University of New Orleans
Department of Psychology
Geology/Psychology Bldg Lakefront Campus
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148

Phone: (504) 280-6291
Fax: (504) 280-6049
Email: psych@uno.edu







The University of New Orleans Child and Adolescent Resilience (CARe) Lab seeks to understand and promote resilience among urban youth exposed to chronic and acute stressors, and in turn inform prevention and intervention efforts. The lab is directed by Dr. Sonia Rubens, a faculty member in the Psychology Department at the University of New Orleans.


Sleep plays an important role in the cognitive, physical, and emotional development of youth. Sleep is also prone to many disturbances. Several factors can negatively influence sleep, such as exposure to trauma, violence, and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Further, poor sleep is associated with a host of mental and behavioral health problems. The CARe lab is currently investigating the role of sleep in association with trauma, mental health, and resilience through several studies:

Juvenile Justice Study: Research indicates that poor sleep is associated with externalizing problems, including aggression, substance use, and delinquency, as well as internalizing problems, including anxiety and depression. Youth in the juvenile justice system tend to report elevated levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms, in addition to being at risk for a significant trauma history. The CARe lab is currently investigating the link between trauma exposure, sleep, and internalizing and externalizing symptoms in a sample of youth in the juvenile justice system.

Alternative High School Study: Youth attending alternative high schools often present with a history of stress and trauma. Few studies have examined factors that may influence risk or resilience in the context of trauma among urban youth attending alternative high schools. The CARe lab is conducting a study to examine factors such as sleep habits, delinquency engagement, and school attachment among youth attending an alternative high school.

Homeless Youth Study: Youth and young adults without consistent housing are at risk of poor sleep habits. The CARe lab is currently partnering with a local transitional housing program for homeless youth and young adults to assess sleep habits and associated risk factors among their residents. The data collected will be used to help inform efforts to address the needs of this population.

Exoneree Study: Little is known about the mental health and reintegration struggles of individuals who have been exonerated following wrongful convictions. In partnership with the Innocence Project Network, the CARe Lab is currently collecting data assessing symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, as well as information on exonerees’ sleep habits. This data will be used to inform future research and policy in order to better differentiate service provision needs following incarceration for this unique population.

Meta-Analyses: The CARe lab is also completing several meta-analyses on topics relevant to the lab’s interest in order to help synthesize the literature on these important areas and inform intervention efforts.



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Revised 10/26/2016