The Weiler Research Lab is directed by Lindsey M. Weiler, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota.

We develop, test, and optimize preventive interventions for youth and families. The goal of this research is to identify effective strategies for fostering healthy development among marginalized and vulnerable populations.  Most of our work focuses on leveraging adult-youth mentoring relationships and the alliance between caregivers and other caring adults to promote positive outcomes.

Specific lines of research include: (1) evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of formal youth mentoring programs, (2) identifying for whom, and under what conditions, mentoring interventions are most effective, (3) determining caregivers’ role in fostering positive social support networks for their children.

Within this work, we apply multiple frameworks, including developmental and community psychology, family systems, & ecological theories, and use multiple methods. We target diverse outcomes, according to the unique risk and protective factors of the population being served, such as mental health, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, academic achievement, identity development, and more.

Our ultimate goal is to promote positive youth and family development through the use of theoretically-grounded, evidence-based interventions that capitalize on the power of mentors and community support.