About Us

Teacher And Pupils Using Wooden Shapes I

The Families and Mental Wellness Lab at Wayne State University is devoted to improved science and practice on behalf of young children and their families.

Many families experience stress and trauma. The research literature is pretty clear on this point: adverse experiences predict negative outcomes for children. In particular, when parents and important adults experience trauma, and when children themselves are traumatized, young children demonstrate lags in multiple areas of development. We are particularly interested in children's social emotional development because early development in this area begins the long-term trajectories of mental health and mental wellness.

The WSU Families and Mental Wellness lab research team asks the question: what family processes buffer the impact of stress on early social emotional development? We are learning the ways that parents can teach their children to cope, develop healthy emotion regulation, and build long-term strategies for thriving.

Our research and outreach are consist with the urban mission of Wayne State University. We emphasize a community-based participatory research model and partner with community organizations to develop and implement scientific innovations. Undergraduate, post-bachelor's, and graduate students achieve competency in multiple areas of this scholarly model.

The FAM Lab is part of the department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at Wayne State University. 

What is mental wellness?

We view mental wellness as an individual's ability to thrive in the areas of psychological, social, emotional functioning. Wellness is the ability  to tap into our inner and community-based resources to cope with the stressors of daily life.