rhode Island. With support from a 5-year grant from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) we are training providers and supporting the infrastructure of CYC to deliver and evaluate this and other evidence-based programs. During the first year of implementation (2021-22 academic year), two public schools in providence will deliver groups during the Fall and Spring.

Act & Adapt - Adaptation

In partnership with the academic enhancement program, Saturday Place, this project aims to adapt the Act & Adapt curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade students. In addition to receiving academic supports through their Saturday Place teachers, students enrolled in an Act & Adapt group learn evidence-based cognitive behavioral strategies to cope with stressors.

Diversity in Anxiety Trials (DINA)

This project is a systematic review of published intervention trials for youth anxiety that use a randomized control design. The goal of the study is to examine the extent to which diversity is considered in treatment outcome studies, as reflected by the reporting practices, sample representation, analyses and results. 

Student Projects

Jesus Solano Martinez - MA Thesis

Parent and Child Language Profiles and their Family and Clinical Predictors

The current study used a person-centered analytic approach called latent profile analysis to uncover Spanish and English parent-child language proficiency profile groups among a large school-based sample of predominantly low-income Latinx families. Further, this study explored whether demographic (e.g., age, gender, education), family processes (parental attachment and parenting stress) and clinical (parent and child depression) variables predict profile membership.

Laura Saldana - MA Thesis

Parent-Child Acculturative Stress Profiles among Latinx Families: Family and Academic Outcomes

This study utilizes a person-centered analytic technique to examine acculturative stress levels among parent-child dyads, and how these levels in turn impact family functioning and youth’s academic achievement. Predictors of acculturative stress levels are also assessed.

Paulina Paredes Cienega - MA Thesis

Cultural Values and Internalizing Symptoms among Latinx Youth: The Role of Gender 


This study will examine whether familism moderates the relation between affiliative obedience and internalizing symptoms of depression and anxiety among Latinx youth. Additionally, it focuses on exploring whether this moderational effect is similar or different for boys and girls.

Elizabeth Martinez Charleston - MA Thesis

 Examining academic achievement among youth raised in single-family households: A strength-based approach 


This study will examine the relationship between academic achievement and protective factors among Latinx youth raised in a single-family household. It will examine school, family, and individual characteristics as moderators for this population.

Taylor Ullrich - MS Thesis

The Interplay Between Psychological Control and Emotional Overinvolvement on Depressive Symptoms  

This study will explore the potential interactive effects of parental psychological control and emotional overinvolvement on depressive symptoms among early adolescents of minoritized backgrounds. Demographic (e.g., gender, socioeconomic status) and cultural (e.g., nativity, family obligation) moderators will be explored.

Mariana Bednarek - MS Thesis

The Moderating Effects of Acculturative Stress and Multiethnic Group Belonging on the Relationship between Victimization and Depression among Latinx Youth

This study will examine the relationship between victimization and depressive symptoms among Latinx youth ages 10-15. Additionally, this study will examine acculturative stress and multiethnic group belonging as potential risk and protective factors for depression, respectively.

Ashley Harris - MS Thesis

Family Coping as a Protective Factor against the Impact of Peer Victimization and other Negative Life Events


This study examines the moderating effects of family coping on the association between peer victimization and negative life events on PTSD symptoms and academic achievement.

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