A Novel, Strengths-Based Approach to ADHD


By Michael J. Kofler, Ph.D.

Kofler joined the Curry School of Education in 2012 as a core faculty member and Assistant Professor in the Clinical and School Psychology Ph.D. program. He is the director of the Children’s Learning Clinic (CLC), a new, scientist-practitioner research clinic affiliated with Youth-Nex and Curry’s Ph.D. program in Clinical and School Psychology.

Related posts: Research

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects between 2.8 and 3.9 million U.S. school children, at an annual cost of illness of over $42 billion. Given those staggering figures, it is perhaps not surprising that researchers and mental health professionals tend to focus on the deficits associated with the disorder. Approaching ADHD from a strengths-based perspective is a new concept, and one that will continue to develop over time. At the new Children’s Learning Clinic (CLC), we believe that simultaneous consideration of both their strengths and weaknesses will lead to the best interventions for children with ADHD. If we do not consider all aspects of ADHD – including strengths and weaknesses – we are unlikely to provide the best possible services for these children. Continue reading

Discrimination: How being rejected by one’s own ethnic group affects youth


By Joanna Lee Williams, Ph.D. Williams is Assistant Professor in Leadership, Foundations and Policy at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and affiliated with Youth-Nex. Her research interests include the role of identity processes related to race/ethnicity, resiliency, and coping in adolescent development, with a particular emphasis on perceptions of stigma and discrimination among ethnic minority youth. She recently received a Racial Discrimination and Health Award of Excellence from the National Cancer Institute for a distinguished poster presentation at the 2011 Science of Research on Discrimination and Health meeting. Her current work examines the nature and frequency of racial microaggressions and their relation to racial ethnic identity development, psychosocial functioning, and achievement outcomes among adolescents and young adults.

Related posts: Research

A central feature of adolescence is engagement in the process of understanding oneself both in terms of personal identity (e.g., What are my goals, values, beliefs, and personal choices?  What are the continuous aspects of my personal character?) and social identity (e.g., Who am I in relation to my reference groups?  How connected am I to these groups and what do they mean for my personal identity?).  Continue reading